BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 917|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 917
          Author:   Lieu (D), et al
          Amended:  5/16/11
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  5-2, 4/12/11
          AYES:  Hancock, Calderon, Liu, Price, Steinberg
          NOES:  Anderson, Harman

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8


           SUBJECT  :    Animal abuse

           SOURCE  :     American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
          to Animals 
                      spcaLA 
                      The Humane Society of the United States 


           DIGEST  :    This bill conforms the misdemeanor penalty for 
          overloading, torturing, tormenting, et cetera, an animal to 
          other subdivisions within the same section thus allowing 
          for up to one year in jail for the misdemeanor portion of 
          the existing wobbler and to make it unlawful for any person 
          to sell an animal as part of a commercial transaction on 
          any street, parking lot, carnival, et cetera, as specified.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 5/16/11 (1) exempts specified 
          pet stores from the sales prohibitions; (2) adds double 
          jointing language with AB 109 (Assembly Budget Committee); 
          and (3) adds co-authors.
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           ANALYSIS  :    

          I.  Animal neglect/torturing provision  

          Existing law provides that any person who does any of the 
          following is guilty of a felony and is punishable by 
          imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, two or three 
          years, or by a fine not to exceed $50,000, or by both such 
          fine and imprisonment:

                  Owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any dog, with 
               the intent that the dog shall be engaged in an 
               exhibition of fighting with another dog.

                  For amusement or gain, causes any dog to fight 
               with another dog, or causes any dogs to injure each 
               other.

                  Permits any of the above acts to be done on any 
               premises under his/her control, or aid or abets that 
               act.  (Penal Code Section 597.5(a).)
               
          Existing law states that any person who is knowingly 
          present, as a spectator, at any place, building, or 
          tenement where preparations are being made for an 
          exhibition of the fighting of dogs, with the intent to be 
          present at those preparations, or is knowingly present at 
          the exhibition, fighting or injuring with the intent to be 
          present at the exhibition, fighting, or injuring is guilty 
          of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county 
          jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not exceeding 
          $5,000, or by both.  (Penal Code Section 597.5(b).)
           
          Existing law provides that any person who causes any 
          animal, not including a dog, to fight with another animal, 
          or permits the same to be done on any property under his or 
          her control, or aids or abets the fighting of any animal is 
          guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in 
          the county jail or by a fine not to exceed $5,000, or both. 
           (Penal Code Section 597b(a).)
           
          Existing law provides that any person who causes a cock to 
          fight with another cock, or permits the same to be done on 

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          any property under his or her control, and any person who 
          aid or abets the fighting of any cock or is present as a 
          spectator is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by 
          imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or 
          by a fine not to exceed $5,000, or by both.  (Penal Code 
          Section 597b(b).)
           
          Existing law provides that any person who is knowingly 
          present as a spectator at any place, building, or tenement 
          for an exhibition of animal fighting, or who is knowingly 
          present at that exhibition, or is knowingly present where 
          preparations are being made for the exhibition, fighting, 
          or injuring of an animal is guilty of a misdemeanor 
          punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed 
          six months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both.  
          (Penal Code Section 597c.)
           
          Existing law provides that any person who owns, possesses, 
          keeps or trains any bird or other animal with the intent 
          that that it be used in an exhibition of fighting is guilty 
          of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county 
          jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed 
          $5,000, or by both.  (Penal Code Section 597j.)

          Existing law provides that every person who maliciously and 
          intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a 
          living animal or maliciously and intentionally kills an 
          animal is guilty of either a misdemeanor or felony, 
          punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to one 
          year and/or by a fine up to $20,000, or by imprisonment in 
          state prison for 16 months, two or three years and/or a 
          fine up to $20,000.  (Penal Code Section 597(a).)

          Existing law provides that every person who maliciously and 
          intentionally maims, mutilates, or tortures any mammal, 
          bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish is guilty of either a 
          misdemeanor or felony, punishable by imprisonment in a 
          county jail for up to one year and/or by a fine up to 
          $20,000, or by imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, 
          two or three years and/or a fine up to $20,000.  (Penal 
          Code Section 597(c).)
            
          Existing law states that every person who overdrives, 
          overloads, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of 

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          drink, cruelly beats, or mutilates an animal is guilty of 
          either a misdemeanor or felony, punishable by imprisonment 
          in a county jail for up to six months and/or by a fine up 
          to $20,000, or by imprisonment in state prison for 16 
          months, two or three years and/or a fine up to $20,000.  
          (Penal Code Section 597(b).)

          This bill makes the potential jail time for overloading, 
          overworking, et cetera, up to one year.

          This bill reorganizes Penal Code Section 597 so penalties 
          are listed in one subsection.

          Existing law provides that no slaughterhouse that is not 
          inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture 
          (USDA), stockyard, or auction shall buy, sell, or receive a 
          non-ambulatory animal.  (Penal Code Section 599 f(a).)

