Breaking News!

March 17, 2023


AB 829, The Animal Cruelty & Violence Intervention Act, Introduced by Assemblymember Marie Waldron and Sponsored by

Social Compassion in Legislation


March 17, 2023, Sacramento, CA –  Today, Assembly Bill 829, the Animal Cruelty & Violence Intervention Act, was introduced by Assemblywoman Marie Waldron (R-Valley Center). The bill, sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation, will expand currently required counseling for violations of Penal Code 597 to additional sections pertaining to animal abuse, such as those involving malicious violence, willful poisoning, or bestiality. The bill also codifies language which encourages a judge to order a psychological evaluation and, if deemed beneficial after evaluation, to undergo a higher level of counseling in lieu of current mandated counseling.

“We are in the midst of a mental health crisis in California, and those who intentionally inflict harm on animals are part of it,” said Assemblymember Waldron. “Counseling and mental health evaluations are critical safeguards to ensuring cases of animal abuse decrease and the lives of these innocent creatures are saved. I am proud to partner with Social Compassion in Legislation on this important legislation.”

Over the past 30 years, researchers and professionals in a variety of human services and animal welfare disciplines have established significant correlations (the “Link”) between animal abuse, child abuse and neglect, domestic

violence, elder abuse and other violent crimes.

Despite the recognition of this link between violence to animals and to humans, current sentencing options for animal abuse crimes are largely punitive measures that do little to help end the cycle of violence or rehabilitate offenders. Fines, jail time, probation and forced animal

surrender are the primarily utilized options, but may not be enough to address the underlying issues leading to animal abuse. Appropriate mental health evaluation and counseling are essential for public safety and stop the abuser from abusing.

"When there is violence to an animal, you can bet there is or will be violence to a human," said Judie Mancuso, Founder and President of Social Compassion in Legislation. "People convicted of animal abuse crimes need help. This bill expands mandated counseling for animal abuse convictions and calls for psychological evaluations to help prevent the abuser from further crimes against both animals and humans. Yes, people must be punished for hurting animals, but they also need counseling with the hope of fixing their underlying emotional and psychological issues before they do it again or go on to hurt humans."

AB 829 will be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee in the next few weeks. If you have not already signed up to support this bill, please follow the instructions below to do so.


We Need Your Voice!

Instructions on How to Sign a Support Letter:

Now is the time for you to engage and have your voices heard! Hearings will be coming up soon, and we must start gathering support letters ASAP!

To send your support letter for all of our sponsored bills. It's easy - following the steps below.  

Please click on our 'How-to-Help' page, then:


  • Choose the button on whether you are sending as an Individual, Group, or Both.
  • Then, click on the bills you want to support, or click the box "All Bills Option" to support them all. The bills you click to support will have a red box around them. Then click the "Next" button at the bottom of the page.
  • Fill in your information
  • Click "Send Support" !

We then produce your letter(s) and ensure they are received by the correct legislators and committees.

***Remember, if you are an organization, you must follow the instructions to register for an organization. The committees have requirements we must fulfill in order to get your support registered in the committee analysis, which is very important.

Alternatively, organizations can send their letter which must be on letterhead and signed as a pdf to

Update on Other Animal Bills in the California Legislature!

Assemblymember Ash Kalra presents his bill, AB 57, to the Committee on Natural Resources.

SCIL Director of Legislative Affairs, Nickolaus Sackett, voices our support for AB 57.

On March 3rd we sent out an email with a list of bills SCIL is supporting in 2023. Below are a few updates. Keep a lookout as we'll do our best to keep you abreast of their progress throughout the legislative session.

And remember, if you'd like to support any of them, along with our SCIL sponsored bills, please follow the instructions above on how to sign onto a support letter.

NOTE: Those legislators listed as "present and abstained" were present for the bill hearing, heard the testimony, and made a deliberate decision to abstain from voting.

AB 57 (Kalra), a bill to create "pocket forests" in urban settings. This bill passed the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources by a 10-0-1 vote. The bill now heads to the Appropriations Committee.

Ayes: Bennett, Boerner Horvath, Chen, Friedman, Hoover, Pellerin, Luz Rivas, Ward, Wood, Zbur

Noes: None

Present and abstained: Essayli

AB 357 (Maienschein), a bill to require manufacturers to report various animal testing activities to the Attorney General. This bill passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee by a 8-0-3 vote. The bill now heads to the Appropriations Committee.

Ayes: Connolly, Haney, Kalra, Maienschein, Pacheco, Papan, Reyes, Robert Rivas

Noes: None

Present and abstained: Dixon, Essayli, Sanchez

AB 554 (Gabriel), a bill to clarify that an organization may bring a civil action to obtain specific or preventive relief to enforce laws relating to or affecting animals. This bill passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee by a 11-0-0 vote. The bill now heads to the Committee on Banking and Finance.

Ayes: Connolly, Dixon, Essayli, Haney, Kalra, Maienschein, Pacheco, Papan, Reyes, Robert Rivas, Sanchez

Noes: None

Present and abstained: None


OC Register covered our sponsored bill, AB 332, Shelter Animal Collection Data Act, including quotes from Judie Mancuso.

Click HERE to read the article.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced the first Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network Decadal Management Review.

In 2012, after an eight-year planning effort, the California Fish and Game Commission established the statewide network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) along our coast. MPAs are named, discrete geographic marine or estuarine areas designed to "protect or conserve marine life and habitat." After 10 years, the Commission is now conducting a Decadal Management Review, representing the first ever comprehensive evaluation of the entire statewide MPA Network. To learn more about the MPA's, including links to maps, go to the Department's MPA FAQ page. You can also read actual review document HERE.

SCIL has been participating in the MPA review process. Unfortunately, the voices heard at the first Fish and Game Commission meeting were primarily concerned with "take," which is a nice way of saying killing. Marine life is being pushed to the brink due to rampant commercial fishing. MPA's should be safe haven's for marine life. Our input to the Commission is to keep the protected areas as they are and not expand any areas where fishing, "take," or "harvesting" is allowed. Also, we need a change of perspective, away from "taking" to a view where killing is not an ingredient in conserving marine life.

Stay tuned for our future alerts to sign on to a letter to the Commission and other opportunities to make your voice heard to save our marine life and strengthen our MPA's.

If you appreciate and support what we do, please donate today. Our group exist on your donations alone. Please give today!

Thank you so much,

Judie Mancuso, founder/CEO/president

Social Compassion in Legislation

Social Compassion in Legislation
See what's happening on our social sites:
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram