BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 241
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          AB 241 (Nava)
          As Amended  August 24, 2009
          Majority vote

          |ASSEMBLY:  |60-14|(May 21, 2009)  |SENATE: |25-9 |(September 2,  |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2009)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    PUB. S.  
          SUMMARY  :  Makes it a misdemeanor for an individual or business  
          entity that buys or sells dogs or cats to have more than a  
          combined total of 50 adult unsterilized dogs and cats, as  
          The Senate amendments  : 

           1)State that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent  
            a city, county, or city and county from adopting or enforcing  
            any local laws that may contain more restrictive provisions  
            relating to the possession of unsterilized dogs and cats than  
            those contained in this section.

          2)Clarify that only "adult" unsterilized dogs or cats shall be  
            subject to the prohibition.

          3)Make it a misdemeanor to act in concert with another person or  
            to voluntarily assist a business entity in violating the  
          EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Makes it a misdemeanor to permit an animal to be in any  
            building, enclosure, street, lot, or judicial district without  
            proper care and attention.  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.  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  


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            the validity of a seizure or impoundment of the animal(s).  

          2)Provides that the animal'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.  

          3)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  

          4)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.  

          5)Further states that it is the policy of California that no  
            treatable animal should be euthanized.  States that a treatable  
            animal includes any animal that is not adoptable but that could  
            become adoptable with reasonable efforts.  

          6)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.  

          7)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 charged are paid.  

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY , this bill:  

          1)Provided that no person shall own, possess, or otherwise have  
            charge or custody of more than a combined total of 50  
            unsterilized dogs and cats at any time for purposes of breeding  
            or raising such dogs and cats for sale as pets or for the  
            purposes of producing offspring from such dogs and cats for sale  


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            as pets.  

          2)Stated that 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 within 30 days of  
            notification by authorities.  

          3)Stated that if necessary, any euthanasia procedures shall be  
            performed by a licensed California veterinarian.

          4)Provided that 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.  Requires an officer that seizes an animal under this  
            subdivision to provide the owner of the animal with the  
            opportunity for a post-seizure hearing, as specified.  

          5)Stated that this section does not apply to a publicly owned  
            animal control facility or animal shelter, to a veterinary  
            facility, a retail pet store, or a research institution.  

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

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "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 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  

          "Between unsanitary conditions at puppy mills and poor conditions  


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

          "A criminal bust of a single puppy mill can yield massive expenses  
          to the 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."

          Please see the policy committee for a full discussion of this  

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

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