The San Diego Humane Society and the ASPCA are advocating for Assembly Bill 1399, legislation that seeks to increase access to services in the face of a critical shortage of trained veterinarians in California by lifting state regulations restricting provision of veterinary care via telemedicine. The bill was revised and sent back to committee on March 20.
Advocates argue that telemedicine can help close gaps in access to care particularly in rural areas and in communities where the local shelter does not have a veterinarian on staff.
In a nationwide survey conducted by the ASPCA, nearly a quarter of the respondents reported they wanted or needed veterinary care in the past two years but were unable to get it. More than two-thirds of them would have used telemedicine if it had been available. Read the April 10, 2023 press release.
The ASPCA is asking veterinary professionals to sign an online petition in support of veterinary telemedicine here.