BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1634
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          AB 1634 (Levine) 
          As Amended May 31, 2007
          Majority vote
           BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS     7-3  APPROPRIATIONS      10-6        
          |Ayes:|Eng, Bass, Carter,        |Ayes:|Leno, Davis, DeSaulnier,  |
          |     |Hayashi, Hernandez,       |     |Huffman, Karnette,        |
          |     |Price, Torrico            |     |Krekorian, Lieu, Nava,    |
          |     |                          |     |Solorio, Evans            |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |Nays:|Emmerson, Horton, Maze    |Nays:|Walters, Emmerson, La     |
          |     |                          |     |Malfa, Ma, Nakanishi,     |
          |     |                          |     |Sharon Runner             |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           SUMMARY  :  Requires all cats and dogs in the state over four  
          months old to be spayed or neutered unless the owner has been  
          issued an intact permit, as defined, allowing the animal to  
          remain unaltered.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Prohibits a person from owning or possessing a cat or dog over  
            the age of four months that has not been spayed or neutered,  
            unless the person possesses an intact permit, as defined.

          2)Defines an intact permit as a document that is issued annually  
            by local jurisdictions, as described, that authorizes a person  
            to own or possess within that locality an unaltered cat or dog  
            that meets the requirements set forth in this bill.

          3)Defines spay or neuter as any procedure preformed by a  
            licensed veterinarian that permanently sterilizes an animal  
            and makes it incapable of reproduction.

          4)Allows an intact permit to be issued if any of the following  
            conditions are met: 

             a)   The owner demonstrates through specified means that he  
               or she is doing business and is licensed as a breeder by  
               the local jurisdiction;

             b)   The owner's animal is a valid breed that is recognized  


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               by an approved registry or association, and the animal is  
               at least one of the following: 

               i)     The animal is used to show or compete and has done  
                 so in at least one legitimate show or sporting  
                 competition, hosted by or under the approval of a  
                 recognized registry or association within the last two  
                 years, or is being trained to show or compete and is too  
                 young to have competed; or, 

               ii)    The animal has earned, or if under three years old,  
                 is in the process of earning, a title from an approved  
                 purebred registry or association. 

             c)   The owner is a legitimate breeder of working dogs or is  
               supplying dogs for training as working dogs to law  
               enforcement, fire agencies, or legitimate professional or  
               volunteer private sector working dog organizations;

             d)   The dog is being actively used by law enforcement, fire  
               agencies, or legitimate professional or volunteer private  
               sector working dog organizations for law enforcement, fire  
               service, search and rescue, or medical service activities;

             e)   The dog is raised, groomed, socialized, or otherwise  
               prepared for duties as a legitimate working dog; or, 

             f)   The owner provides a letter from a California licensed  
               veterinarian stating that due to age, poor health, or  
               illness, it is unsafe to spay or neuter the animal.

          5)Exempts any animal possessed by any individual with a  
            disability protected by the federal Americans with  
            Disabilities Act from the provisions of this bill if the  
            animal is providing guide dog, service dog, or signal dog  
            services, as defined.

          6)Exempts from the provisions of this bill any guide dog, signal  
            dog, and service dog programs licensed by the State of  

          7)Allows a person up to 75 days from the date the cat or dog  
            reaches the age of four months to spay or neuter their animal  
            if a letter is provided from a California licensed  
            veterinarian indicating that due to age, poor health, or  


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            illness, it is unsafe to spay or neuter the animal at the age  
            of four months. 

          8)Provides that if a person is found in violation of the  
            provisions of this bill, he/she shall be subject to a civil  
            penalty of $500 for each animal in violation.

          9)Allows the civil penalties imposed for violating the  
            provisions of this bill to be waived if verification is  
            provided that the animal has been spayed or neutered.

          10)Requires that if a previously permitted intact animal no  
            longer meets the criteria for an intact permit, the animal  
            must be spayed or neutered.

