Sacramento, CA, May 18, 2012, 5:00pm – The California State Senate has approved Senate Bill 1229, a bill to help protect the pets of people who are potential renters. The bill would prohibit a landlord from advertising or establishing rental policies requiring a tenant’s animals to be declawed or devocalized. SB 1229 would impose a civil penalty of $1,000 per animal for every violation that results in declawing or devocalization. The bill is co-sponsored by The Paw Project and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. Also supporting the bill are the California Apartment Association and the California Veterinary Medical Association. In recent years, eight local governments in California have banned the practice of cat declawing, recognizing the practice is without benefit and subjects the animal to possible harm. In addition, the practice is banned as a tenancy condition in public housing nationwide. As an alternative to declawing or devocalization, landlords may include language in contracts making tenants liable for pet-related damage; require that tenants supply their cats with scratch posts, require an additional refundable security deposit or “pet deposit;” provide scratching posts to tenants with cats and select fabrics for furnished apartments that are less likely to appeal to cats. Senate Bill 1229 now moves to the State Assembly for consideration.

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