          Existing law provides that it is a misdemeanor punishable 
          by a fine of up to $1000 plus penalty assessments and/or up 
          to 90 days in jail for any person who operates a pet shop 
          to fail do all of the following:

                 Maintain the facilities used for the keeping of pet 
               animals in a sanitary condition.

                 Provide proper heating and ventilation for the 
               facilities used for the keeping of pet animals.

                 Provide adequate nutrition for, and humane care and 
               treatment of, all pet animals under his or her care 
               and control.

                 Take reasonable care to release for sale, trade, or 
               adoption only those pet animals that are free of 
               disease or injuries.

                 Provide adequate space appropriate to the size, 
               weight, and species of pet animals.  (Penal Code 
               Section 597l(a).)

          II.  Pet selling provision  

          Existing law provides that sellers of pet animals shall 

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          provide buyers of a pet animal with general written 
          recommendations for the generally accepted care of the 
          class of pet animal sold, including recommendations as to 
          the housing, equipment, cleaning, environment, and feeding 
          of the animal.  This written information shall be in a form 
          determined by the sellers of pet animals and may include 
          references to Web sites, books, pamphlets, videos, and 
          compact discs.  Charges against a seller of pet animals for 
          a first violation of the provisions of this subdivision 
          shall be dismissed if the person charged produces in court 
          satisfactory proof of compliance.  A second or subsequent 
          violation is an infraction punishable by a fine not to 
          exceed $250.  (Penal Code Section 597l(b)(1).)

          Existing law, the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act, 
          regulates the sale of dogs and cats by pet dealers and 
          provides for civil penalties in the amount up to $1000 for 
          violations of the Act.  The civil penalty may be enforced 
          by the local district attorney or city attorney.  (Health & 
          Safety Code Sections 122320, et seq.)

          Existing law further provides that no pet dealer shall 
          knowingly sell a dog that is diseased, ill, or has a 
          condition, any one of which requires hospitalization or 
          surgical procedures.  In lieu of the civil penalties 
          imposed pursuant to Section 122150, any pet dealer who 
          violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty 
          of up to $1000, or shall be prohibited from selling dogs at 
          retail for up to 30 days, or both.  If there is a second 
          offense, the pet dealer shall be subject to a civil penalty 
          of up to $2500, or a prohibition from selling dogs at 
          retail for up to 90 days, or both.  For a third offense, 
          the pet dealer shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to 
          $5000, or a prohibition from selling dogs at retail for up 
          to six months, or both.  For a fourth and subsequent 
          offense, the pet dealer shall be subject to a civil penalty 
          of up to $10,000, or a prohibition from selling dogs at 
          retail for up to one year, or both.  For purposes of this 
          section, a violation that occurred over five years prior to 
          the most recent violation shall not be considered.  An 
          action for recovery of the civil penalty and for a court 
          order enjoining the pet dealer from engaging in the 
          business of selling dogs at retail for the period set forth 
          in this section may be prosecuted by the district attorney 

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          for the county where the violation occurred, or the city 
          attorney for the city where the violation occurred, in the 
          appropriate court.  (Health & Safety Code Section 122205.)

          This bill provides that it shall be unlawful for any person 
          to do either of the following:  (1) sell or give away as 
          part of a commercial transaction, a live animal on any 
          street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, 
          carnival, or boardwalk, (2) display or offer for sale, or 
          display or offer to give away as part of a commercial 
          transaction, a live animal, if the act of selling or giving 
          away the live animal is to occur on any street, highway, 
          public right-0-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or boardwalk. 
           The penalty shall be as follows:

          "    For a first offense, the person shall be guilty of an 
               infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $250.

          "    A person who violates this section for the first time 
               and by that violation either causes or permits any 
               animal to suffer or be injured, or causes or permits 
               any animal to be placed in a situation in which its 
               life or health may be endangered, shall be guilty of a 
               misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1000.

          "    A person who violates this section for a second or 
               subsequent time shall be guilty of a misdemeanor 
               punishable by a fine not to exceed $1000.

          This bill provides that a notice describing the charge and 
          the penalty for a violation of this section may be issued 
          by any peace officer, animal control officer, as defined in 
          Section 830.9, or humane officer qualified pursuant to 
          Section 14502 or 14503 of the Corporations Code.

          This bill provides that the section it creates shall not 
          apply to the following:

          "    Events held by 4-H Clubs, Junior Farmers Clubs, or 
               Future Farmers Clubs.

          "    The California Exposition and State Fair, or county 
               fairs.


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          "    Stockyards with respect to which the Secretary of the 
               United States Department of Agriculture has posted 
               notice that the stockyards are regulated by the 
               federal Packers and Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. Section 
               181, et seq.).

