BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  AB 1279|
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          Bill No:  AB 1279
          Author:   Fletcher (R)
          Amended:  As introduced
          Vote:     21

          AYES:  Price, Emmerson, Corbett, Hernandez, Negrete McLeod, 
            Vargas, Walters, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Correa
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  70-0, 5/12/11 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Animal shelters

           SOURCE  :     San Diego Humane Society

           DIGEST  :    This bill changes and deletes obsolete 
          terminology in provisions of the Business and Professions 
          Code, the Civil Code, the Food and Agriculture Code, the 
          Health and Safety Code and the Penal Code dealing with the 
          seizure, impounding, rescue, adoption, and euthanasia of 
          abandoned and surrendered animals by animal shelters and 
          rescue organizations.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Allows for employees of animal shelters to euthanize 


                                                               AB 1279

             sick, injured, homeless or "unwanted" pets or animals 
             without the presence of a veterinarian if they have 
             received proper training.  (Business and Professions 
             Code BPC] Section 4827)

          2. Provides for requirements for the use of animals for 
             scientific or any other type of experimentation of 
             abandoned animals turned over to a "pound" or other 
             animal regulation department of a public agency.  (Civil 
             Code CC] Sections 1834.6, 1834.7)

          3. Provides for requirements for the deposit and storage of 
             a living animal at a depository designate as a "pound" 
             or shelter operated by a humane society.  (CC Sections 
             1846, 1847)

          4. Provides for requirements for the impounding of stray 
             animals which includes a bovine animal, horse, mule, 
             sheep, swine or burrow, and responsibilities of the 
             "poundkeeper" and "pound officer."  (Food and 
             Agriculture Code FAC] Section 17003)

          5. Defines "impounded" as the means taken into custody of 
             the public "pound" or animal control department or 
             provider of animal control services to the city or 
             county where the potentially dangerous or vicious dog is 
             found.  (FAC Section 31607)

          6. Specifies the procedures for the chief officer of the 
             public "pound" to have a dog declared as potentially 
             dangerous or vicious.  (FAC Sections 31621,31622)

          7. Requires all public "pounds" to provide owners of lost 
             animals and those who find lost animals with specified 
             information.  (FAC Section 32001) 

          8. Requires all public "pounds" to keep accurate records on 
             each animal taken up, medically treated, or impounded, 
             and specifies what information the records should 
             include.  (FAC Section 32003)

          9. Provides that any owner of an attack, guard or sentry 
             dog business shall obtain a permit from the local public 
             agency or private society or "pound."  (Health and 



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             Safety Code HSC] Section 121916)

          10.Prohibits the seizure of an unweaned bird by a peace 
             officer, officer of a humane society, or officer of a 
             "pound" or animal regulation department of a public 
             agency.  (HSC Section 122322)

          11.Provides that all animals lawfully seized or impounded 
             with respect to an act of animal cruelty by a peace 
             officer, officer of humane society, or officer of a 
             "pound" or animal regulation department of a public 
             agency shall be adjudged by the court to be forfeited 
             and be awarded to the impounding officer for 
             disposition.  (Penal Code PC] Section 597)

          12.Provides that every sick, disabled, infirm, or crippled 
             animal, except a dog or cat, that is abandoned may be 
             "killed" by the peace officer, humane society officer, 
             or animal control officer if, after a reasonable search, 
             no owner of the animal can be found, and provides for 
             other circumstances under which a dog or cat may be 
             "killed," or "destroyed" or "disposed of."  (PC Sections 
             597.1, 597f)

          13.Specifies the care and treatment actions which should be 
             taken by a "pound," humane society, or an animal 
             regulation as it pertains to the abandonment or 
             voluntary relinquishment of an equine.  (PC Section 

          14.Provides that any person who impounds, or causes to be 
             impounded in any "pound," any domestic animal, shall 
             supply it with sufficient quantity of good and wholesome 
             food or water, and in default thereof is guilty of a 
             misdemeanor.  (PC Section 597e)

          15.Provides that no person, peace officer, officer of a 
             humane society, or officer of a "pound" shall kill any 
             animal using such methods as carbon monoxide gas, 
             decompression chamber or nitrogen gas.  (PC Sections 
             597u, 597v)

          16.Permits an animal to be killed upon order of a 
             veterinarian who is an employee of a "pound" or animal 



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             regulation department or upon order of the court and if 
             the owner does not comply is guilty of a misdemeanor.  
             (PC Section 599e) 

          This bill:

          1. Replaces the term "unwanted" with "surrendered."

          2. Replaces the term "pound" with "animal shelter."

          3. Replaces the term "poundkeeper" with "shelter director."

          4. Replaces the term "pound officer" with "animal control 

          5. Replaces the term "kill," "destroy," and "dispose of" or 
             "disposed" with "humanely euthanize."

          6. Makes other technical and non-substantive changes.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  6/13/11)

          San Diego Humane Society (source)
          Humane Society of the United States
          Lake Tahoe Humane Society and SPCA
          Paw PAC
          Santa Cruz SPCA
          Solano County Animal Care Service 

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author, 
          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.  

          The author argues that this bill is a common sense measure 



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

          The author further explains that 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 
          Arguments in Support.  According to the San Diego Humane 
          Society (SDHS), the sponsor of this bill, this bill is 
          critically important in bringing respect to the life of 
          animals and in recognizing and appropriately placing value 
          on the work done every day by animal shelter employees and 
          volunteers throughout the state of California.  The SDHS 
          believes that words like "pound" and "destroy" are simply 
          outdated and do not reflect the many advances made in 
          animal welfare.  In particular, the work "destroy" is 
          typically used when referring to inanimate objects, not 
          precious life.  "The bottom line is the better the image we 
          as animal welfare advocates can create, the greater the 
          support we can generate for our work."

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  70-0, 5/12/11
          AYES:  Achadjian, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, Bill 
            Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, 
            Brownley, Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, 
            Carter, Chesbro, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, Donnelly, Eng, 
            Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Beth Gaines, 
            Galgiani, Gatto, Gordon, Grove, Hagman, Halderman, Hall, 
            Harkey, Hayashi, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman, Jeffries, 
            Jones, Knight, Lara, Logue, Ma, Mansoor, Mendoza, Miller, 
            Monning, Morrell, Nestande, Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Pan, 
            Perea, V. Manuel Prez, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, 
            Swanson, Valadao, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, 
            John A. Prez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Alejo, Cedillo, Conway, Garrick, Gorell, 
            Roger Hernndez, Bonnie Lowenthal, Mitchell, Portantino, 



                                                               AB 1279

          JJA:kc  6/14/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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