BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 250|
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           ------------------------------------------------------------ 
           
                                         
                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 250
          Author:   Florez (D)
          Amended:  5/28/09
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE  :  3-1, 4/15/09
          AYES:  Wiggins, Kehoe, Wolk
          NOES:  Cox
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Aanestad

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  7-5, 5/28/09
          AYES:  Kehoe, Corbett, DeSaulnier, Hancock, Leno, Oropeza,  
            Yee
          NOES:  Cox, Denham, Runner, Walters, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Wolk


           SUBJECT  :    Dogs and cats:  spaying and neutering

           SOURCE  :     Social Compassion in Legislation


           DIGEST  :    This bill restricts the ownership of  
          unsterilized dogs and cats and requires surgical  
          sterilization of the animal in specified circumstances.

           ANALYSIS  :    State law requires animal control agencies and  
          shelters to spay or neuter the dogs and cats that they sell  
          or give away.  For dogs and cats that are injured or too  
          sick to be spayed or neutered, state law requires the  
          adopter to agree to have the animal sterilized at a later  
          date and pay a sterilization deposit.  State law requires  
                                                           CONTINUED





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          fines for the owners of nonspayed or unneutered dogs and  
          cats that are impounded:

          1. First occurrence:  $35.
          2. Second occurrence:  $50.
          3. Third and subsequent occurrences:  $100.

          The funds must be spent for "humane education," spaying and  
          neutering, and administrative costs [AB 1856 (Vincent),  
          Chapter 747, Statutes of 1998; SB 1301 (Vincent), Chapter  
          253, Statutes of 2004].

          Some cities and counties have ordinances that require  
          owners to spay or neuter their cats and dogs.  State law  
          allows cities and counties to adopt programs to control  
          dangerous dogs that are more restrictive than state law,  
          but these local ordinances cannot be breed-specific [SB 428  
          (Torres), Chapter 761, Statutes of 1989].  However, local  
          officials can adopt breed-specific ordinances for their  
          mandatory spay or neuter programs and breeding requirements  
          [SB 861 (Speier), Chapter 668, Statutes of 2005].

          Officials regulate dogs and cats under several state laws  
          and local ordinances.  For 2006-07, cities reported  
          spending $131.6 million on animal control services.   
          Counties reported spending $117.5 million on their pounds.

          The Legislature has declared that the overpopulation of  
          dogs and cats is "a problem of great public concern,"  
          noting that overpopulation causes public health problems,  
          affects local animal control departments, and results in  
          euthanizing too many cats and dogs [AB 1856 (Vincent),  
          Chapter 747, Statutes of 1998].

          Local animal shelters must care for stray and impounded  
          dogs and cats for six days before euthanizing them [SB 1785  
          (Hayden), Chapter 752, Statutes of 1998].  In 2007-08,  
          local governments estimated that it would cost  
          approximately $17.4 million to comply with this state  
          mandated local program.

          State law requires owners to vaccinate their dogs against  
          rabies once the dogs are four months old.  Dogs younger  
          than four months must be confined or kept under physical  







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          restraint.  Most cities and counties require owners to buy  
          dog licenses.  State law requires local officials to  
          discount dog and cat licenses by at least half if the  
          animal has been spayed or neutered.

          This bill increases the state restrictions that apply to  
          dogs and cats and their owners.  

          I.  Dogs  .  Specifically, this bill:

             A.    Requires dog owners to secure a dog license under  
                the state rabies vaccination law, or as required by  
                the local licensing agency.

             B.    Prohibits owning, keeping, or harboring an  
                unsterilized dog in violation of the bill's  
                requirements.

             C.    Requires the owner or custodian of an unsterilized  
                dog that is six months old or older to:

                (1)      Have the dog sterilized, or 
                (2)      Obtain a certificate of sterility, or
                (3)      Obtain an unaltered dog license if provided  
                   by local ordinance.

