Updates about legal issues facing animals in the state

The Animal Legal Defense Fund works at the federal, state and local levels to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals.

Animal Protection Laws Ranking

Each year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund publishes its U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report. Each state is ranked based on 20 different categories of animal protection.

Overall Rank: #9 (Top Tier)

  • +Animals may be included in protection orders
  • +Veterinarians must report suspected animal cruelty, and have immunity for doing so in good faith
  • +Mandatory post-conviction possession ban
  • -Seizure and pre-conviction forfeiture statute is not clear, and pre-conviction forfeiture is very limited
  • -Standards for minimum acceptable care for animals (e.g. necessary food, water, shelter) are not well-defined

Legislative Session

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Recent Victories

dog puppy mills

Challenging the Sale of Puppy Mill Dogs – Barkworks Class Action

The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a class action lawsuit against pet store chain Barkworks, on behalf of puppy purchasers harmed by the company’s illegal and deceptive practices in selling puppy mill dogs.

Urging California Air Resources Board to Regulate Factory Farm Emissions

In 2014, the Animal Legal Defense Fund submitted a petition for rulemaking urging the California Air Resources Board to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from factory farming under the state’s cap-and-trade program.

Opposing SeaWorld San Diego Permit for Expansion

The Animal Legal Defense Fund opposed the expansion of SeaWorld San Diego without strict requirements, including not acquiring additional orcas.

Challenging Cal EXPO’s Use of Farrowing Crates (2017)

The Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the California Exposition and State Fair and Regents of the University of California on grounds that the State Fair's inhumane treatment of nursing and pregnant pigs violates state animal cruelty laws.