BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 241|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 241
          Author:   Nava (D), et al
          Amended:  7/23/09 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  3-3, 7/14/09 (FAIL)
          AYES:  Leno, Cedillo, Hancock
          NOES:  Benoit, Huff, Wright
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Steinberg

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  4-0, 07/16/09
          AYES:  Leno, Cedillo, Hancock, Steinberg
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Benoit, Huff, Wright

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  60-14, 5/21/09 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Dogs and cats:  breeding for sale

           SOURCE  :     Humane Society of the United States
                      American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty  
          to Animals
                      Social Compassion in Legislation

           DIGEST  :    This bill prohibits any person from owning more  
          than 50 adult unsterilized dogs or cats for the purposes of  
          breeding them for pets.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to permit  


                                                                AB 241

          an animal to be in any building, enclosure, street, lot, or  
          judicial district without proper care and attention.   
          Existing law also states that any peace officer, humane  
          society officer, or animal control officer shall take  
          possession of the stray or abandoned animal and shall  
          provide proper care and treatment for the animal until the  
          animal is deemed to be in a suitable condition to be  
          returned to the owner.  Existing law also provides that  
          when the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that  
          very prompt action is required to protect the health or  
          safety of the animal, the officer shall immediately seize  
          the animal and comply with specified opportunity for a  
          pre-seizure or post-seizure hearing, as specified, to  
          determine the validity of a seizure or impoundment of the  
          animal(s).  (Penal Code  597.1 (a).)

          Existing law provides that the animal's owner's failure to  
          request to attend, or to attend a scheduled hearing shall  
          result in a forfeiture of the animal(s) and the right to  
          challenge the costs of the owner(s)' liability for any  
          costs incurred.  (Penal Code  597.1 (f).)

          Existing law provides that where the need for the immediate  
          seizure of the animal is not present and prior to the  
          commencement of any criminal proceedings, the agency shall  
          provide the owner or keeper of the animal with the  
          opportunity for a hearing prior to the seizure of the  
          animal, if ascertainable after reasonable investigation.   
          (Penal Code  597.1 (f).)

          Existing law states that it is the policy of California  
          that no adoptable animal should be euthanized if it can be  
          adopted into a suitable home.  Provides that adoptable  
          animals include only those animals eight weeks of age or  
          older that, at or subsequent to the time the animal is  
          impounded have manifested no sign of behavioral or  
          temperamental defect that could pose a health or safety  
          risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement  
          as a pet, and have manifested no sign of disease, injury,  
          congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects  
          the health of the animal or that is likely to adversely  
          affect the health of the animal in the future.  (Penal Code  
           599d (a).)


                                                                AB 241

          Existing law further states that it is the policy of  
          California that no treatable animal should be euthanized  
          and that a treatable animal includes any animal that is not  
          adoptable but that could become adoptable with reasonable  
          efforts.  (Penal Code 599d (b).)

          Existing law requires a notice with specified information  
          to be posted to a conspicuous place where the animal was  
          situated stating the grounds for believing the animal  
          should be seized.  (Penal Code  597.1 (g)(1).)
          Existing law requires the notice to state that the cost of  
          caring for and treating the animal is a lien on the animal  
          and that any animal shall not be returned to the owner  
          until the charges are paid.  (Penal Code 597 (g)(1).)

          This bill provides that no person shall own, possess,  
          control, or otherwise have charge or custody of more than a  
          combined total of 50 adult unsterilized dogs and cats at  
          any time used for the purpose of breeding or raising dogs  
          or cats for sale as pets, or for the purpose of producing  
          offspring from dogs or cats for sale as pets.

          This bill provides that any person that must reduce the  
          number of unsterilized 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 within 30  
          days following notification by authorities specified.  If  
          necessary, any euthanasia procedures shall be performed by  
          a California licensed veterinarian.

          This bill provides that a peace officer, humane 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 paragraphs (1) to (4),  
          inclusive, of subdivision (f) of Section 597.1.

          This bill provides that a person who violates this section  
          is guilty of a misdemeanor.

          This bill provides that it does not apply to any of the  


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          1.A publicly operated animal control facility or duly  
            incorporated private animal shelter.

          2.A veterinary facility.

          3.A research facility, as defined in Section 2132 (e) of  
            Title 7 of the United States Code.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/17/09)

          Humane Society of the United States (co-source) 
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  
          Social Compassion in Legislation (co-source) 
          Another Chance Animal Welfare League
          Best Friends Animal Society
          Born Free USA
          California Animal Association
          California Animal Control Directors Association
          California Federation for Animal Legislation
          California Peace Officers' Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          City of Fresno
          City of Long Beach
          City of Stockton
          City of West Hollywood
          Compassion for Animals
          Friends of Auburn/Tahoe Vista Placer County Animal Shelter
          Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association
          Last Chance for Animals
          Madera County Department of Animal Services
          Paw Pac
          Pet Overpopulation Task Force
          San Diego Animal Advocates
          Shasta Animal Welfare Foundation;
          The Paw Project
          The Pet Care Foundation
          United Animal Nations
          Voice for the Animals Foundation