             These requirements do not apply to a dog with a high  
             likelihood of serious bodily harm or death if surgically  
             sterilized.  The dog's owner or custodian must obtain a  
             licensed veterinarian's written confirmation.  If the  
             dog can be sterilized at a later late, that date must be  
             stated in the veterinarian's confirmation.  If the  
             delayed date is more than 30 days, the owner or  
             custodian must apply for an unaltered dog license  
             pursuant to any local ordinance.

             D.    Authorizes an unsterilized dog to roam at large if  
                it is lawfully being used as a hunting dog.

             E.    Allows local officials to use its existing  
                procedures or may establish procedures for the denial  
                or revocation of an unaltered dog license and may  
                deny or revoke an unaltered dog license for one or  
                more of the following reasons:







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                (1)      The owner, custodian, applicant, or licensee  
                   does not comply with the new law.

                (2)      The owner, custodian, applicant, or licensee  
                   has violated a state or local law or provision  
                   relating to the care and control of animals.

                (3)      Any unaltered dog license held by the  
                   applicant has been revoked for violating a state  
                   or local law or provision relating to the care and  
                   control of animals.

                (4)      The application contains a material  
                   misrepresentation or omission.

             The licensing agency must use its existing procedures or  
             may establish procedures for any appeal of a denial or  
             revocation of an unaltered dog license.

             The licensing agency may assess a fee for the procedures  
             related to the issuance, denial or revocation of an  
             unaltered dog license.

             F.    Requires the owner or custodian of an unsterilized  
                dog that is four months old or younger that is  
                offered for sale, trade, or adoption to include a  
                valid unaltered dog license number, or comply with  
                the bill's requirements.  The document transferring  
                the dog's ownership must include the unaltered dog's  
                license number and any existing microchip number.

                   The owner or custodian of an unlicensed, unaltered  
                dog is subject to any authorized penalty for  
                violating the bill's requirements only if the owner  
                or custodian is concurrently cited for one or more of  
                the following:

                (1)      Permitting the subject dog to roam at large.

                (2)      Failure to provide adequate care for the  
                   subject dog.

                (3)      Violating the subject dog's quarantine for  







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                   rabies.

                (4)      Criminal dog fighting activity.

                (5)      Failure to comply with local requirements  
                   for keeping a dog that was found to be potentially  
                   dangerous, dangerous, or vicious.

                (6)      Failure to possess an unaltered dog license.

             G.    Requires the owner or custodian of an unaltered  
                dog who is subject to penalty because of one of these  
                violations to surgically sterilize the animal.  The  
                licensing agency may use its existing procedures for  
                any appeals.

                When a licensing agency issues a citation for these  
                violations, the agency must give the animal's owner  
                or custodian information about free or low-cost  
                sterilization services.  

             H.    Requires the owner or custodian of an impounded,  
                unlicensed, and unaltered dog to:

                (1)      Provide written proof of the animal's  
                   sterilization.

                (2)      Have the animal surgically sterilized by a  
                   veterinarian associated with the licensing agency,  
                   at the owner or custodian's expense.

                (3)      Have the animal surgically sterilized by  
                   another veterinarian.

                (4)      At the licensing agency's discretion, pay a  
                   refundable deposit or sign a statement under  
                   penalty of perjury that:

                   (a)         The animal will be surgically  
                      sterilized, and

                   (b)         The owner or custodian will submit a  
                      veterinarian's certificate within 10 days  
                      confirming that:







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                       (i)             The animal has been surgically  
                          sterilized, or is incapable of breeding or

                       (ii)            That the operation has been  
                          scheduled.

             This bill makes the owner or custodian of an unaltered  
             dog responsible for impoundment costs and shall comply  
             with additional impoundment procedures.

          II.  Cats  .  Under this bill, it is unlawful for anyone who  
             owns, keeps, or harbors an unsterilized cat older than  
             six months to allow that cat to remain outdoors.  The  
             owner of an unsterilized cat who permits that cat to  
             roam at large must have the animal sterilized, or obtain  
             a certificate of sterility.  These requirements do not  
             apply to a cat with a high likelihood of serious bodily  
             harm or death if sterilized.  The cat's owner or  
             custodian must obtain a licensed veterinarian's written  
             confirmation.  If the cat can be sterilized at a later  
             date, that date must be stated in the veterinarian's  
             confirmation.

