BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1117
                                                                  Page  1

          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 1117 (Smyth)
          As Amended  August 17, 2011
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |71-0 |(June 2, 2011)  |SENATE: |37-0 |(August 22,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2011)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:    PUB. S.  

           SUMMARY  :  Makes it an infraction punishable by a fine for a 
          person convicted of animal abuse to possess an animal for either 
          five or ten years following conviction.  
           
          The Senate amendments  :

          1)Revise the provision allowing the court to order the convicted 
            person to forfeit all animals, to allowing the court to order, 
            as a condition of probation that the probationer be prohibited 
            from owning, possessing, caring for, or residing with animals, 
            and to require the probationer to deliver the animals to be 
            put up for adoption.

          2)Double joint this bill with AB 1279 (Fletcher).

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill made changes to penalties 
          in animal abuse and neglect cases as well as in animal seizure 
          proceedings.  Specifically,  this bill  :

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

          3)Provided 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.









                                                                  AB 1117
                                                                  Page  2

          4)Allowed 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)Required the court, in the event of acquittal or dismissal of 
            the case, to release any seized animals to the defendant upon 
            showing proof of ownership.  

          6)Provided 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, maintains, has custody of, resides with or cares 
            for any animal is guilty of a public offense, punishable by a 
            fine of $1,000. 

          7)Provided 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)Created 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)Allowed 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)Gave 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 Senate Appropriations 
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28. 8, negligible state 
          costs.









                                                                  AB 1117
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           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 
          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 analysis for a full discussion 
          of this bill.
           

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


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