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/17/09)


                                                                AB 241

          American Herding Breed Association
          American Kennel Club
          California Federation of Dog Clubs
          California Outdoor Heritage Alliance;
          California Responsible Pet Owners Coalition
          Chow Fanciers Association of Southern California
          German Shepherd Dog Club of America
          Greyhound Club of Northern California
          Irish Wolfhound Club of America
          Miniature Schnauzer Club of Northern California
          Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
          The Animal Council
          The Irish Water Spaniel Club of America

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to The Humane Society of  
          the United States, a "puppy mill" is a "large scale  
          commercial breeding facility that mass-produces puppies for  
          sale."  The World Animal Foundation explains that:

               Puppy mill kennels usually consist of small wood and  
               wire-mesh cages, or even empty crates or trailer cabs,  
               all kept outdoors, where female dogs are bred  
               continuously, with no rest between heat cycles.  The  
               mothers and their litters often suffer from  
               malnutrition, exposure, and lack of adequate  
               veterinary care.

               Continuous breeding takes its toll on the females;  
               they are killed at about age six or seven when their  
               bodies give out, and they can no longer produce enough  
               litters.  The puppies are taken from their mothers at  
               the age of four to eight weeks and sold to brokers who  
               pack them into crates for transport and resale to pet  
               shops.  Puppies being shipped from mill to broker to  
               pet shop can cover hundreds of miles by pickup truck,  
               tractor trailer, and/or plane, often without adequate  
               food, water, ventilation, or shelter.

               Between unsanitary conditions at puppy mills and poor  
               treatment in transport, only half of the dogs bred at  
               mills survive to make it to market.  Of those that  
               eventually do make it to stores, thousands of puppies  


                                                                AB 241

               each year are often sold to "impulse buyers" and  
               ultimately end up in shelters.  Nearly 1 million dogs  
               and cats land in California shelters every year, of  
               whom approximately half are ultimately euthanized.

               A criminal bust of a single puppy mill can yield  
               massive expenses to state and local jurisdictions due  
               to the cost of shelter, food, and veterinary care.  A  
               puppy mill bust last year in which 249 animals were  
               rescued in Buxton, Maine cost the state $440,000.   
               Humane organizations in the region raised  
               approximately $70,000 in additional funds to assist  
               with the rescue operation.

               AB 241 will curb pet overpopulation, eliminate mass  
               breeding efforts, and save state and local  
               jurisdictions vital dollars during our ongoing  
               economic crisis.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The opponents of this bill  
          argue that existing animal cruelty laws already address the  
          problems with animals that are not cared for appropriately  
          and that limiting the number of unsterilized animals merely  
          hurts legitimate breeders.  For example the Irish Water  
          Spaniel Club of America states:

               AB 241 is well meaning but unnecessary.  California  
               already has animal cruelty laws that address bad  
               facilities, but we need to enforce them rather than  
               merely adding another layer of difficult-to-enforce  
               laws.  Similar bills with arbitrary numerical caps  
               have been introduced and rejected in several states so  
               far this year.  The two states that passed this type  
               of "model" legislation last year are now finding it  

               If this bill's aim is to create minimum standards of  
               animal care, why shouldn't those standards also apply  
               to shelters, pet stores, and any other facility that  
               houses and places pets with the public?

               Our responsible breeders should be treated as partners  
               in helping to improve standards and eliminate  
               substandard kennels, but this misguided bill will  


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               alienate the very community that can help most.

               When it comes to proper animal care, it is the quality  
               of care and the conditions that matters, not quantity.  
                Limit laws have a little to do with the quality of  
               care.  One lazy person with a single animal may be  
               negligent, while another with many animals may provide  
               excellent care.

               People who maintain dogs and cats responsibility and  
               humanely and do not present a nuisance to their  
               neighbors or to their communities should not be  
               prevented from keeping them because other animal  
               owners might not be as responsible.

               During this time of fiscal crisis the need is to focus  
               on more immediate priorities.  Please don't waste  
               precious time on misguided and unnecessary legislation  
               that localities won't have the resources to properly  

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Arambula, Beall, Blakeslee, Block,  
            Blumenfield, Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero, Charles  
            Calderon, Carter, Chesbro, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De  
            Leon, Emmerson, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong,  
            Fuentes, Furutani, Galgiani, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi,  
            Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Huffman, Jeffries, Jones, Knight,  
            Krekorian, Lieu, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Monning,  
            Nava, Nestande, John A. Perez, Portantino, Price, Ruskin,  
            Salas, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Audra Strickland,  
            Swanson, Torlakson, Torrico, Tran, Villines, Yamada, Bass
          NOES:  Anderson, Bill Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Conway,  
            DeVore, Fuller, Gaines, Garrick, Gilmore, Hagman, Logue,  
            Miller, Niello, Nielsen
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Cook, Duvall, V. Manuel Perez, Saldana,  
            Silva, Torres

          RJG:nl  8/19/09   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE


                                                                AB 241

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