BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  AB 1121|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 1121
          Author:   Pan (D)
          Amended:  8/24/11 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE BUSINESS, PROF. & ECON. DEV. COMM.  :  6-1, 7/6/11
          AYES:  Price, Emmerson, Corbett, Correa, Hernandez, Vargas
          NOES:  Negrete McLeod
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Walters, Wyland
           
          SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8
           
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  53-23, 6/2/11 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Dog licensing:  issuance:  puppy licenses

           SOURCE  :     Concerned Dog Owners of California


           DIGEST  :    This bill requires pet dealers, and others as 
          specified, to submit a report once a month to the local 
          governmental entity regarding dog sales and adoptions, 
          allows licensing agencies to issue puppy licenses, as 
          defined, and allows the responsible entity to specify the 
          means by which the dog owner is required to provide proof 
          that his/her dog has been spayed or neutered. 

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 8/24/11 clarify what fee the 
          owner of a puppy would have to pay to obtain a dog license 
          tag and what information would be reported to local 
          governmental entities.  Also specifies a fine for violation 
                                                           CONTINUED





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          of the requirement to provide information, as specified.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Authorizes cities and counties to issue dog licenses 
             (Food and Agriculture Code (FAC) Section 30501 et seq.).

          2. Declares it unlawful for any person to own, harbor, or 
             keep any dog over the age of four months, or to permit 
             such a dog which is owned, harbored, or controlled by 
             him to run at large, unless the dog has attached to its 
             neck or leg a substantial collar, as specified. 
          (FAC Section 30951)

          3. Provides that whenever a dog license is issued, if a 
             certificate is presented from a licensed veterinarian 
             that the dog has been spayed or neutered, the tag shall 
             be issued for one-half or less of the fee required for a 
             dog. (FAC Section 30525 and 30804.5; Government Code 
             (GOV) Section 38792)

          4. Specifies that licenses shall not exceed a period of two 
             years, unless the person to whom the license is to be 
             issued possesses a dog that has attained the age of 12 
             months or older, and that has been vaccinated against 
             rabies, chooses a license period as established by the 
             board of supervisors of up to one, two, or three years. 
             (FAC Section 30801; GOV Section 38792)

          5. Authorizes the legislative body of a city to impose and 
             collect a license fee for a period not to exceed two 
             years and not exceeding the cost of services relating to 
             dogs.  (GOV Section 38792)

          6. Defines "dog breeder" or "breeder" as a person, firm, 
             partnership, corporation, or other association that has 
             sold, transferred, or given away all or part of three or 
             more litters of 20 or more dogs during the preceding 12 
             months that were bred and reared on the premises of the 
             person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other 
             association. (Health and Safety Code (HSC) Section 
             122045)







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          7. Defines "pet dealer" as a person engaging in the 
             business of selling dogs or cats, or both, at retail, 
             and by virtue of the sales of dogs and cats is required 
             to possess a permit pursuant to Revenue and Taxation 
             Code Section 6019.  This definition does not apply to 
             breeders of dogs regulated, nor to any person, firm, 
             partnership, corporation, or other association, that 
             breeds or rears dogs on the premises of the person, 
             firm, partnership, corporation, or other association, 
             that has sold, transferred, or given away fewer than 50 
             dogs in the preceding year.  (HSC Section 122125 et 
             seq., or the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act)

          8. Defines "purchaser" as a person who purchases a dog or 
             cat from a pet dealer without the intent to resell the 
             animal. (Id.)
          
          This bill:

          1. Declares that it is the intent of the Legislature to 
             encourage anyone transferring ownership of a dog to 
             advise the new owner that all dogs four months of age or 
             older must be licensed under state law and to encourage 
             all veterinarians to advise their clients to license 
             their dogs that are four months of age or older.

          2. Requires a pet dealer, as defined, humane society, 
             rescue group, society for the prevention of cruelty to 
             animals, or any other entity described under of HSC 
             Section 122045, to submit once a month, 30 days after 
             the close of business for the previous month, a report 
             to the local governmental entity.  Requires that the 
             report include the name, address, and telephone number 
             of the person who receives the dog, and include 
             descriptions about the dog.  Requires that the report 
             not be used, distributed, or released for any purpose, 
             unless as specified.  

