BILL NUMBER: AB 243	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 13, 2009

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Nava
    (   Coauthors:   Assembly Members 
 Lieu   and Portantino   ) 
    (   Coauthors:   Senators  
DeSaulnier   and Florez   ) 

                        FEBRUARY 10, 2009

   An act to amend Section 597.1 of, and to add Section 597.8 to, the
Penal Code, relating to animal abuse.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 243, as amended, Nava. Animal abuse: penalties.
   Existing law provides that upon the conviction of a person charged
with animal abuse, as specified, the court is authorized to 
enjoin   prohibit  the defendant  , as a
condition of probation,  from owning, possessing, caring for, or
having any contact with, animals, as specified.
   This bill  would instead provide that upon the conviction
of a person charged with animal abuse, as specified, the court shall
be required to enter an order enjoining the person from owning,
possessing, maintaining, having custody of, residing with, or caring
for any animal for specified periods of time. The bill would further
provide that any violation of an order shall be treated and punished
as a criminal contempt of court or as a misdemeanor.  
would instead make it a misdemeanor, punishable as specified, for any
person convicted for animal abuse to own, possess, maintain, have
custody of, reside with, or care for any animal within a specified
period after conviction, and would   make relating changes.
 By  revising the penalties for an existing 
 creating a new  crime and by increasing the duties of local
humane officers, this bill 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 with regard to certain mandates no
reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
   With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that,
if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains
costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall
be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
   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.  Section 597.1 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   597.1.  (a) Every owner, driver, or keeper of any animal who
permits the animal to be in any building, enclosure, lane, street,
square, or lot of any city, county, city and county, or judicial
district without proper care and attention is guilty of a
misdemeanor. Any peace officer, humane society officer, or animal
control officer shall take possession of the stray or abandoned
animal and shall provide care and treatment for the animal until the
animal is deemed to be in suitable condition to be returned to the
owner. When the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that very
prompt action is required to protect the health or safety of the
animal or the health or safety of others, the officer shall
immediately seize the animal and comply with subdivision (f). In all
other cases, the officer shall comply with the provisions of
subdivision (g). The cost of caring for and treating any animal
properly seized under this subdivision shall constitute a lien on the
animal and the animal shall not be returned to its owner until the
charges are paid, if the seizure is upheld pursuant to this section.
   (b) Every sick, disabled, infirm, or crippled animal, except a dog
or cat, that is abandoned in any city, county, city and county, or
judicial district may be killed by the officer if, after a reasonable
search, no owner of the animal can be found. It shall be the duty of
all peace officers, humane society officers, and animal control
officers to cause the animal to be killed or rehabilitated and placed
in a suitable home on information that the animal is stray or
abandoned. The officer may likewise take charge of any animal,
including a dog or cat, that by reason of lameness, sickness,
feebleness, or neglect, is unfit for the labor it is performing, or
that in any other manner is being cruelly treated, and provide care
and treatment for the animal until it is deemed to be in a suitable
condition to be returned to the owner. When the officer has
reasonable grounds to believe that very prompt action is required to
protect the health or safety of an animal or the health or safety of
others, the officer shall immediately seize the animal and comply
with subdivision (f). In all other cases, the officer shall comply
with subdivision (g). The cost of caring for and treating any animal
properly seized under this subdivision shall constitute a lien on the
animal and the animal shall not be returned to its owner until the
charges are paid.
   (c) Any peace officer, humane society officer, or animal control
officer shall convey all injured cats and dogs found without their
owners in a public place directly to a veterinarian known by the
officer to be a veterinarian who ordinarily treats dogs and cats for
a determination of whether the animal shall be immediately and
humanely destroyed or shall be hospitalized under proper care and
given emergency treatment.
   If the owner does not redeem the animal within the locally
prescribed waiting period, the veterinarian may personally perform
euthanasia on the animal. If the animal is treated and recovers from
its injuries, the veterinarian may keep the animal for purposes of
adoption, provided the responsible animal control agency has first
been contacted and has refused to take possession of the animal.
   Whenever any animal is transferred to a veterinarian in a clinic,
such as an emergency clinic that is not in continuous operation, the
veterinarian may, in turn, transfer the animal to an appropriate
facility.
