BILL NUMBER: AB 241 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Nava FEBRUARY 10, 2009 An act to add Section 597.8 to the Penal Code, relating to animals. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 241, as introduced, Nava. Dogs and cats: breeders. Existing law specifies that certain conduct against animals is criminal. This bill would make it a misdemeanor for an individual or business that buys or sells dogs or cats to have more than a combined total of 50 dogs and cats with intact sexual organs, as specified. The bill would authorize certain officers to investigate a violation of that provision, as provided, and to lawfully take possession of an animal kept in violation of that provision, as specified. Because this bill would create a new crime, it would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Responsible Breeder Act of 2009. SEC. 2. Section 597.8 is added to the Penal Code, to read: 597.8. (a) No individual or business that buys or sells dogs or cats to the public or at wholesale shall own, possess, control, or otherwise have charge or custody of more than a combined total of 50 dogs and cats with intact sexual organs. An individual or business that must reduce the number of intact dogs or cats in order to comply with this section shall spay or neuter the excess animals or sell, transfer, or relinquish the excess animals. If necessary, any euthanasia procedures shall be performed by a licensed veterinarian. (b) A peace officer, humane society officer, or animal control officer may, upon receiving a complaint or upon his or her own motion, investigate a violation of subdivision (a). The investigation may include (1) the inspection of the books and records of an individual or business that buys or sells dogs or cats to the public or at wholesale and (2) the inspection of any place where dogs or cats are bred or maintained. In conducting the inspection, the officer may, during daytime operating hours, enter any premises where animals may be bred or maintained. If the place or premises include a home or residence, the officer shall obtain the consent of the owner, tenant, or resident before entering the home or residence. An individual or business that is the subject of an investigation under this section shall, upon request of the officer, provide assistance to the officer in making an inspection authorized by this section. (c) A peace officer, humane society officer, or animal control officer may lawfully take possession of an animal kept in violation of this section when necessary to protect the health or safety of the animal or the health or safety of others. An officer that seizes an animal under this subdivision shall comply with subdivision (f) of Section 597.1. (d) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. (e) This section does not apply to any of the following: (1) A publicly operated animal control facility or animal shelter. (2) A veterinary facility. (3) A retail pet store. (4) A research institution. SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.