BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  SB 1162|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                         |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                         |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                         |
          |327-4478                          |                         |
                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS

          Bill No:  SB 1162
          Author:   Runner (R), et al.
          Amended:  8/29/12
          Vote:     27 - Urgency

           SENATE BUSINESS, PROF. & ECON. DEV. COMM.  :  7-0, 5/14/12
          AYES:  Price, Emmerson, Corbett, Correa, Hernandez, Negrete 
            McLeod, Vargas
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Strickland, Wyland

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  6-0, 6/12/12
          AYES:  Hancock, Anderson, Harman, Liu, Price, Steinberg
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Calderon
          SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           SENATE FLOOR  :  38-0, 7/2/12
          AYES:  Alquist, Anderson, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Calderon, 
            Cannella, Corbett, Correa, De León, DeSaulnier, Dutton, 
            Evans, Fuller, Gaines, Hancock, Harman, Hernandez, Huff, 
            Kehoe, La Malfa, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Lowenthal, Negrete 
            McLeod, Padilla, Pavley, Price, Rubio, Simitian, 
            Steinberg, Strickland, Vargas, Walters, Wolk, Wright, 
            Wyland, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Emmerson, Runner

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR :  Not available

           SUBJECT  :    Animal control:  tranquilizers

            SOURCE  :     City of Hesperia


                                                               SB 1162

                       Town of Apple Valley

           DIGEST  :    This bill allows an animal control or humane 
          officer to administer a tranquilizer when under the direct 
          or indirect supervision of, and trained by, a veterinarian.

           Assembly Amendments  add double-jointing language with SB 
          1500 (Lieu).

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law authorizes any peace officer, 
          humane society officer, or animal control officer to take 
          possession of a stray or abandoned animal and to provide 
          care and treatment for the animal until the animal is 
          deemed to be in suitable condition to be returned to the 
          animal's owner.

          Existing law regulates the distribution of controlled 
          substances, as defined.  Among other things, these 
          provisions authorize certain practitioners, including a 
          physician or a veterinarian, or the authorized agent of 
          that practitioner in the presence of the practitioner, to 
          administer controlled substances.

          This bill provides that if an animal control or humane 
          control officer, when necessary to protect the health and 
          safety of a wild, stray or abandoned animal or the health 
          and safety of a wild, stray, or abandoned animal or the 
          health and safety of others, seeks to administer a 
          tranquilizer that contains a controlled substances to gain 
          control of the animal, he/she may possess and administer 
          that tranquilizer with direct or indirect supervision as 
          determined by a licensed veterinarian provided that the 
          officer has received the specified training in the 
          administration of tranquilizers from a licensed 

          This bill provides that in order to administer the 
          tranquilizer, the officer must meet all of the following 

             The training required shall be approved by the 
             California Veterinary Medical Board.



                                                               SB 1162

             He/she has successfully completed the firearms 
             component of a course relating to the exercise of police 
             powers as specified in Section 832 of the Penal Code.

             He/she is authorized by his/her agency or organization 
             to possess and administer the tranquilizer in accordance 
             with a policy established by the agency or organization 
             and approved by the veterinarian who obtained the 
             controlled substance.

             He/she has successfully completed the euthanasia 
             training set forth in Section 2039 of Title 16 of the 
             California Code of Regulations.

             He/she has completed a state and federal fingerprinting 
             background check and does not have any drug or alcohol 
             related convictions.

          This bill contains double-jointing language with SB 1500 
           Attorney General's (AG) Opinion  .  According to the AG, 
          California law requires that an animal control officer must 
          take possession of an animal that he/she reasonably 
          believes is a stray or has been abandoned by its owner, and 
          must provide care and treatment for the animal until it is 
          in a fit condition to be returned to its owner or place for 
          adoption.  An animal control officer may also seize an 
          animal when reasonably necessary to protect the safety of 
          the animal or the public, and that he/she may destroy an 
          animal when circumstances require, for example when an 
          animal is too severely injured to move and it would be more 
          humane to destroy it.  Although they are not peace 
          officers, animal control officers may, under specified 
          circumstances, exercise powers of arrest, carry and use 
          firearms, and serve warrants.

          The AG further points out, that animal control officers 
          must often react swiftly to emergency situations in the 
          field, in order to capture injured animals or to protect 
          the public from rabid or otherwise dangerous domesticated 
          or wild animals such as dogs, foxes, and coyotes, as well 



                                                               SB 1162

          as from inherently dangerous wild animals such as mountain 
          lions and bears.  In many cases, it is necessary to use 
          controlled substances (which are stored securely in a 
          city's or county's animal control shelter) to subdue an 
          animal.  However, prior to any use of drugs, animal control 
          officers must obtain authorization from a designated 
          licensed veterinarian.