   If the veterinarian determines that the animal shall be
hospitalized under proper care and given emergency treatment, the
costs of any services that are provided pending the owner's inquiry
to the responsible agency, department, or society shall be paid from
the dog license fees, fines, and fees for impounding dogs in the
city, county, or city and county in which the animal was licensed or,
if the animal is unlicensed, shall be paid by the jurisdiction in
which the animal was found, subject to the provision that this cost
be repaid by the animal's owner. The cost of caring for and treating
any animal seized under this subdivision shall constitute a lien on
the animal and the animal shall not be returned to the owner until
the charges are paid. No veterinarian shall be criminally or civilly
liable for any decision that he or she makes or for services that he
or she provides pursuant to this subdivision.
   (d) An animal control agency that takes possession of an animal
pursuant to subdivision (c) shall keep records of the whereabouts of
the animal from the time of possession to the end of the animal's
impoundment, and those records shall be available for inspection by
the public upon request for three years after the date the animal's
impoundment ended.
   (e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any peace
officer, humane society officer, or any animal control officer may,
with the approval of his or her immediate superior, humanely destroy
any stray or abandoned animal in the field in any case where the
animal is too severely injured to move or where a veterinarian is not
available and it would be more humane to dispose of the animal.
   (f) Whenever an officer authorized under this section seizes or
impounds an animal based on a reasonable belief that prompt action is
required to protect the health or safety of the animal or the health
or safety of others, the officer shall, prior to the commencement of
any criminal proceedings authorized by this section, provide the
owner or keeper of the animal, if known or ascertainable after
reasonable investigation, with the opportunity for a postseizure
hearing to determine the validity of the seizure or impoundment, or
both.
   (1) The agency shall cause a notice to be affixed to a conspicuous
place where the animal was situated or personally deliver a notice
of the seizure or impoundment, or both, to the owner or keeper within
48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. The notice shall include
all of the following:
   (A) The name, business address, and telephone number of the
officer providing the notice.
   (B) A description of the animal seized, including any
identification upon the animal.
   (C) The authority and purpose for the seizure, or impoundment,
including the time, place, and circumstances under which the animal
was seized.
   (D) A statement that, in order to receive a postseizure hearing,
the owner or person authorized to keep the animal, or his or her
agent, shall request the hearing by signing and returning an enclosed
declaration of ownership or right to keep the animal to the agency
providing the notice within 10 days, including weekends and holidays,
of the date of the notice. The declaration may be returned by
personal delivery or mail.
   (E) A statement that the cost of caring for and treating any
animal properly seized under this section is a lien on the animal and
that the animal shall not be returned to the owner until the charges
are paid, and that failure to request or to attend a scheduled
hearing shall result in liability for this cost.
   (2) The postseizure hearing shall be conducted within 48 hours of
the request, excluding weekends and holidays. The seizing agency may
authorize its own officer or employee to conduct the hearing if the
hearing officer is not the same person who directed the seizure or
impoundment of the animal and is not junior in rank to that person.
The agency may utilize the services of a hearing officer from outside
the agency for the purposes of complying with this section.
   (3) Failure of the owner or keeper, or of his or her agent, to
request or to attend a scheduled hearing shall result in a forfeiture
of any right to a postseizure hearing or right to challenge his or
her liability for costs incurred.
   (4) The agency, department, or society employing the person who
directed the seizure shall be responsible for the costs incurred for
caring and treating the animal, if it is determined in the
postseizure hearing that the seizing officer did not have reasonable
grounds to believe very prompt action, including seizure of the
animal, was required to protect the health or safety of the animal or
the health or safety of others. If it is determined the seizure was
justified, the owner or keeper shall be personally liable to the
seizing agency for the cost of the seizure and care of the animal,
the charges for the seizure and care of the animal shall be a lien on
the animal, and the animal shall not be returned to its owner until
the charges are paid and the seizing agency or hearing officer has
determined that the animal is physically fit or the owner
demonstrates to the seizing agency's or the hearing officer's
satisfaction that the owner can and will provide the necessary care.
   (g) Where the need for immediate seizure is not present and prior
to the commencement of any criminal proceedings authorized by this
section, the agency shall provide the owner or keeper of the animal,
if known or ascertainable after reasonable investigation, with the
opportunity for a hearing prior to any seizure or impoundment of the
animal. The owner shall produce the animal at the time of the hearing
unless, prior to the hearing, the owner has made arrangements with
the agency to view the animal upon request of the agency, or unless
the owner can provide verification that the animal was humanely
destroyed. Any person who willfully fails to produce the animal or
provide the verification is guilty of an infraction, punishable by a
fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than
one thousand dollars ($1,000).
