BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 670
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          AB 670 (Spitzer)
          As Amended June 27, 2007
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |76-0 |(May 7, 2007)   |SENATE: |36-0 |(July 16,      |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2007)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    PUB. S.  

           SUMMARY  :  Requires a person who owns or has custody or control of  
          an animal and knows or has reason to know that the animal bit  
          another person to provide specified personal identifying  
          information to that other person.  

           The Senate amendments  change the time requirement for notification  
          by the person with custody and control of an animal from  
          immediately after a bite, to "as soon as practicable but no later  
          than 48 hours" after the animal bit another person.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides that every dog owner, after his/her dog reaches the age  
            of four months, shall, no less than once every two years, secure  
            a license for the dog as provided for by the ordinance of the  
            responsible city, county, city and county, or county.  

          2)Provides that every dog owner, after his/her dog reaches the age  
            of four months, shall, at intervals not more often than once per  
            year as prescribed by the Department of Public Health (DPH),  
            procure its vaccination by a licensed veterinarian with a canine  
            anti-rabies vaccine approved by, and in a manner, prescribed by  

          3)Provides that nothing shall authorize the bringing of an action  
            pursuant to this law based on a bite or bites inflicted upon a  
            trespasser, upon a person who has provoked the dog or  
            contributed to his/her own injuries, or by a dog used in  
            military or police work if the bites occurred while the dog was  
            actually performing in that capacity.  Defines "provocation" as  
            including, but not limited to, situations where a dog is held on  
            a leash by its owner or custodian reacts in a protective manner  
            to a person or persons who approach the owner or custodian in a  
            threatening manner. 


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          4)States that nothing in this section shall be construed to affect  
            the liability of the owner of a dog under Penal Code Section 399  
            or any other provision of law. 

          5)Provides that it is a misdemeanor for any person to willfully  
            conceal information about the location or ownership of an animal  
            . . . that has bitten or otherwise exposed a person to rabies. 

          6)Allows cities and counties to enact an ordinance that provides  
            for the issuance of a license for a period not to exceed three  
            years for dogs who are 12 months of age or older and have been  
            vaccinated against rabies.  States that a license shall not  
            extend beyond the period of the validity of the current rabies  

          7)Allows cities and counties to enact more stringent requirements  
            in the exercise of their police power. 

          8)States that any person who willfully conceals information about  
            the location or ownership of an animal subject to rabies that  
            has bitten or otherwise exposed a person to rabies, with the  
            intent to prevent the quarantine or isolation of that animal by  
            the local health officer, is guilty of a misdemeanor. 

          9)Provides that except as otherwise provided, every person who  
            possesses an animal in violation of the [rabies control]  
            provisions of this chapter is guilty of an infraction,  
            punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000. 

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill:

          1)Required the person who owns or has custody or control of the  
            animal to immediately provide the other person with his/her  
            name, address, telephone number and the name, and license tag  
            number of the animal who bit the other person.

          2)Stated that if a minor has custody and control of the animal at  
            the time of the bite, he/she shall provide contact information  
            of an adult or responsible party.

          3)Stated that if the animal is required by law to be vaccinated  
            against rabies, the person owning or having custody or control  
            of the animal shall, within 48 hours of the bite, provide the  
            other person with information regarding the status of the  
            animal's vaccinations.


                                                                  AB 670
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          4)Provided that a violation of this section is an infraction  
            punishable by a fine not exceeding $100.

          5)Stated that, for the purposes of this section, it is necessary  
            for the skin of the person to be broken or punctured by the  
            animal for the contact to be classified as a "bite".

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations Committee,  
          pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, this bill "will require that  
          pet owners exchange information with any person who has been  
          bitten by his or her animal.  Current law requires that a person  
          involved in an auto accident provide his or her name, address, and  
          registration number of the vehicle to all parties involved in the  
          accident and to any traffic or police officer at the scene.   
          Likewise, when a person owns a pet, he or she has certain  
          responsibilities, such as keeping the animal on a leash or keeping  
          children and the elderly a safe distance from the pet.  In the  
          event of a biting incident, parties involved should have the right  
          to know who the owner is, any critical health issues, and the  
          vaccination history of the animal.  This bill will require the  
          owner of a domesticated animal (such as a dog or cat) to share his  
          or her name, address, and phone number and the animal's name,  
          breed, and license number with the victim of the bite, and to  
          provide a history of the animal's rabies vaccinations within 48  

          Please see the policy committee analysis for full discussion of  
          this bill.

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Kathleen Ragan / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744  

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