          3. Restricts a local governmental entity to exercise this 
             authority only for the purpose or providing notice to a 
             person who receives a dog, or notifying a different 
             local governmental entity that the person has adopted or 
             purchased a dog, if that person does not reside within 







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             the jurisdiction of the local governmental entity that 
             is providing the notice.  Provides that a violation is 
             punishable by a civil fine, determined by the local 
             jurisdiction, not to exceed $50 for the first offense 
             and $100 for subsequent offenses.

          4. Defines a "rescue group" as a for-profit or 
             not-for-profit entity, or a collaboration of individuals 
             with at least one of its purposes being the sale or 
             placement of dogs, as specified.

          5. Authorizes a licensing entity to issue a "puppy license" 
             or a dog license tag issued for a microchipped puppy.  
             This license expires when the puppy reaches one year of 
             age.  Upon expiration, the owner of the puppy shall 
             obtain a dog license tag if the puppy has been spayed or 
             neutered.  If the puppy has not been fixed, the owner is 
             required to obtain a dog license tag subject to the 
             regular fee for an unaltered dog.

          6. Provides that if a certificate is presented from a 
             licensed veterinarian that the dog has been spayed or 
             neutered, the license shall be issued for one-half or 
             less of the fee required for a dog.

          7. Defines a "puppy" as any microchipped dog less than 12 
             months of age.

          8. Permits issuance of a puppy license for a microchipped 
             puppy regardless of whether the puppy has had an 
             anti-rabies vaccination.

          9. Provides for the responsible city, county, or city and 
             county to specify the means by which the dog owner is 
             required to provide proof that his/her dog has been 
             spayed or neutered.

          10.Declares that no reimbursement is required because the 
             act creates a new crime or infraction to local agencies 
             or school districts under Section 6 of Article XIIIB of 
             the California Constitution and GOV Section 17556.

           Background








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           California state law requires that all dogs over the age of 
          four months be vaccinated against rabies and possess a 
          license.  Licensing is a means of identification in the 
          event that a dog becomes lost.  Licensing revenues aid 
          licensing entities in promoting and protecting human and 
          animal safety.  Failure to license one's dog may result in 
          fines, penalties and/or citations.

          According to data from the American Veterinary Medical 
          Association, California itself has approximately 9.3 
          million dogs.  Approximately 715,000 dogs die each year in 
          California.  In 2008, approximately 1.9 million dogs were 
          licensed with the possibility of underreporting.

          According to information provided by the author's office, 
          80 percent of dogs in shelters have an owner, but only 
          16-20 percent are returned to their owners because of 
          licensing.  Low rates of licensing compliance also results 
          in lower revenue for local governments.  

          As early as birth, puppies can be microchipped.  A 
          microchip is about the size of a grain of rice, and 
          consists of a tiny computer chip housed in a type of glass 
          made to be compatible with living tissue.  This microchip 
          is implanted between the dog's shoulder blades under the 
          skin with a needle and special syringe.  Little to no pain 
          is experienced.  The microchip can be detected immediately 
          with a handheld device that uses radio waves to read the 
          chip which displays a unique alphanumeric code.  They are 
          designed to last the life of a dog and can be easily 
          identified if found by a shelter in possession of a 
          scanner.  (Once microchipped, this bill will qualify the 
          puppy for a puppy license.)

          According to the American Humane Association Web site, it 
          is generally safe to spay or neuter most puppies at 8 weeks 
          of age.  Once a dog is spayed or neutered, it may qualify 
          for the fee discount pursuant to FAC Section 30525 and 
          30804.5 and GOV Section 38792 of one-half, or less of the 
          fee required for a dog.  

           Current Declines in Dog Licensing and Licensing Compliance  . 
           According to the Department of Public Health, the past 
          three decades have seen a sharp decline in the number of 







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          California dogs licensed per 1000 people.  In 1996-97 Los 
          Angeles Animal Services saw 137,000 animals licensed which 
          shrank to 125,000 in 2006-07.  Additional information 
          reveals that in 2009, only 16 percent of California's dogs 
          were licensed.  Supporters contend that by permitting 
          licensing and education when a dog is still a puppy, 
          licensing compliance will go up.   

