BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                  SB 917
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   June 21, 2011
          Chief Counsel:     Gregory Pagan


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                      SB 917 (Lieu) - As Amended:  May 16, 2011


           SUMMARY  :   Increases the misdemeanor penalty for animal neglect 
          in order to conform it to other provisions of law relating to 
          animal abuse, and makes it a crime to sell a live animal on any 
          street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or 
          boardwalk.   Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Increases the misdemeanor penalty from not more than six 
            months to not more than twelve months in the county jail for 
            every person who overloads, overworks, denies sustenance, 
            cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills any animal, and 
            whoever having custody of an animal, either as owner or 
            otherwise, subjects an animal to needless suffering or 
            inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any manner 
            abuses any animal, or fails to provide an animal with proper 
            food, drink, or shelter or proper protection from the weather.

          2)Makes it unlawful for any person to willfully 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, or to display or offer for sale, or to display 
            or offer to give away, a live animal if the transaction is to 
            occur on a street, highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, 
            carnival, or boardwalk, and makes a first offense an 
            infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $250, unless a 
            violation causes an animal to suffer or be injured in which 
            case the offense shall be punishable as a misdemeanor, and 
            makes a second or subsequent offense punishable as a 
            misdemeanor.

          3)Provides that a misdemeanor violation of the above provision 
            shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 per 
            violation, and the court shall weigh the gravity of the 
            violation in setting the fine.  A notice describing the charge 
            and the penalty for a violation may be issued by any peace 
            officer, animal control officer, or humane officer, as 








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            specified.

          4)Provides that the prohibition against live animal sales at 
            specified locations shall not apply to the following:

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

             b)   California Exposition and State Fair, district 
               agricultural association fairs, or county fairs.

             c)   Stockyards that are regulated under federal law.

             d)   Specified livestock for sale at public sales.

             e)   Live animal markets regulated under state law.

             f)   A public animal control agency or shelter, society for 
               the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane 
               society shelter, or rescue group, as specified.

             g)   The sale of fish or shellfish, live or dead, from a 
               fishing vessel, at a pier or wharf, or at a farmer's market 
               by any licensed commercial fisherman to the public for 
               human consumption.

             h)   A cat show, dog show, or bird show providing that all of 
               the following circumstances exist:

               i)     The show is validly permitted by the city or county 
                 in which the show is held;

               ii)    Each and every participant in the show complies with 
                 all federal, state, and local animal welfare control 
                 laws;

               iii)   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;

               iv)    The sale of a cat, dog, or bird on the premises and 
                 within the confines of the show; and,

               v)     The show is a competitive event where the cats, dogs 
                 or birds are exhibited and judged by an established 








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                 standard or set of ideals established for each breed or 
                 species.

          5)Provides that nothing in this prohibition against live animal 
            sales shall be construed in any way to limit or affect the 
            enforcement of any other law that protects animals, or the 
            rights of consumers, as specified, or authorizes any act or 
            omission that violates other local, state, or federal law 
            relating to animal cruelty.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)States that every person who overdrives, overloads, overworks, 
            denies sustenance tortures, torments, deprives of drink, 
            cruelly beats, or mutilates an animal is guilty of a crime 
            punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to six 
            months, or by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, 
            2 or 3 years, and by a fine of not more than $20,000.  ĘPenal 
            Code Section 597(b).]

          2)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, 
          or by imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, 2 or 3 years, 
            by a fine no to exceed $20,000, or by both a fine and 
            imprisonment.  ĘPenal Code Section 597(a).]

          3)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, 2 or 3 years and/or a fine up to 
            $20,000.  ĘPenal Code Section 597(c).]

          4)Provides that any person that does any of the following is 
            guilty of a felony and is punishable by imprisonment in a 
            state prison for 16 months, 2 or 3 years, or by a fine not to 
            exceed $50,000, or by both a fine and imprisonment:

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








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

             c)   Permits any of the above acts to be done on any premises 
               under his or her control, or aid or abets that act.  ĘPenal 
               Code Section 597.5(a).]

          5)States that any person that 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 a fine and 
            imprisonment.  ĘPenal Code Section 597.5(b).]

          6)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 by both a fine and imprisonment.  
            ĘPenal Code Section 597b(a).]

          7)Provides that any person who causes a cock to fight with 
            another cock, or permits the same to be done on 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 a fine and imprisonment.  ĘPenal Code Section 
            597b(b).]

          8)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 a fine and imprisonment.  (Penal 
            Code Section 597c.)








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          9)Provides that any person who owns, possesses, keeps or trains 
            any bird or other animal with the intent that that it be used 
            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 a fine 
            and imprisonment.  (Penal Code Section 597j.)

          FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown
           
           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "This bill 
            protects animals and consumers at the same time.  It makes 
            animal cruelty and animal neglect penalties consistent to one 
            another, while preventing animal abuse and neglect through 
            restricting unregulated sales of animals on streets, parking 
            lots and other venues.  Ultimately, SB 917 would prevent 
            animal suffering, safeguard the public and reduce pressure on 
            animal shelters and local governments."

           2)Argument in Support  :  According to the  State Humane 
            Association of California  , "SB 917 increases the misdemeanor 
            penalty for animal neglect from up to six months in county 
            jail to up to one year in county jail.  This would bring the 
            misdemeanor penalty for animal neglect en par with the 
            misdemeanor penalty for animal cruelty.  In cruelty and 
            neglect alike, the result is often death.  It should not 
            matter whether an animal is tortured to death or instead ides 
            a slow and agonizing death from starvation, dehydration, 
            and/or disease.  Both cause the animal immeasurable pain and 
            suffering.

          "SB 917 also prohibits the selling of live animal on any street, 
            highway, public right-of-way, parking lot, carnival, or 
            boardwalk (with certain exceptions like 4-H clubs, fairs, live 
            animal markets, etc.). 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."

           3)Argument in Opposition  :  According to the  California Outdoor 
            Heritage Alliance  (COHA), "COHA opposes this legislation 
            because it unnecessarily hinders the sale of dogs used for 








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            hunting and other sporting purposes, including sales which 
            benefit nonprofit conservation groups.  Nonprofits whose 
            membership includes sportsmen often sell hunting dogs at their 
            fundraising events to support their habitat restoration 
            activities and other wildlife conservation work.  The dogs are 
            highly valued and AKC registered, and have received all 
            necessary vaccinations and health certifications.  In 
            addition, the breeder is typically present to answer any 
            questions and provide appropriate documentation.  

          "While many such legitimate transactions to benefit nonprofit 
            conservation groups take place inside buildings or on private 
            land, some also occur outside in public areas such as parking 
            lots and would therefore be unnecessarily impacted by SB 917."

           4)Prior Legislation  :

             a)   AB 2012 (Lieu), of the 2009-10 Legislative Session, was 
               identical to Section One of this bill which conforms the 
               misdemeanor penalty for animal neglect with the penalties 
               for crimes relating to animal abuse.  AB 2012 was vetoed.

             b)   AB 1122 (Lieu), of the 2009-10 Legislative Session, was 
               identical to Section Two of this bill which make it a crime 
               to sell or offer to sell a live animal in specified public 
               places.  AB 1122 was vetoed.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
            American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
          Animal Place
          LA Fashion District Business Improvement District 
          Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
          Santa Cruz Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
          Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles
            SPCA for Monterey County
          State Humane Association of California
            Three private individuals
           
            Opposition 
           
          Animal Council
          California Federation of Dog Clubs








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          Outdoor Heritage Alliance
          PetPAC
          One private individual


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916) 
          319-3744