BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

           AB 2949
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          AB 2949 (DeSaulnier)
          As Amended July 2, 2008
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |76-0 |(May 22, 2008)  |SENATE: |22-14|(July 7, 2008) |
          |           |     |                |        |     |               |
           Original Committee Reference:    JUD.  

           SUMMARY  :  Requires a person who discovers an abandoned animal  
          within a foreclosed-upon home to contact animal control for the  
          purpose of retrieval and care.  Specifically,  this bill  provides  

          1)Any person or private entity with whom a live animal is  
            deposited shall immediately notify animal control officials  
            for the purpose of retrieving the animal.  

          2)Animal control officers who recover an abandoned animal, as  
            provided, shall be entitled to secure a lien for the purpose  
            of recovering the costs of attempting to rescue the animal.  

          3)No new or additional civil or criminal liability shall be  
            imposed upon a depositary who complies with this measure.

          4)The person in possession of the abandoned animal is subject to  
            all local ordinances and state laws that govern the proper  
            care and treatment of those animals. 

          5)Provides that the person or private entity that notifies  
            animal control officials to retrieve the animal or the  
            successor property owner shall not be considered the keeper of  
            the animal, as specified.

           The Senate amendments  provide that the person or private entity  
          that notifies animal control officials to retrieve the animal or  
          the successor property owner shall not be considered the keeper  
          of the animal, as specified.
          AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill was substantially similar  
          to the version approved by the Senate.


          AB 2949
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          FISCAL EFFECT  :  None

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, due to housing foreclosures,  
          the abandonment of animals throughout California has grown.  The  
          author explains that when people are allowed to enter an  
          abandoned house, such as property inspectors and real estate  
          brokers, they have discovered dogs tied to trees in backyards,  
          cats and turtles in garages, and rabbits and lizards in  
          children's bedrooms.  According to the sponsor, the California  
          Animal Association, there is confusion as to what steps a  
          lender, who is in possession of a foreclosed home, must take  
          regarding the abandoned animal.  The sponsor states that banks  
          have often prohibited employees from feeding or caring for any  
          abandoned animals that are found on the foreclosed-upon  
          property.  The author concludes that this bill gives banks and  
          their employees jurisdiction to take responsibility for these  
          abandoned animals quickly, potentially saving their lives.

          California has been hard-hit by the recent housing crisis:  CNN  
          recently reported that in January, California had 57,000  
          foreclosure filings, which amounts to one for every 227 homes.   
          According to various representatives of the Humane Society and  
          the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, animals  
          are being abandoned in record amounts as a result of this recent  
          housing slump:  "Foreclosures are leaving the cities with all of  
          the problems, including animals that have been left behind,"  
          according to Paul Bruce, regional program coordinator for the  
          Sacramento Humane Society.  These pets are often left by  
          families dealing with financial hardships.  Exacerbating this  
          problem is the fact that these families often move to apartments  
          that have no-pet policies or to the homes of relatives who do  
          not want additional pets.  As a result, banks who own the  
          property are also left with the unwanted pets.  In some  
          instances, banks do not want agents to feed these abandoned  
          pets.  This situation led Stephen Zawistowski, senior vice  
          president for the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to  
          Animals to state, "What we've always known is that when times  
          are hard for people, they're hard for their pets."  ("Pets  
          Becoming Casualty of Foreclosures," Contra Costa Times, December  
          22, 2007; "Foreclosures Lead to Abandoned Animals," Associated  
          Press Online, January 29, 2008; "SPCA's Numbers, Foreclosures  
          Line Up," Contra Costa Times, February 8, 2008.)  


          AB 2949
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          Analysis Prepared by  :    Manuel Valencia / JUD. / (916) 319-2334  

          FN: 0005891