BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  AB 1117|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 1117
          Author:   Smyth (R), et al.
          Amended:  8/17/11 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 6/28/11
          AYES:  Hancock, Anderson, Calderon, Harman, Liu, Price, 
            Steinberg

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8
           
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  71-0, 6/2/11 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Animal abuse:  penalties

           SOURCE  :     The Humane Society of the United States
                      spcaLA


           DIGEST  :    This bill prohibits a person who has been 
          convicted of specified animal abuse crimes from owning or 
          caring for an animal for a specified period of time.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 8/17/11 add double jointing 
          language.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law creates a misdemeanor punishable 
          by a maximum of one year in the county jail and a fine of 
          not more than $20,000 to maim, mutilate, torture, or wound 
          a living animal or maliciously or intentionally kill an 
          animal.  (Penal Code ÝPEN] Section 597 (a))
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          Existing law states that every person having charge or 
          custody of an animal who overdrives; overloads; overworks; 
          tortures; torments; deprives of necessary sustenance, 
          drink, or shelter; cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly 
          kills; or causes or procures any animal to be so 
          overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, 
          tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, 
          drink, shelter, or to be cruelly beaten, mutilated, or 
          cruelly killed is, for every such offense, guilty of a 
          crime punishable as an alternate misdemeanor/felony and by 
          a fine of not more than $20,000.  (PEN Section 597 (b))

          Existing law mandates that whoever carries or causes to be 
          carried in or upon any vehicle or otherwise any domestic 
          animal in a cruel or inhuman manner, or knowingly and 
          willfully authorizes or permits that animal to be subjected 
          to unnecessary torture, suffering, or cruelty of any kind, 
          is guilty of a misdemeanor; and whenever any such person is 
          taken into custody therefore by any officer, such officer 
          must take charge of such vehicle and its contents, together 
          with the horse or team attached to such vehicle, and 
          deposit the same in some place of custody; and any 
          necessary expense incurred for taking care of and keeping 
          the same, is a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can 
          be lawfully recovered; and if such expense, or any part 
          thereof, remains unpaid, it may be recovered, by the person 
          incurring the same, of the owner of such domestic animal, 
          in an action therefor.  (PEN Section 597a)

          Existing law provides that any person who causes any animal 
          to fight with another animal, or permits the same to be 
          done on any property under his/her control, or aids or 
          abets the fighting of any animal or is present as a 
          spectator is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 
          six months in the county jail, by a fine not to exceed 
          $1000, or both.  (PEN Section 597b (a))

          Existing law necessitates that any person who causes a cock 
          to fight with another cock, or permits the same to be done 
          on any property under his/her control, and any person who 
          aids or abets the fighting of any cock or is present as a 
          spectator is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by 
          imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, by 

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          a fine not to exceed $5000, or by both.  (PEN Section 597b 
          (b))

          Existing law makes it unlawful for any person to tie or 
          attach or fasten any live animal to any machine or device 
          propelled by any power for the purpose of causing such 
          animal to be pursued by a dog(s).  (PEN Section 597h)

          Existing law directs that any person who owns, possesses, 
          or trains any bird or animal with the intent that the cock 
          or other bird shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting 
          by his/her vendee or any other person is guilty of a 
          misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail 
          not to exceed six months, by a fine not to exceed $1000; or 
          by both.  (PEN Section 597j)

          Existing law states that every person who willfully 
          abandons any animal is guilty of a misdemeanor.  (PEN 
          Section 597s)

          Existing law provides that any person who does any of the 
          following is guilty of a felony and is punishable by 
          imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, two or three 
          years, by a fine not to exceed $50,000, or by both such 
          fine and imprisonment:

          1. Owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any dog, with the 
             intent that the dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of 
             fighting with another dog.

          2. For the amusement or gain, causes any dog to fight with 
             another dog, or causes any dogs to injure each other.

          3. Permits any of the aforementioned acts in violation to 
             be done on any premises under his/her charge or control, 
             or aids or abets that act.  (PEN Section 597.5)

          Existing law declares that 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.  (PEN 
          Section 597.1 (a))


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          Existing law provides that 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 
          and safety of the animal or others, the officer shall 
          immediately seize the animal.  The cost of caring for and 
          treating the 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.  (PEN 
          Section 597.1 (a))

          Existing law sets forth the procedure for seizure and 
          impoundment of an animal.  (PEN Section 597.1 (f)-(j))

          Existing law provides that upon the conviction of a person 
          charged with a violation of animal abuse, 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.  The court may also order, as a condition of 
          probation, that the convicted person be prohibited from 
          owning, possessing, caring for, or having any contact with 
          animals of any kind and require the convicted person to 
          immediately deliver all animals in his/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.  
          (PEN Section 597.1 (k))

          This bill instead provides that the court may also order, 
          as a condition of probation, that the convicted person be 
          prohibited from owning, possessing, caring for, or residing 
          with animals of any kind and require the convicted person 
          to immediately deliver all animals in his/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 

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          upon a showing of proof of ownership.