   (1) The agency shall cause a notice to be affixed to a conspicuous
place where the animal was situated or personally deliver a notice
stating the grounds for believing the animal should be seized under
subdivision (a) or (b). The notice shall include all of the
following:
   (A) The name, business address, and telephone number of the
officer providing the notice.
   (B) A description of the animal to be seized, including any
identification upon the animal.
   (C) The authority and purpose for the possible seizure or
impoundment.
   (D) A statement that, in order to receive a hearing prior to any
seizure, the owner or person authorized to keep the animal, or his or
her agent, shall request the hearing by signing and returning the
enclosed declaration of ownership or right to keep the animal to the
officer providing the notice within two days, excluding weekends and
holidays, of the date of the notice.
   (E) A statement that the cost of caring for and treating any
animal properly seized under this section is a lien on the animal,
that any animal seized shall not be returned to the owner until the
charges are paid, and that failure to request or to attend a
scheduled hearing shall result in a conclusive determination that the
animal may properly be seized and that the owner shall be liable for
the charges.
   (2) The preseizure hearing shall be conducted within 48 hours,
excluding weekends and holidays, after receipt of the request. The
seizing agency may authorize its own officer or employee to conduct
the hearing if the hearing officer is not the same person who
requests the seizure or impoundment of the animal and is not junior
in rank to that person. The agency may utilize the services of a
hearing officer from outside the agency for the purposes of complying
with this section.
   (3) Failure of the owner or keeper, or his or her agent, to
request or to attend a scheduled hearing shall result in a forfeiture
of any right to a preseizure hearing or right to challenge his or
her liability for costs incurred pursuant to this section.
   (4) The hearing officer, after the hearing, may affirm or deny the
owner's or keeper's right to custody of the animal and, if
reasonable grounds are established, may order the seizure or
impoundment of the animal for care and treatment.
   (h) If any animal is properly seized under this section, the owner
or keeper shall be personally liable to the seizing agency for the
cost of the seizure and care of the animal. Furthermore, if the
charges for the seizure or impoundment and any other charges
permitted under this section are not paid within 14 days of the
seizure, or, if the owner, within 14 days of notice of availability
of the animal to be returned, fails to pay charges permitted under
this section and take possession of the animal, the animal shall be
deemed to have been abandoned and may be disposed of by the
impounding officer.
   (i) If the animal requires veterinary care and the humane society
or public agency is not assured, within 14 days of the seizure of the
animal, that the owner will provide the necessary care, the animal
shall not be returned to its owner and shall be deemed to have been
abandoned and may be disposed of by the impounding officer. A
veterinarian may humanely destroy an impounded animal without regard
to the prescribed holding period when it has been determined that the
animal has incurred severe injuries or is incurably crippled. A
veterinarian also may immediately humanely destroy an impounded
animal afflicted with a serious contagious disease unless the owner
or his or her agent immediately authorizes treatment of the animal by
a veterinarian at the expense of the owner or agent.
   (j) No animal properly seized under this section shall be returned
to its owner until, in the determination of the seizing agency or
hearing officer, the animal is physically fit or the owner can
demonstrate to the seizing agency's or hearing officer's satisfaction
that the owner can and will provide the necessary care.
   (k) Upon the conviction of a person charged with a violation of
this section, or Section 597 or 597a, all animals lawfully seized and
impounded with respect to the violation shall be adjudged by the
court to be forfeited and shall thereupon be transferred to the
impounding officer or appropriate public entity for proper adoption
or other disposition. A person convicted of a violation of this
section shall be personally liable to the seizing agency for all
costs of impoundment from the time of seizure to the time of proper
disposition. Upon conviction, the court shall order the convicted
person to make payment to the appropriate public entity for the costs
incurred in the housing, care, feeding, and treatment of the seized
or impounded animals. Each person convicted in connection with a
particular animal may be held jointly and severally liable for
restitution for that particular animal. The payment shall be in
addition to any other fine or sentence ordered by the court. 