             If a licensing agency requires cat licenses, the bill  
             requires the owner or custodian of an unsterilized cat  
             who offers the cat for sale, trade, or adoption to  
             notify the licensing agency of the transferee's name and  
             address within 10 days after the transfer.  The document  
             transferring the cat's ownership must include any  
             existing microchip number.

          IV.   General Provisions  .  This bill directs the resulting  
             costs and fines, including the impoundment fees, to the  
             licensing agency to defray its implementation and  
             enforcement costs.

             This bill declares that the new law does not prohibit a  
             local jurisdiction from enacting or enforcing local  
             measures:

             A.    That require spaying or neutering of all dogs and  
                cats.








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             B.    Regarding the obligations of people who own or  
                possess dogs or cats. 

             This bill also defines "licensing agency," "custodian,"  
             and "sterilize" for the purpose of the new law.

           Comments  

          Tackling the problems caused by dog and cat overpopulation  
          requires the combined efforts of animal owners, pet  
          breeders, veterinarians, private organizations, local  
          officials, and state leaders.  Many owners and breeders  
          already control the number and sizes of their animals'  
          litters.  Many veterinarians contribute their services to  
          free and low-cost spay and neuter programs.  Private  
          organizations actively educate the public about  
          overpopulation problems and solutions.  Local officials  
          have adopted tough ordinances to curb dog and cat  
          overpopulation.  Yet despite these efforts and some  
          successes, California still endures the problems caused by  
          overpopulation.  But not all animal owners are responsible.  
           Uncontrolled litters result in inappropriate  
          cross-breeding, feral cats, and unwanted dogs.  Those who  
          fail to take personal responsibility for their animals  
          create expensive problems for all taxpayers.  This bill  
          confronts the problem of dog and cat overpopulation by  
          imposing strict consequences on the owners of unaltered  
          dogs and cats that get into trouble.  Those who violate the  
          new requirements will have to change their ways or spay or  
          neuter their animals.

          As the lists of the bill's supporters and opponents shows,  
          owning and caring for dogs and cats is deeply emotional for  
          many people.  Although most animal owners acknowledge the  
          public health and public finance problems caused by dog and  
          cat overpopulation, they oppose government requirements for  
          spaying or neutering animals.  While there is support for  
          altering abandoned animals that will be released from  
          public animal shelters, many oppose the mandatory spaying  
          and neutering of owned animals.  Some owners resent even  
          the existing state and local limits on how they treat their  
          animals, believing that these decisions are best left to  
          the owners themselves.  Responsible owners and breeders  
          want what is best for their dogs and cats.  







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          The 1989 Vincent bill identified three public policy  
          problems that result from uncontrolled dog and cat  
          overpopulation:  public health, public costs, and  
          unnecessary euthanization.  The Legislature declared that  
          the most effective solution is spaying and neutering.  Some  
          cities and counties already have mandatory spay and neuter  
          ordinances.  

           Prior Legislation  

          In June 2008, the Senate Local Government Committee, with a  
          vote of 3-2,  passed AB 1634 (Levine) which imposed civil  
          penalties on the owners of unspayed or unneutered dogs or  
          cats.  The Levine bill failed on the Senate Floor with a  
          vote of 5-27.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/29/09)

          Social Compassion In Legislation (source)
          A Dogs Life Rescue
          A New Hope Animal Foundation (Auburn)
          A New Hope Animal Foundation (Loomis)
          A Passion for Paws Rescue, Inc - La Jolla
          AAA Animal Control
          AdoptAPet.com
          All Creatures Animal Caring Society
          Alpha Canine Sanctuary
          American Tortoise Rescue
          Animal Alliance
          Animal Birth Control Assistance
          Animal Care Center of Indio
          Animal Helpline
          Animal Medical Hospital Animal Protection Rescue League
          Animal Samaritan Inc.
          Animal Shelter Relief Rescue
          Animal Welfare Services for Atwater Village
          Antioch Animal Services Volunteer
          At the Very Leash
          Basset Hound Rescue
          Bay Area Bird Hospital







