BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1117
                                                                  Page  1


          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 1117 (Smyth)
          As Amended  May 27, 2011
          Majority vote 

           PUBLIC SAFETY       6-0         APPROPRIATIONS      16-1        
           
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          |Ayes:|Ammiano, Knight, Cedillo, |Ayes:|Fuentes, Harkey,          |
          |     |Hagman, Hill, Skinner     |     |Blumenfield, Bradford,    |
          |     |                          |     |Charles Calderon, Campos, |
          |     |                          |     |Davis, Donnelly, Gatto,   |
          |     |                          |     |Hall, Hill, Lara,         |
          |     |                          |     |Nielsen, Norby, Solorio,  |
          |     |                          |Nays:|Wagner                    |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |Mitchell                  |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 

           SUMMARY  :  Makes changes to penalties in animal abuse and neglect 
          cases as well as in animal seizure proceedings.  Specifically, 
           this bill  :  

          1)Specifies that the owner of an animal seized pursuant to a 
            search warrant shall be liable for the costs of caring for and 
            treating the animal and that these costs will be a lien on the 
            animal which must be paid before the animal is returned.  

          2)Specifies that the owner of an animal seized pursuant to a 
            search warrant shall be liable for the costs of seizing the 
            animal.

          3)Provides that an animal seized pursuant to a warrant shall not 
            be returned to the owner until it is determined that the 
            animal is physically fit or until it is shown that the owner 
            can and will provide necessary care.

          4)Allows the court, to order the convicted person to immediately 
            deliver all animals in his or her possession to a public 
            entity to be put up for adoption, or alternatively, to provide 
            proof that he or she no longer possesses any animal.

          5)Requires the court, in the event of acquittal or dismissal of 
            the case, to release any seized animals to the defendant upon 








                                                                  AB 1117
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            showing proof of ownership.  

          6)Provides that any person who has been convicted of a 
            misdemeanor violation of specified sections relating to animal 
            cruelty and who, within five years of conviction, owns, 
            possesses, maintain, has custody of, resides with or cares for 
            any animal is guilty of a public offense, punishable by a fine 
            of $1,000. 

          7)Provides that any person who has been convicted of a felony 
            violation of specified sections relating to animal cruelty and 
            who, within 10 years of the conviction owns, possesses, 
            maintains, has custody of, resides with or cares for any 
            animal is guilty of a public offense, punishable by a fine of 
            $1,000.

          8)Creates an exception for the animal-ownership injunction for 
            livestock owners who can establish that the restriction would 
            result in substantial or undue economic hardship to the 
            defendant's livelihood and that the defendant has the ability 
            to properly care for all livestock in his or her possession.

          9)Allows a defendant to petition the court to reduce the 
            duration of the ownership prohibition if the defendant can 
            establish that he or she:  a) does not present a danger to 
            animals; b) has the ability to properly care for all animals 
            possessed; and, c) successful completion of all court-ordered 
            classes or counseling.

          10)Gives the court discretion, in the event the length of the 
            mandatory ownership prohibition is reduced, to order that the 
            defendant comply with reasonable and unannounced inspections 
            by animal control or law enforcement.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations 
          Committee, unknown, likely minor local revenue increase as a 
          result of additional fines.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "Animal abuse is a pervasive 
          problem that continues to impact animals, law enforcement, and 
          animal shelters throughout the state. This bill seeks to prevent 
          future instances of animal abuse and seeks to assist local 
          animal control agencies in their efforts to serve abused 
          animals.  To meet this goal the bill outlines two simple 








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          solutions to problems associated with animal abuse and the 
          restrictive nature of the hearing process associated with animal 
          abuse cases.

          "First, this bill will mandate that misdemeanor and felony 
          animal abuse convictions result in probation terms that prohibit 
          animal ownership for 5 or 10 years, respectively.  The increased 
          restriction on ownership post-conviction will assist in 
          protecting animals against abuse. 

          "Second, this bill will streamline the hearing process for 
          animal abuse cases, allowing prosecuting attorneys to petition 
          to sever ownership rights to abused animals.  This will allow 
          animal control agencies or shelters to effectively serve abused 
          animals in cases where is unlikely, or not possible, that the 
          afflicted animals would be returned to their abusive owner."

          Please see the policy committee for a full discussion of this 
          bill.
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Sandy Uribe / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744 


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