BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1121
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          AB 1121 (Pan)
          As Amended  August 24, 2011
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |53-23|(June 2, 2011)  |SENATE: |26-10|(September 8,  |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2011)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    L. GOV.  

           SUMMARY  :  Allows cities and counties to issue puppy licenses, as 
          defined, specifies provisions by which cities and counties can 
          issue puppy licenses, and requires pet dealers, rescue groups 
          and other specified entities to submit monthly reports 
          containing information about recently sold or adopted dogs to 
          local jurisdictions.

           The Senate amendments  :

          1)Strike the language authorizing local governments to require 
            monthly reports and instead require each pet dealer, humane 
            society, rescue group, or other specified group to submit 
            monthly reports to the local government entity responsible for 
            dog licensing with specified information on adopted or sold 

          2)Provide that a violation of the monthly reporting requirement 
            is punishable by a civil fine, as determined by the local 
            jurisdiction, not to exceed $50 for the first offense and $100 
            for each subsequent offense.

          3)Provide that no reimbursement is required by the bill's 

          4)Make other technical, clarifying changes.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides for dog licensing requirements for cities and 

          2)Requires that all dogs over the age of four months be 
            vaccinated against rabies.


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          3)Prohibits any public pound, society for the prevention of 
            cruelty to animals' shelter, or humane shelter from selling or 
            giving away any dog that has not been spayed or neutered, 
            unless a deposit for spaying or neutering the dog has been 
            tendered to the pound or shelter.

          4)Specifies provisions relating to requirements for spaying and 
            neutering applicable to a county that has a population of less 
            than 100,000 persons as of January 1, 2000, and to cities 
            within that county.

          5)Requires, for counties of less than 100,000 persons and cities 
            within those counties, to issue a dog license tag for one-half 
            or less of the fee required for a dog, if a certificate is 
            presented from a licensed veterinarian that the dog has been 
            spayed or neutered.

          6)Allows a board of supervisors to provide for the issuance of 
            serially numbered metallic dog licenses, and specifies that 
            these licenses shall be issued for a period of not to exceed 
            two years, or for three years for dogs that are 12 months, or 
            older, and who have been vaccinated against rabies.

          7)Allows the board of supervisors to increase the fee for the 
            issuance of dog licenses.

          8)Requires dog license tags to be issued for one-half or less of 
            the fee required for a dog, if a certificate is presented from 
            a licensed veterinarian that the dog has been spayed or 

          9)Requires local governments to fine owners of a nonspayed or 
            unneutered dog that is impounded by a city or county animal 
            control agency or shelter.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill:  

          1)Authorized a local governmental entity to require a pet 
            dealer, humane society, rescue group, society for the 
            prevention of cruelty to animals, or other specified entity, 
            to submit, once a month, 30 days after the close of business 
            for the previous month, a report to the local governmental 
            entity that is responsible for licensing dogs in the city or 


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          2)Required 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.

          3)Required the report to include the breed, age, microchip 
            number and reproductive status of the dog.

          4)Stated that a report is not required in any month in which a 
            dog was not adopted or sold.

          5)Required the reporting entity to retain copies of the report 
            for 12 months.

          6)Specified that the information contained in the report shall 
            not be used, distributed, or released for any purpose except 
            to ensure compliance with existing state and local law, 
            including applicable licensing requirements and regulations.

          7)Allowed a local governmental entity to exercise the authority 
            to require monthly reports only for the following purposes:

             a)   Providing notice regarding law requiring the person to 
               obtain a license for the dog to a person who receives a dog 
               that was adopted or sold as described in 2) above; or,

             b)   Notifying a different local governmental entity, which 
               is responsible for licensing dogs in the jurisdiction in 
               which the person resides, that the person has adopted or 
               purchased a dog, if that person does not reside within the 
               jurisdiction of the local governmental entity that is 
               providing the notice.

          8)Defined "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 that have 
            been removed from a public animal control agency or shelter, 
            society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or 
            humane shelter or that have been previously owned by any 
            person other than the original breeder of that dog.