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          Benevolent Animal Rescue Committee, Inc.
          Beth Shaw Rentals
          Beverly Hills Police Department
          Bichon FurKids Rescue (Dana Point)
          Bichon FurKids Rescue (El Cajon)
          Bichon FurKids Rescue (Foothill Ranch)
          Bichon FurKids Rescue (Huntington Beach)
          Bichon FurKids Rescue (Menifee)
          Bichon FurKids Rescue (Mission Viejo)
          Bichon FurKids Rescue (San Diego)
          Bichon FurKids Rescue (Yorba Linda)
          Bob Barker
          Canine Canyon Ranch
          Capitola Police Department
          Cat Cause Foundation
          Cats at the Studio
          Cats In Need
          Central California SPCA
          Central Valley Seekers
          City of Desert Hot Springs Animal Shelter
          City of Encinitas Mayor Maggie Houlihan
          Cities of Fresno, Lathrop, Stockton, Vallejo, and West  
          Hollywood
          City of Hawthorne Animal Shelter
          City of Hayward Shelter Volunteers
          City of Huntington Beach Mayor Keith Bohr
          City of Los Angeles, City Attorney
          City of Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
          City of Santa Rosa Councilmember Veronica Jacobi
          City of Vallejo Councilmember Stephanie Gomes
          Coachella Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to  
          Animals
          Community Concern For Cats (Contra Costa County)
          Community Concern for Cats (Pittsburg)
          Compassion For Animals
          Counties of Kern and Placer
          County of Lake Department of Animal Care & Control
          Delta Paws Animal Rescue
          DJ&T Foundation
          Dog Land - Manhattan Beach
          East Bay Animal Advocates
          Family and Furry Friends Rescue
          Feral Cat Coalition
          Foundation for the Care of Indigent Animals







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          Friends of Madera Animal Shelter
          Furry Friends Rescue (Elk Grove)
          Furry Friends Rescue (Fremont)
          Genesis Digital Art Studios
          Girly Things Boutique in Manhattan Beach
          Happy Critters Guinea Pig Rescue
          Hayward Animal Shelter
          Healthy Habits Studio
          Helping Out Pets Everyday (Montclair)
          Helping Out Pets Everyday (Upland)
          Hemet City Animal Control
          Hermosa Beach Animal Control
          Hits 
          Home at Last Animal Rescue (Berkeley)
          Home at Last Animal Rescue (Corte Madera)
          HOPE Animal Foundation
          Husky Haven of Los Angeles
          IAG Coffee Franchise, LLC
          In Defense of Animals
          Ingram Micro, Inc.
          It's The Pits Rescue
          It's The Grind Coffee House
          Karma Rescue - Los Angeles
          LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health Magazine
          Laguna Beach Feline Rescue
          Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council
          Last Chance for Animals
          Lawndale City Animal Control
          League of Humane Voters California Chapter
          Living Free Animal Sanctuary
          Loving All Animals, Inc.
          Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue
          Muttville
          Nitta Erosion Control
          NorCal Boxer Rescue
          North Bay Animal Advocates
          North Coast Animal Welfare Advocacy Center
          North Start Pet Assistance
          OCPoundhounds Small Breed Rescue
          Pacific Yoga and Ayurveda
          PACT, Inc.
          Pallas Investment Partners
          Palm Desert Animal Control
          Palms N Paws