   The court may also order the convicted person to immediately
deliver all animals in his or her possession to a designated public
entity for adoption or other lawful disposition or provide proof to
the court that the person no longer has possession, care, or control
of any animals. In the event of the acquittal or final discharge
without conviction of the arrested person, the court shall, on
demand, direct the release of seized or impounded animals upon a
showing of proof of ownership. Any questions regarding ownership
shall be determined in a separate hearing by the court where the
criminal case was finally adjudicated and the court shall hear
testimony from any persons who may assist the court in determining
ownership of the animal. If the owner is determined to be unknown or
the owner is prohibited or unable to retain possession of the animals
for any reason, the court shall order the animals to be released to
the appropriate public entity for adoption or other lawful
disposition. This section is not intended to cause the release of any
animal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish, seized or impounded
pursuant to any other statute, ordinance, or municipal regulation.
This section shall not prohibit the seizure or impoundment of animals
as evidence as provided for under any other provision of law. 
   (l) It shall be the duty of all peace officers, humane society
officers, and animal control officers to use all currently acceptable
methods of identification, both electronic and otherwise, to
determine the lawful owner or caretaker of any seized or impounded
animal. It shall also be their duty to make reasonable efforts to
notify the owner or caretaker of the whereabouts of the animal and
any procedures available for the lawful recovery of the animal and,
upon the owner's and caretaker's initiation of recovery procedures,
retain custody of the animal for a reasonable period of time to allow
for completion of the recovery process. Efforts to locate or contact
the owner or caretaker and communications with persons claiming to
be the owner or caretaker shall be recorded and maintained and be
made available for public inspection. 
  SEC. 2.    Section 597.8 is added to the Penal
Code, to read:
   597.8.  (a) (1) Upon a first misdemeanor conviction of a person
for a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 597, or Section
597a, 597b, 597h, 597j, 597s, or 597.1, the court shall, in addition
to any other sentence or penalty imposed and as a condition of
probation or term of release from custody, enter an order enjoining
the person from owning, possessing, maintaining, having custody of,
residing with, or caring for any animal for a period of not less than
three years nor more than seven years, commencing on the date of
sentencing or release from custody, whichever is later.
   (2) Upon a second or subsequent misdemeanor conviction of a person
for a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 597, or Section
597a, 597b, 597h, 597j, 597s, or 597.1, the court shall, in addition
to any other sentence or penalty imposed and as a condition of
probation or term of release from custody, enter an order enjoining
the person from owning, possessing, maintaining, having custody of,
residing with, or caring for any animal for a period of not less than
five years nor more than 10 years, commencing on the date of
sentencing or release from custody, whichever is later.

   (b) (1) Upon a first felony conviction of a person for a violation
of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 597, or Section 597b or 597.5,
the court shall, in addition to any other sentence or penalty imposed
and as a condition of probation or term of release from custody,
enter an order enjoining the person from owning, possessing,
maintaining, having custody of, residing with, or caring for any
animal for a period of not less than five years nor more than 15
years, commencing on the date of sentencing or release from custody,
whichever is later.
   (2) Upon a second or subsequent felony conviction of a person for
a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 597, or Section 597b
or 597.5, the court shall, in addition to any other sentence or
penalty imposed and as a condition of probation or term of release
from custody, enter an order enjoining the person from owning,
possessing, maintaining, having custody of, residing with, or caring
for any animal for a period of 20 years or more, commencing on the
date of sentencing or release from custody, whichever is later.
   (c) (1) Any violation of an order issued under this section shall
be treated and punished as a criminal contempt of court, as specified
in Section 166, or as a misdemeanor.
   (2) Any violation of an order issued under this section shall
result in the forfeiture of any animal unlawfully owned or possessed
by the defendant. 
   SEC. 2.   Section 597.8 is added to the  
Penal Code   , to read:  
   597.8.  (a) Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor
violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 597, or Section 597a,
597b, 597h, 597j, 597s, or 597.1, and who, within five years after
the conviction, owns, possesses, maintains, has custody of, resides
with, or cares for any animal is guilty of a public offense, which
shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding
one year, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or
by both that imprisonment and fine.
   (b) Any person who has been convicted of a felony violation of
subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 597, or Section 597b or 597.5, and
who, within 10 years after the conviction, owns, possesses,
maintains, has custody of, resides with, or cares for any animal is
guilty of a public offense, which shall be punishable by imprisonment
in a county jail not exceeding one year, by a fine not exceeding one
thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

  SEC. 3.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for
certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district because, in that regard, 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.
   However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this
act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of
Title 2 of the Government Code.