BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1279
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          Date of Hearing:   May 3, 2011

                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                AB 1279 (Fletcher) - As Introduced:  February 18, 2011
          SUBJECT  :   Animal shelters.

           SUMMARY  :   Updates obsolete terminology in provisions of law 
          governing the seizure, rescue, adoption, and euthanasia of 
          abandoned and surrendered animals by animal shelters and rescue 
          organizations.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Replaces "unwanted" with "surrendered."

          2)Replaces "pound" with "animal shelter." 

          3)Replaces "poundkeeper" with "shelter director."

          4)Replaces "pound officer" with "animal control officer." 

          5)Replaces "kill," "destroy," and "dispose" with "humanely 

          6)Makes technical, non-substantive changes.

           EXISTING LAW  governs the seizure, rescue, adoption, and 
          euthanasia of abandoned and surrendered animals by animal 
          shelters and rescue organizations.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal.

           COMMENTS  :   

           Purpose of this bill  .  According to the author's office, 
          "California state law currently contains old-fashioned and 
          offensive terminology to describe the work done by the state's 
          animal shelter workers.  The words 'pound' and 'destroy' reflect 
          the poor conditions and unpleasant tasks shelters were faced 
          with in the earlier part of the twentieth century, as well as 
          their emphasis on animal control.  Modern animal shelters are 
          tasked with caring for homeless, injured, and sick animals, with 
          an emphasis on healing and finding homes for animals.


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          "This bill is a common sense measure which will help California 
          law reflect the commitment and compassion with which our state's 
          animal shelter staff care for our homeless pets.  It would 
          remove the word 'destroy' in reference to euthanizing a sick or 
          injured animal, as well as replacing the word 'pound' with 
          'animal shelter.'

          "California's animal shelter personnel provide essential 
          life-saving services to the animals most in-need.  Removing the 
          antiquated and unsettling terms from statute is the least we can 
          do to show our support to these courageous employees and 

           Support  .  The Lake Tahoe Human Society and S.P.C.A. writes in 
          support, "As you are aware, California law uses the term 'pound' 
          in twenty five different places hen referring to animal shelters 
          and their operations.  This outdated term does not reflect the 
          balance that communities and organizations strive for between 
          animal control and animal care efforts.  California animal 
          shelters provide essential life-saving services that the word 
          'pound' does not accurately encompass.

          "Similarly, California laws referring to euthanasia in cases of 
          dire animal suffering as 'destroying' an animal also are 
          outmoded.  By correcting this, AB 1279 reinforces the state's 
          commitment to the humane handling and treatment of animals in 
          distress.  Use of the word destroy is customarily applied when 
          speaking of inanimate objects, not when dealing with the 
          precious life of an animal.

          "While there is no fiscal impact associated with this 
          legislation, the suggested changes will have a lasting impact 
          for the future of animals and animal welfare."


          Inland Valley Humane Society
          Lake Tahoe Human Society and S.P.C.A.
          Paw PAC
          San Diego Humane Society



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          None on file.
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Rebecca May / B.,P. & C.P. / (916)