          11)Provides that any person in possession of any document issued  
            by a local jurisdiction that permits the owner to possess an  
            unaltered cat or dog shall be deemed in compliance with the  
            provisions of this bill until the document expires, or on  
            January 1, 2009, whichever occurs first.

          12)Provides that the fee for an intact permit shall be  
            determined by the local jurisdiction and must be no more than  
            what is reasonably necessary to fund the administration of  
            that jurisdiction's intact permit program.

          13)Requires a local jurisdiction to waive the intact permit fee  
            for an unaltered dog that meets the requirements for a  
            service, working, or law enforcement dog, as defined, and  
            individuals or organizations breeding animals for services  
            provided by guide dogs, signal dogs, or service dogs. 

          14)Allows the local jurisdiction to waive all or part of the  
            intact permit fee for an unaltered animal that is unable to be  
            safely spayed or neutered and has the specified documentation  
            from a veterinarian. 

          15)Prohibits a local jurisdiction from assessing duplicative  
            fees pursuant to this bill.

          16)Provides that any civil penalties collected pursuant to the  
            provisions of this bill shall be used for funding the  
            administration, outreach and enforcement activities set forth  
            therein and that all permit fees collected shall be used for  
            funding the administration of the permit program in the local  


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            jurisdiction in which the permits are issued. 

          17)Requires, to the extent that funding is available pursuant to  
            this bill, a local animal control agency to establish a free  
            and low-cost spay and neuter program for low-income  
            individuals, and requires the local animal control agency to  
            make outreach efforts to inform qualified persons about these  

          18)States that this bill shall not prohibit a local jurisdiction  
            from adopting and enforcing a more restrictive spay and neuter  
            program provided that the program allows for the temporary or  
            permanent exemption from the spay and neuter requirements for  
            law enforcement dogs, service dogs, working dogs, or  
            organizations breeding for these types of dogs, animals that  
            can not be safely altered due to age, poor health or illness,  
            and for animals of persons protected by the federal Americans  
            with Disabilities Act.

          19)Exempts from the provisions of this bill any owner of a cat  
            or dog that is not a resident of California if the owner  
            provides proof, as determined by the local jurisdiction, that  
            the animal is temporarily in California for training, showing,  
            or any other legitimate reason.

          20)Provides that the provisions of this bill shall go into  
            effect April 1, 2008.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Establishes that it is the policy of the state that no  
            adoptable animal should be euthanized if it can be adopted  
            into a suitable home and that no treatable animal, as defined,  
            should be euthanized.

          2)Allows cities and counties to enact dog breed-specific  
            ordinances pertaining only to mandatory spay and neuter  
            programs and breeding requirements, provided that no specific  
            dog breed, or mixed dog breed, shall be declared potentially  
            dangerous or vicious under those ordinances.

          3)Requires counties that have a population exceeding 100,000  
            persons, and cities within those counties, to prohibit the  
            sale or give away of any dog from specified animal control  
            agencies and shelters that has not been spayed or neutered. 


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           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  

          1)Costs:  No direct state costs and any costs to local  
            governments would be nonreimbursable.  Any additional costs to  
            local agencies will be supported by existing local resources  
            and by revenue from annual permits and from civil penalties.  

          It is assumed that enforcement of this bill's provisions will be  
            conducted by local animal control agencies in the course of  
            performing their existing enforcement duties, and generally on  
            a complaint-driven basis.

          2)Potential savings:  To the extent conformance with this bill's  
            requirements reduces the number of cats and dogs impounded to  
            animal shelters, local governments could realize operational  
            savings.  Supporters provided information from Santa Cruz  
            County, which implemented a similar ordinance in 1995, showing  
            that by 2003, intake of cats and dogs into county shelters  
            declined by 60% and the number of euthanized animals declined  
            by 75%. Supporters also estimate that shelter operating costs  
            related to intake of cats and dogs totaled $250 million  
            statewide in 2005.  Thus, if a statewide spay/neuter  
            requirement resulted in only a portion of the workload  
            reduction reported for Santa Cruz County, there would still be  
            significant statewide savings among local agencies.  Given the  
            assumed, complaint-driven enforcement of a spay/neuter  
            requirement, however, it is likely that such results would  
            take several years.  In the short-term, these costs could even  
            increase to the extent some people would surrender their  
            animals to a shelter rather than pay for a spay/neuter  
            procedure, which would somewhat increase shelter populations  
            and related costs.