          The Los Angeles Animal Services had a different method of 
          improving compliance by implementing their License 
          Canvassing program, which utilized employees in a 
          canvassing effort, following up on breeding permits.  They 
          saw positive results in increasing compliance, bringing in 
          6,500 licenses and $282,000 in revenue. 
          
           Current Reporting Requirements for Pet Dealers  .  Much of 
          the existing reporting for pet dealers requirements are 
          established in the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act 
          (Act).  Apart from setting forth definitions for pet 
          dealers and purchasers, the Act sets forth guidelines for 
          the health and safety of dogs and cats.  The Act also sets 
          forth information pet dealers shall provide to purchasers, 
          including information on disease, illness, and any 
          congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects 
          the health of the dog at the time of sale.  It also 
          provides for a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation of the 
          Act.  

          Pet dealers are also required to provide a basic standard 
          of living for dogs and sets forth provisions addressing dog 
          illness after purchase regarding refunds and veterinary 
          costs.  Pet dealers are also required to provide the 
          purchaser at the time of sale, a written notice of rights 
          upon request setting forth rights provided for in the Act.  

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

           SUPPORT :   (Verified  8/26/11)

          Concerned Dog Owners of California (source)
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
          California Animal Control Directors Association







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          County of Sacramento
          Golden Retrievers Club of Greater Los Angeles
          Humane Society of the United States
          Laborers' International Union of North America Locals 777 
          and 792
          Standard Schnauzer Club of Southern California Inc.

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/26/11)

          Animal Council
          California Federation of Dog Clubs
          California Responsible Pet Owners' Coalition
          National Federation of Independent Business
          Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author, "The 
          purpose of the bill is to increase dog licensing compliance 
          and revenues in California by removing barriers to 
          obtaining a dog license and by educating the dog owning 
          public about the existing licensing requirement in state 
          law."  

          The author seeks to address several issues.  When people 
          retrieve puppies from pet stores, private parties, or even 
          rescue puppies from shelters, they are unable to license 
          the dogs when they are first acquired.  When animal control 
          agencies can visually confirm a dog has been altered, they 
          cannot sell an altered license until the owner can provide 
          a certificate of sterilization.  Animal control agencies 
          have limited tools to locate owners of dogs in their 
          communities and educate them about dog ownership 
          requirements.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    Opponents believe that this 
          bill imposes an additional burden on pet dealers, requiring 
          an additional business expense.  They argue that this bill 
          increases the cost of selling animals.  They claim that 
          under current economic conditions, local governments are 
          unlikely to expend funds and employ the human resources 
          necessary to compile reports submitted by multiple sources 
          and that localities will be receiving useless information.  
          Opponents firmly believe that this bill will create a new 
          level of bureaucracy that imposes costs on small 
          businesses.







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          Opponents to this bill also argue that increasing reporting 
          requirements on humane societies, rescue groups, and other 
          entities is burdensome and unnecessary.  
           
          
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  53-23, 6/2/11
          AYES:  Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, Bill 
            Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, 
            Brownley, Buchanan, Charles Calderon, Campos, Carter, 
            Cedillo, Davis, Dickinson, Eng, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, 
            Fuentes, Furutani, Galgiani, Gatto, Gordon, Hagman, 
            Hayashi, Roger Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman, 
            Lara, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Mitchell, Monning, 
            Pan, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, Portantino, Skinner, Smyth, 
            Solorio, Swanson, Valadao, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, 
            John A. Pérez
          NOES:  Achadjian, Conway, Cook, Donnelly, Beth Gaines, 
            Garrick, Grove, Halderman, Harkey, Jeffries, Jones, 
            Knight, Logue, Mansoor, Miller, Morrell, Nestande, 
            Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Silva, Torres, Wagner
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Butler, Chesbro, Gorell, Hall


          JJA:mw  9/7/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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