BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1121
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 18, 2011

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                     AB 1121 (Pan) - As Amended:  April 26, 2011 

          Policy Committee:                              Local 
          GovernmentVote:8-1

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program: 
          Yes    Reimbursable:              Yes

           SUMMARY  

          This bill requires pet dealers, rescue groups and other 
          specified entities to submit monthly reports to local 
          governments with information about recently sold or adopted dogs 
          and allows cities and counties to issue puppy licenses, as 
          defined.  Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Requires each pet dealer, humane society, rescue group, 
            society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or other 
            specified entity, to submit, once a month, a report to the 
            public entity that is responsible for licensing dogs in the 
            city or county.

          2)Requires the report to include the name, address, and 
            telephone number of the person who receives the dog that was 
            adopted or sold in the previous month by that entity 
            submitting the report and specified information about the dog.

          3)Allows a violation of the requirement to report to be subject 
            to a civil fine as determined by the local jurisdiction, and 
            provides that the fine shall not exceed $50 for the first 
            offense and $100 for each subsequent offense.

          4)Allows a licensing entity to issue a puppy license pursuant to 
            the provisions of this bill.


           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Local governments will incur reimbursable state mandated costs 
            for processing the reports filed by entities that sell or 








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            transfer a dog.  These costs are estimated to be approximately 
            $300,000.  There are approximately 10 million dogs in 
            California.  This means that there is an estimated 350,000 dog 
            transfers that would be subject to complying with the bill's 
            provisions.

          2)Possibility of revenues which could more than offset costs if 
            local governments are able to successfully use the data that 
            is reported.
            

           COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose  .  According to the sponsor, the Concerned Dog Owners 
            of California, the purpose of this bill is to remove barriers 
            that reduce compliance with the state laws that require dog 
            licensing.  The sponsor believes that removing these barriers 
            and increasing licensing would have a number of beneficial 
            effects.  First, it would make it easier to get lost dogs back 
            home to their owners which will result in lower kill rates in 
            shelters.  Second, increasing licensing would provide local 
            government with access to additional revenues.  And third, the 
            bill will provide local governments with ways to recover costs 
            more quickly.

           2)Dog licensing  .  Since the mid-1950's, California has required 
            that dogs be licensed by the time they are four months of age 
            and owners are obligated to provide proof of anti-rabies 
            vaccination.  Dog tag licenses are issued by local 
            jurisdictions pursuant to provisions contained in the Food and 
            Agriculture Code.    

            According to the Humane Society, only one in five dogs in 
            California is licensed, which means the state does not know 
            how many dogs are actually protected against rabies, and that 
            lost dogs stay longer in shelters because they cannot be 
            readily identified and returned promptly to their owners.

           3)Local governments' use of the generated data.   The bill 
            envisions that local governments will use the reports that are 
            generated by the entities that sell or transfer dogs.  
            However, many cities and counties already require 
            veterinarians to report on rabies vaccinations to local 
            governments.  Local governments would already appear to have a 
            large data base of dog owners if they choose to contact them 








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            to obtain a dog license.  Many do not pursue this option 
            because of lack of resources.  
             
             This bill does not require reporting of a sale or transfer to 
            the jurisdiction of the new owner of the dog, rather the 
            jurisdiction of the seller.  It is unclear how this 
            requirement will increase the licensing of dogs in instances 
            where the new owner is in a different jurisdiction.
           
          4)Opposition  .  The opposition argues that the monthly reporting 
            requirement provisions in the bill are effectively 
            meaningless, and instead, impose a new burden of data 
            collection on pet stores, non-profit animal shelters, rescue 
            organizations and high-volume dog breeders.  There is no 
            guarantee that this information will even be used by local 
            governments in order to facilitate increased licensing of 
            dogs, especially given the lack of resources faced by animal 
            control offices.  




           Analysis Prepared by  :    Roger Dunstan / APPR. / (916) 319-2081