          3)Potential state mandate savings:  SB 1785 (Hayden), Chapter  
            752, Statutes of 1998, increases, from three to six, the  
            number of days that public and private animal shelters were  
            required to keep animals before they are euthanized.  State  
            reimbursable costs for this mandate currently exceed $20  
            million annually.  To the extent AB 1634 reduces shelter costs  
            as described above, the state could realize a portion of the  
            savings through reduced claims for this mandate.

          4)Potential economic impacts:  The American Kennel Club (AKC)  


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            indicates that, in 2006, about 160,000 competitors competed in  
            137 all-breed dog shows in California, including three of the  
            10 largest in the country, and that another 130,000  
            competitors participate in events such as agility, obedience,  
            and field trials.  Some of these events, such as a large,  
            national show held recently in Long Beach, attract many  
            competitors from outside the state. Opponents assert that  
            enactment of this bill would have a chilling effect on  
            attendance at these shows and a resulting economic impact on  
            the state. (This bill was recently amended to clarify that  
            cats and dogs of out-of-state competitors at such shows would  
            not be subject to the spay/neuter requirements.)  AKC notes  
            that, following enactment of an ordinance in Louisville,  
            Kentucky in part requiring all unaltered dogs to be kept on  
            four-foot leashes and increasing licensing fees for such dogs,  
            entries at a recent large national show in Louisville declined  
            about 20% from the prior year.  Given the amount of economic  
            activity related to these shows in California, a similar  
            dampening effect stemming from enactment of this bill would  
            have a negative impact, at least in the short-term, on state  
            and local revenues resulting from travel, hotel bookings, and  
            other related expenditures, particularly those associated with  
            out-of-state visitors.  This impact cannot be quantified.  On  
            the other hand, with the expected method of enforcement of  
            this bill, it is possible that such events could continue to  
            go forward without any adverse impact on attendance.  

          It is assumed that, by and large, other expenditures related to  
            cat and dog ownership represent discretionary spending, and to  
            the extent this bill, over the longer term, leads to any  
            reduction in this particular activity, the economic impact  
            would not be significant.
           COMMENTS  : 

          1)Purpose of this bill:  According to the author's office, each  
            year almost one million unwanted and abandoned cats and dogs  
            are born in California.  Local governments spend more than  
            $250 million each year to intake, care for, and ultimately  
            kill over half of those animals.  The author states that  
            "legislation requiring spay and neutering of cats and dogs is  
            a reasonable, proven-effective and necessary means to greatly  
            reduce the number of unwanted animals and the practice of  
            euthanizing healthy adoptable animals."


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          According to the author, "reducing the number of births of  
            unwanted animals in the state of California will necessarily  
            reduce the state's costs associated with caring for and  
            euthanizing those same animals.  According to the Animal  
            Population Control Study Commission every dollar spent on spay  
            and neuter surgeries saves taxpayers $18.72 in future animal  
            control costs over a ten-year period.  Spaying and neutering  
            also results in significant public health and safety benefits,  
            particularly:  in the reduction of dangers caused by roaming  
            stray animals, the transmission of rabies and other  
            communicable animal diseases and the occurrences of dog  

          2)Support:  According to the Southeast Area Animal Control  
            Authority, this bill "provides a reasonable solution to  
            California's pet overpopulation problem by targeting the  
            biggest contributors to pet overpopulation:  irresponsible  
            breeders.  It will not, as many opponents have declared, put  
            an end to purebred dogs and cats.  Rather, it will ensure that  
            only those people who have a legitimate reason for having an  
            intact dog or cat - purebred or not - will be exempt from the  
            spay/neuter requirement."