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          Paw Parent
          People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
          Pet Rescue Center
          Pet Sitters I.N.C.
          Pet Welfare Proposition
          Photo Research
          Pilates Fit Studio
          Poinsie Pets Animal Rescue
          Producers Guild of America
          PURRfect Partners Cat Adoptions
          Ramona Animal Shelter
          Re/Max Elite Team
          Redlands Animal Shelter
          Redondo Beach Animal Control
          RESQCATS Inc.
          ResQPet
          Richmond Police Department
          Safe Cat Foundation
          SamsonPR
          San Bernardino Valley Humane Society
          San Diego Animal Support Foundation 
          San Diego House Rabbit Society
          Santa Cruz County Animal Services Authority 
          Santa Cruz SPCA
          Save A Dog Today
          Scooter's Pals
          Seal Beach Animal Care Center
          Seaside Realty
          Second Chance Animal Rescue (San Diego)
          Second Chance Animal Rescue (Woodstock)
          Senior Citizens For Humane Legislation and Education
          Sequoia Humane Society
          Shelter Animal Advocacy Fund
          Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority
          Soaring, LLC
          South Bay Animal Shelter
          South County Animal Shelter Coalition
          Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue
          Southland Collie Rescue
          Southwest Homes and Land Turtle and Tortoise & Animal  
          Rescue
          Stockton Animal Shelter
          Stockton Police Department
          Strangebird Art







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          Support Alliance for Stray Animals
          Tails of the City Animal Rescue
          Take Me Home Rescue
          The Catherine Fund
          The Pet Care Foundation
          The Pet Rescue Center
          The Uncommon Canine, Inc.
          Torrance Animal Control
          UCLA People Animal Connection
          United Action for Animals
          United Activists for Animal Rights
          VCA Desert Animal Hospital
          Village Cat Club of Laguna Woods
          Voice for the Animals Foundation
          Water Music Records
          Western University Veterinarians for Spay and Neuter
          WildCare
          Windansea Law
          Wuffington Wag
          YogaFit Inc.
          Yucaipa Valley Animal Placement
          Numerous individuals
          Numerous veterinary professionals

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/29/09)

          Akita Club of America, Inc.
          Alameda County Schutzhund & Police K-9 Club
          Alaskan Malamute Club of America
          Alley Cat Allies
          American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc.
          American Brittany Club, Inc.
          American Herding Breed Association
          American Kennel Club
          American Pomeranian Club, Inc.
          American Saluki Association
          American Sighthound Field Association
          Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America, Inc.
          Anatolian Shepherd Dogs International, Inc.
          Applied Backflow Technologies
          Associated Rottweiler Fanciers of Northern California
          ATAS Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers
          Atherton Acres Boarding and Training Kennels
          Bakersfield Obedience Training Club







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          Basset Hound Club of Southern California
          Bix-L Boxers
          Bizzy B Cairn Terriers
          Bloodhounds West Breed Rescue, Inc., Northern Chapter
          Bonita Cat Fanciers
          Borzoi Club of California
          Boxer Club of San Fernando Valley
          Bull Terrier Club of America, Inc.
          Bulldog Club of America, Div. III
          Bulldog Club of Northern California, Inc.
          Butte County Kennel Club, Inc.
          California Airedale Terrier Club Incorporated
          California Central Valley Maltese Club
          California English Setter Club
          California Federation of Dog Clubs
          California Greyhound Coursing Association
          California Outdoor Heritage Alliance
          California Responsible Pet Owners' Coalition/CaRPOC
          California Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc.
          California Sportsman's Lobby
          Canine Specialized Search Team
          Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of Southern California
          CHAKO
          Channel City Kennel Club
                                                                                   Chow Fanciers of Southern California
          City of Angeles Pomeranian Club Inc.
          Concerned Dog Owners of California
          Contra Costa County Kennel Club
          Coso Dog Fanciers of California, Inc.
          Dachshund Club of California
          Davis Dog Training Club, Inc.
          Deep Peninsula Dog Training Club
          Del Arroyo 4-H Club
          Del Fur Kennel Club
          Doberman Pinscher Club of Northern California, Inc.
          Elkhorn Plaza Veterinary Clinic
          English Cocker Spaniel Club of Northern California
          Feather River Dog Training Club
          Feline Friends Internationale
          Franciscan Silver & Golden Fanciers
          German Shepherd Dog Club of America
          German Shepherd Dog Club of Los Angeles
          German Shorthaired Pointer Club of San Diego
          Golden Empire Brittany Club