          This bill clarifies that the court may order a person 
          convicted of PEN Sections 597, 597a or 597.1 to immediately 
          deliver all animals in his/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 animal. 

          This bill provides that 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.

          This bill provides that it is a public offense punishable 
          by a fine of $1,000 for any person who has been convicted 
          of a misdemeanor violation of PEN Section 597, 597a, 597b, 
          597h, 597j, 597s or 597.1 and within five years after that 
          conviction owns, possesses, maintains, has custody of, 
          resides with, or cares for any animal.

          This bill provides that it is a public offense punishable 
          by a fine of $1,000 for any person who has been convicted 
          of a felony violation of PEN Sections 597, 597b or 597.5 
          and within 10 years after that conviction owns, possesses, 
          maintains, has custody of, resides with, or cares for any 
          animal.
          This bill provides that owners of livestock may file a 
          petition in court to seek to be exempted from the above 
          prohibitions by showing that the imposition of the 
          prohibitions would result in substantial and undue economic 
          hardship to the defendant's livelihood and that the 
          defendant has the ability to properly care for all 
          livestock in his/her possession.

          This bill provides that a defendant may also petition the 
          court to reduce the duration of the mandatory ownership 
          prohibition if he/she establishes that: he/she does not 
          present a danger to animals; he/she has the ability to 
          properly care for all animals in his/her possession; and, 
          he/she has successfully completed all classes or counseling 
          ordered by the court.

          This bill is double jointed with AB 1279 (Fletcher), 

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          2011-12 Session.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/18/11)

          The Humane Society of the United States (co-source)
          spcaLA (co-source)
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
          Animal Issues Movement
          Animal Place
          Animal Samaritans SPCA
          Butte County Public Health Department, Animal Control 
          Division
          California Animal Control Directors Association
          California District Attorneys Association
          City of Rancho Cucamonga
          Haven Humane Society
          Lake Tahoe Humane Society
          Los Angeles District Attorneys Association
          Paw PAC
          Santa Cruz SPCA
          Shasta County District Attorney
          State Humane Association of California
          The Humane Society of the North Bay Animal Services 
          Division
          The SPCA for Monterey County
          United Animal Nations

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/18/11)

          Agricultural Council of California
          Alliance of Western Milk Producers
          Association of California Egg Farmers
          California Grain and Feed Association
          California Horse Council
          Charros Foundation, USA
          Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
          Western United Dairymen

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    Supporters of this bill argue that 
          animal abuse is often part of a long-term pattern of abuse 
          against animals, and those convicted of animal abuse should 

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          be prohibited from owning an animal for a period of time.  
          Specifically, Animal Issues Movement states:

            "Unfortunately animal abuse is a symptom of much greater 
            psycho-social and emotional issues and has often been a 
            long pattern of behavior developed in childhood.  We 
            cannot expect those who are addicted to power, control 
            and venting their anger on voiceless beings to 
            immediately change that behavior.  It is important that 
            we do not become enablers by allowing them private access 
            to helpless victims before they had time to obtain long 
            term rehabilitation."

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The agricultural associations 
          in opposition to this bill believe that this bill:

            "ÝW]ould alter the balance in the criminal justice system 
            between animal protection officers, livestock producers, 
            animal owners and the courts.  The current system offers 
            judges and prosecutors adequate tools to address animal 
            cruelty violations-including prohibiting the perpetrator 
            from owning an animal for a specified period.  By 
            eliminating the discretion of the judge and providing 
            additional powers shifted to the authorities, we believe 
            this legislation goes too far and will upset the balance 
            of justice.

            "The proponents state the purpose of this bill is to 
            address chronic hoarders - a condition a judge may not be 
            aware of when sentencing.  This bill is far too broad to 
            remedy that specific issue and may lead to unforeseen 
            negative circumstances."  
           

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  71-0, 6/2/11
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, 
            Bill Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, 
            Brownley, Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, 
            Carter, Cedillo, Chesbro, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, Eng, 
            Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Beth Gaines, 
            Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, Gordon, Hagman, Halderman, 
            Harkey, Hayashi, Roger Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso, 
            Huffman, Jeffries, Lara, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, 
            Mendoza, Miller, Mitchell, Monning, Morrell, Nestande, 

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            Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Pan, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, 
            Portantino, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Swanson, 
            Torres, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, John A. 
            Pérez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Conway, Donnelly, Gorell, Grove, Hall, 
            Jones, Knight, Mansoor, Valadao


          RJG:kc  8/18/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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