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


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            including, but not limited to, by electronic transmission or 

          10)Defined "puppy license" to mean a dog license tag issued for 
            a microchipped puppy.

          11)Allowed a licensing entity to issue a puppy license pursuant 
            to the provisions of this bill, as follows:

             a)   Provides that a puppy license shall expire when the 
               puppy reaches one year of age;

             b)   Provides that upon expiration of a puppy license, the 
               owner shall obtain a dog license tag and provides that the 
               fee of the tag shall be the same fee that is authorized 
               pursuant to existing law for a dog that has been spayed or 

             c)   States, notwithstanding any other law or local 
               ordinance, that a puppy license for a microchipped puppy 
               shall, upon application of the owner, be issued regardless 
               of whether the puppy has had an antirabies vaccination;

             d)   Requires the expiration of a puppy license when the 
               puppy reaches five months of age if the owner has not 
               provided acceptable proof, on or before that date, to the 
               entity that issued the license that the puppy has received 
               an antirabies vaccination;

             e)   Provides that if the puppy license expires pursuant to 
               d) above, the owner shall not be eligible to obtain a 
               second puppy license; and, 

             f)   Provides that the fee for a puppy license shall be the 
               same fee that is authorized pursuant to existing law for a 
               dog that has been spayed or neutered.

          12)Defined "puppy" to mean any dog under 12 months of age.

          13)Declared 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 declares the intent of the Legislature to 
            encourage all veterinarians to advise all dog owners to 
            license all dogs that are four months of age or older.


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           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations 
          Committee, this bill contains a state mandate for local 
          governments and likely minor costs for local licensing entities 
          to receive monthly reports on dog sales and adoptions.  Local 
          governments may see a potential increase in dog and puppy 
          license revenues to the extent local governments use the 
          reported information to enhance dog license enforcement efforts.

           COMMENTS  :  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.

          Since the mid-1950s, 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.  This low rate means that the state does 
          not know how many dogs are actually protected against rabies, 
          and may result in lost dogs staying longer in shelters because 
          they cannot be readily identified and returned promptly to their 

          This bill would require pet stores, non-profit animal shelters, 
          rescue organizations, and high-volume dog breeders to compile 
          and send to their local licensing agency a monthly list of 
          licensing information regarding dogs they have placed, adopted, 
          or sold.  If the local government has the resources to process 
          the reports, this information will provide a way for local 
          governments to contact new dog owners and ensure better 
          compliance with existing dog licensing laws.  This bill also 
          states that a violation of the requirement to file monthly 
          reports by specified entities is punishable by a civil fine, as 
          determined by the local jurisdiction, and specifies that the 
          fine cannot exceed $50 for the first offense and $100 for each 


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          subsequent offense.

          Additionally, this bill would permit cities and counties to 
          offer a puppy license to microchipped puppies under the age of 
          four months.  If the local agency opts to offer puppy licensing, 
          then that city or county would be required to follow the 
          provisions of the bill, which contain the process for the 
          licensing.  For cities and counties that choose to offer a puppy 
          license, the bill requires the local government to offer it for 
          the same fee charged to owners of altered dogs.  A puppy license 
          would be temporary and become permanent when the owners provide 
          their local licensing agency with proof of proper rabies 
          documentation (no later than five months of age).

          Support arguments:  Supporters argue that this bill will result 
          in higher licensing rates for dogs in California and allow for 
          better compliance in getting lost dogs home to their owners.  
          Local governments may also choose to start licensing puppies 
          pursuant to the bill's provisions, which will allow local 
          governments to get dogs into their systems much earlier on in 
          the process.  This additionally gives the local governments 
          choosing to do puppy licensing the ability to track dogs 
          throughout their lifetime and send license renewals with 

          Opposition arguments:  Opponents argue that increasing reporting 
          requirements on humane societies, rescue groups, and other 
          entities is burdensome and unnecessary.  Additionally, local 
          governments, due to economic conditions, may not have the 
          resources to use this information effectively.

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Debbie Michel / L. GOV. / (916)