California lawmaker aims to give pets rights in ‘Dog and Cat Bill of Rights’

LOS ANGELES (KNX) – A California lawmaker wants to make sure cats and dogs are given a bill of rights.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) authored the “Dog and Cat Bill of Rights,” which he told KNX In Depth “creates an environment for them so they’re not exploited, there’s no cruelty, they could live a life of comfort, exercise, food, clean water.”

He introduced the bill last month.

“In a perfect world, we would know there would be no cruelty to animals, but we live in a world the way it is and we’re trying to do our part by establishing a bill of rights for dogs and cats,” he said.

While there is an established law in the state that makes it a crime to put pets in a situation of abuse or neglect, Santiago said his bill of rights is about giving animals basic rights.

“There is something to establish rights for a living creature in this case, a dog or cat because that changes the conversation to understand that ‘I’m not gonna throw this dog out into the backyard when it’s raining ‘cause it’s a dog,” he said.

“It has basic rights. The right not to be in cruel situations and sometimes that can be putting a dog out in the middle of the cold or in the middle of the rain. Like anyone else it should have rights.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio above.

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