          The Executive Director from the Silicon Valley Animal Control  
            Authority writes in support that as a former employee of the  
            Santa Cruz SPCA, he saw first hand the success local  
            spay/neuter ordinances can have in reducing the euthanasia  
            rate.  In regards to the Santa Cruz ordinance he writes, "The  
            ordinance allowed us to 'get tough' with backyard breeders and  
            force them to alter their animals and thereby reduce the  
            numbers entering our shelter.  Without this ordinance, some  
            people would have continued to irresponsibly breed unwanted  
            animals.  Without this tool the animals would have ultimately  
            become a euthanasia statistic."

          The Coalition for Cats and Dogs in a letter of support states,  
            "?a breeding permit is no more difficult to comply with than a  
            license or proof of rabies vaccination.  If any dog or cat  
            breeder claims to be a 'responsible' breeder, ask them to  
            prove no puppy or kitten they have sold has ever accidentally  
            bred, and if so how many of those offspring went on to bred,  
            and so on.  Ask the breeders if they pay income taxes on the  
            animals they sell, ask them if they collect sales tax.  Ask  
            hunters why there are so many Labrador Retrievers and lab  
            mixes being killed in shelters.  Ask the ranchers why there  


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            are so many cattle dogs being killed in shelters."

          3)Opposition:  Many opponents of this bill claim that it will  
            promote the proliferation of "puppy mills," out-of-state or  
            country breeders, and underground breeding.  Landesverband DVG  
            America, Inc., a working dog organization, states in  
            opposition to this bill that the provision allowing an intact  
            permit for locally licensed breeders does not allow for  
            California hobby breeders and others to be included.   
            Landesverband DVG America, Inc., states "Many, who have been  
            breeding dogs in California, don't meet these criteria that  
            are for USDA commercial dog breeders; i.e. those who sell to  
            brokers and from there on to pet stores.  Responsible breeders  
            who carefully select homes for one or two litters a year don't  
            have business licenses of this sort.

          The Northern California Pug Club writes, "?these regulations are  
            targeted at responsible animal owners - those who license  
            their pets and comply with local laws.  San Mateo County found  
            that punitive intact animal license fees actually resulted in  
            a reduction in revenue, as fewer pet owners complied with  
            licensing laws."  The Las Flores Cat club continues, "Hobby  
            cat and dog breeders of California are not the cause of the  
            overpopulation problem in shelters or stray cats on the  
            street?We believe this will have negative consequences for pet  
            owners, breeders and local jurisdictions in the state ?[and]  
            will actually increase specifically the current 'unowned cat'  
            problem that most of our shelters suffer from.  More animals  
            will be turned into shelters or left abandoned.  Who will take  
            in a pregnant cat if there is a $500 fine for not possessing  
            an intact permit?"

          North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) states that  
            the current exemption in this bill for law enforcement  
            officers in inadequate.  NAPWDA explains, "Most of the  
            breeding dogs that create working police dogs are not  
            themselves police dogs, but are bred and used in the  
            protection dog sports where their working abilities are  
            tested.  These dogs are pet dogs under the law.  Because they  
            themselves are not police dogs they would not be eligible for  
            an intact permit under this exemption."  NAPWDA continues,  
            "Nearly all working dogs were once somebody's pet dog.  They  
            were bought as a young pup, raised, but were rehoused as young  
            adults.  If they pass all the working and health tests,  
            eventually they may end up with a police department.  Few of  


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            these dogs come with registration papers.  Because working  
            police dogs spent their first year or two of life as  
            somebody's pet dog, there is no way to create a bright line in  
            the law between the future supply of police dogs and other pet  

           Analysis Prepared by :    Tracy Rhine / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301 

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