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          Golden Gate Cat Club
          Golden Gate English Springer Spaniel Association
          Golden Gate Greater Swiss Mt. Dog Rescue
          Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles
          Golden State American Staffordshire Terrier Club
          Great Dane Club of California
          Greater San Diego Whippet Association
          Grunenfeld German Shepherds
          Harrier Club of America
          Inland Empire English Setter Club
          Inland Empire Hound Club of Southern California
          Irish Terrier Club of America
          Irish Terrier Club of Southern California
          Irish Wolfhound Club of America, Inc.
          Kansas City Dog Advocates
          Kennel Club of Palm Springs
          Law Offices of Janet Vining Mitchell
          Los Angeles Doberman Pinscher Club, Inc.
          Los Angeles Poodle Obedience Club, Inc.
          Los Encinos Kennel Club
          Los Padres Obedience Club, Inc.
          Maine Attraction Cat Fanciers
          Maryland Dog Federation, Inc.
          Mother Lode Bulldog Club of Sacramento
          National English Shepherd Rescue
          National Pet Alliance
          National Rifle Association of America
          Nerds to the Rescue
          Newfoundland Club of Southern California
          Nicolas Studio Inc.
          Norcal Golden Retriever Club, Inc.
          Norcal Golden Retriever Rescue
          Nor-Cal Toy Dog Fanciers
          Nor-Cal Treehound Association
          Northern California Brittany Club
          Northern California Bulldog Rescue
          Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club
          Northern California Samoyed Fanciers
          Northern California Siberian Husky Club, Inc.
          Northern California Terrier Association
          Northern California Toy Fox Terrier Club Rescue
          Northern California Whippet Fanciers Association, Inc.
          Northern California Whippet Rescue Committee
          Orange Coast Rhodesian Ridgeback Club







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          Orange Empire Dog Club, Inc.
          Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California
          Pacific Coast Bulldog Club
          PetPAC
          Poodle Club of Central California
          Portuguese Water Dog Club of Northern California
          Professional Stewards Association of Northern California
          Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs, Inc.
          Sacramento Sierra Norwegian Elkhound Club, Inc.
          Sacramento Valley Boxer Club
          Sacramento Valley Dog Fanciers
          Safari Club International (SCI)
          Safari Club International Foundation
          Salmon Creek Ranch
          Saluki Club of Greater San Francisco
          San Angeles Saluki Club, Inc.
          San Francisco Dog Training Club, Inc.
          San Francisco Revelers
          San Joaquin Kennel Club
          San Lorenzo Dog Training Club, Inc.
          Santa Clara Dog Training Club, Inc.
          Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club
          Savannah Cat Rescue
          Schipperke Club of Southern California
          Shetland Sheepdog Club of Northern California
          Show and Sport Optimizing Animal Health Naturally
          SoCal Belgian Shepherd Rescue
          Somis Schutzhund Club
          South Bay Kennel Club, Inc.
          Southern California Alaskan Malamute Club Inc.
          Southern California Schutzhund Club
          Southern California Siamese Rescue
          Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America
          Standard Schnauzer Club of Southern California
          Stanislaus County Schutzhund Club
          Tally Ho Dawg Walkin' Club
          The Animal Council
          The Bay Area Rhodesian Ridgeback Club
          The Borzoi Club of Northern California
          The California Sportsman's Lobby
          The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.
          The City of Angels Pomeranian Club, Inc.
          The English Shepherd Club
          The Golden Gate Shih Tzu Fanciers







                                                                SB 250
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          The International Cat Association, Inc.
          The Irish Water Spaniel Club of America
          The Kennel Club of Palm Springs
          The Toy Fox Terrier Club of Northern California Rescue
          Tonkinese Breed Association
          Tule River Houndsmen
          Two Cities Kennel Club
          United States Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to  
          Others 
          Ventura County Dog Fanciers Association
          Way Out West Schutzhund Club
          West Highland White Terrier Club of California
          West Shore Shorthair Cat Club
          Western Rottweiler Owners Club
          Working Riesenschnauzer Federation
          Yorkshire Terrier Club of Los Angeles
          Numerous individuals


          AGB:mw  5/29/09   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                ****  END  ****