          "    The sale of cattle on consignment at any public cattle 
               sales market; the sale of sheep on consignment at any 
               public sheep sales market; the sale of swine on 
               consignment at any public swine sales market; the sale 
               of goats on consignment at any public goat sales 
               market; and the sale of equine on consignment at any 
               public equine sales market.

          "    Live animal markets regulated under Section 597.3.

          "    A public animal control agency or shelter, society for 
               the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane 
               society shelter, or rescue group regulated under 
               Division 14 (commencing with Section 30501) of the 
               Food and Agricultural Code.  For purposes of this 
               section, "rescue group" is a not-for-profit entity 
               whose primary purpose is the placement of dogs, cats, 
               or other animals that have been removed from a public 
               animal control agency or shelter, society for the 
               prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane 
               society shelter, or that have been surrendered or 
               relinquished to the entity by the previous owner.

          "    The sale of fish or shellfish, live or dead, from a 
               fishing vessel or registered aquaculture facility at a 
               pier, wharf, or at a farmer's market by any licensed 
               commercial fisherman or an owner or employee of a 
               registered aquaculture facility to the public for 
               human consumption.

                 A cat show, dog show, or bird show provided that 
               all the following circumstances exist:

                1.      The show is validly permitted by the city or 
                  county in which the show is held.

                2.      The show's a sponsor or permittee ensures 
                  compliance with all federal, state and local animal 

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                  control laws.

                3.      The participant has written documentation of 
                  the payment of a fee for the entry of his or her 
                  cat, dog, or bird in the show.

                4.      The sale of a cat, dog, or bird occurs only 
                  on the premises and within the confines of the 
                  show.

                5.      The show is a competitive event where the 
                  cats, dogs, or birds are exhibited and judged by an 
                  established standard or set of ideas established 
                  for each breed or species.

               6.      A pet store defined in subdivision (1) of 
                  Section 122350 of the Health and Safety Code.

          This bill provides that nothing in the above provisions of 
          the bill shall be construed to in any way limit or affect 
          the application or enforcement of any other law that 
          protects animals or the rights of consumers, including, but 
          not limited to, the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act 
          contained in Article 2 (commencing with Section 122125) of 
          Chapter 5 of Part 6 of Division 105 of the Health and 
          Safety Code, or Sections 597 and 597l of the Penal Code.

          This bill provides that nothing in the above provisions 
          limits or authorizes any act or omission that violates 
          Section 597 or 597l of the Penal Code, or any other local, 
          state, or federal law.  The procedures set forth in this 
          section shall not apply to any civil violation of any other 
          local, state, or federal law that protects animals or the 
          rights of consumers, or to a violation of Section 597 or 
          597l of the Penal Code, which is cited or prosecuted 
          pursuant to one or both of those sections, or to a 
          violation of any other local, state, or federal law that is 
          cited or prosecuted pursuant to that law.

          This bill is double jointed with AB 109 (Assembly Budget 
          Committee) to avoid chaptering problems.

           Prior Legislation
           

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          AB 2012 (Lieu) passed the Senate Floor on August 12, 2010 
          with a vote of 28-6, but was vetoed.

          AB 1122 (Lieu) passed the Senate Floor on September 1, 2009 
          with a vote of 21-13, but was vetoed.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/17/11)

          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
          (co-source)                                            
          spcaLA (co-source)
          The Humane Society of the United States (co-source)
          Animal Placer
          PAW PAC
          Public Interest Coalition
          State Humane Association of California
          The SPCA for Monterey County


           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to one of the sponsors 
          the Humane Society of the United States, this bill:
           
             C]orrects a deficiency in current California law 
             that results in lesser punishment for criminal 
             animal neglect than other forms of criminal animal 
             cruelty.  Given the duration and degree of suffering 
             endured by animal victims of neglect at the hands of 
             their abusers, we strongly support SB 917's 
             provisions to create parity in the law.

             Dogs, cats and other animals sold in such informal 
             settings often suffer in terrible conditions.  These 
             animals often are kept in crowded pens or cages that 
             can be unsanitary, lacking food and/or water, and in 
             extreme heat and direct sunlight.  They are handled 
             by shoppers and often purchased on impulse.  Under 
             these prevalent circumstances, animals suffer and 
             those who purchase them may wind up heartbroken and 
             saddled with expensive veterinary bills.  SB 917 
             addresses these issues head-on by prohibiting these 
             unscrupulous and unregulated sales channels that 

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             could never provide pets or consumers with the 
             welfare and protection they deserve.

          The State Humane Association of California supports this 
          bill stating:

             Roadside sales of animals present a special concern 
             for our member organizations as humane officers and 
             animal control officers often find animals that are 
             ill and/or diseased and kept in unsafe and/or 
             unsanitary conditions.


          RJG:do  5/17/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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