AB 2723 Pet Theft Protection Bill Heads to Governor

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill AB 2723 - Animals: microchips: theft passed the Senate Floor with unanimous bipartisan support and is headed to the Governor’s desk.

“It’s a tragedy when your family member/pet goes missing, and this bill would prevent bad actors of reclaiming pets while their loved ones are still searching for them,”

said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “Many Californians have welcomed animals into their families, and we want those pets to be safe.”

Existing law fails to ensure that pets are returned to their rightful owners. Currently, when pets are microchipped by organizations before adoption, these organizations remain as the primary contact registered to the microchips, even after adoption and even once owners are registered to the same microchips (as secondary contacts).

AB 2723 would expand upon, and clarify pet microchip ownership with the intent to alleviate legal confusion and ambiguity for pet owners, especially owners undergoing improper pet reclamation, pet theft, or pet loss. Specifically, AB 2723 would prioritize the contacting of owners in instances of pet recovery by encouraging that the pet owner be listed as the microchip primary contact, instead of pet adoption organizations.

“We need pet ownership to be clear since many have invested both financially and emotionally for the care of their pets. This bill helps the voiceless return home where they belong,” said Holden.