          The AG indicates that they have been told that in practice 
          a licensed veterinarian is not always available for 
          consultation when an animal-control emergency arises.  
          Moreover, the necessity of retrieving controlled substances 
          from a central location, and of waiting for them to be 
          brought into the field, can create delays that may be 
          detrimental to the public's health and safety.  

          The AG was asked to determine whether an animal control 
          officer may ever lawfully administer a controlled substance 
          on his/her own authority to subdue wild or dangerous 
          animals without the contemporaneous consultation of a 
          licensed veterinarian.  The AG concluded that the 
          applicable statutory scheme does not give animal control 
          officers independent authority to administer controlled 
          substances.  The AG opined that the California Uniform 
          Controlled Substances Act prohibits the possession of a 
          controlled substance, unless upon the written prescription 
          of a licensed practitioner, as defined, or the 
          administering of this type of drug in the field by an 
          animal control officer without first contemporaneously 
          consulting, and receiving direction from, a licensed 

          However, the AG did indicate (as a footnote) that they 
          understand the practice and need for animal control 
          officers in some local jurisdictions to administer 
          controlled substances in the field without contemporaneous 
          consultation with licensed veterinarians and that the 
          reasons why this is done stem directly from the 
          difficulties encountered in trying to manage extreme and 
          dangerous emergencies where time is of the essence and the 
          only other alternative may be to destroy the animal in 
          question.  The AG states, "This opinion concludes that this 
          practice does not comport with current law.  In view of the 
          asserted need for more humane alternatives.  The 



                                                               SB 1162

          Legislature may wish to consider examining the 
          circumstances confronting local jurisdictions to determine 
          whether adjustments in the law are in order to ensure that 
          the option of tranquilization will be available as an 
          alternative to destroying the animals.  Development of such 
          a policy is, however, beyond the scope of this opinion."

           Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Enforcement of 
          Controlled Substances Act  .  The DEA is the primary federal 
          agency responsible to enforce the controlled substances 
          laws and regulations of the United States.  Recently, the 
          DEA has become concerned about controlled substances which 
          are provided to licensed (practitioner) registrants being 
          stored outside the registered place of business of the 
          registrant.  According to the California Veterinary Medical 
          Association (CVMA), in recent weeks, the Sacramento 
          District Office of the DEA has been actively addressing 
          this issue by notifying veterinary professionals of the 
          current law that these drugs must reside with the 
          registrant.  It is unclear at this time what problems this 
          may cause, if any, by maintaining the tranquilizer drug 
          (controlled substance) at a location other than that of the 
          veterinarians registered place of business. 

           Direct and Indirect Supervision by Veterinarians  .  The term 
          used by the AG, "contemporaneous consulting" is not 
          normally used within the context of the appropriate level 
          of oversight or direction to be given by a health care 
          practitioner.  The degree of oversight, or what is commonly 
          referred to as "supervision" of one practitioner by 
          another, or of someone who is not a licensed practitioner, 
          is usually referred to as either direct or indirect 
          supervision.  If direct supervision is required, then it 
          may require the actual presence and consultation with the 
          practitioner, or if indirect supervision is required it may 
          require that special procedures, protocols or written or 
          oral orders be followed with possible consultation either 
          pre- or post-treatment or when the administration of drugs 
          (controlled substances) is provided.  The degree or level 
          of supervision is usually determined by the supervising 
          practitioner and with those being supervised and with 
          facilities where treatment or the administration of drugs 
          is to be provided.  For example, licensed veterinarians may 
          allow a registered veterinary technician, or an 



                                                               SB 1162

          unregistered (un-licensed) assistant to administer a drug, 
          including a controlled substance, under either direct or 
          indirect supervision when done pursuant to the order, 
          control, and full professional responsibility of a 
          veterinarian.  Regulations of the Veterinary Medical Board 
          define both direct and indirect supervision and it 
          basically says that the veterinarian does not have to be 
          present at the time and that providing the controlled 
          substance can be done pursuant to either written or oral 
          instructions prior to its administration.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/28/12)

          City of Hesperia (co-source)
          Town of Apple Valley (co-source)
          California Veterinary Medical Association 
          City of Adelanto
          City of Palmdale
          League of California Cities
          Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author's office, 
          when necessary to protect an animal or the safety of the 
          public, animal control officers are required to take 
          possession of any stray or abandoned animal and provide 
          care and treatment for the animal.  Local animal control 
          officers must sometimes use a controlled substance to 
          tranquilize and gain control of an animal.  California law 
          requires that such drugs be stored in a central location 
          and officers obtain contemporaneous authorization from a 
          licensed veterinarian prior to administering any drugs.  In 
          practice, however, a licensed veterinarian is not always 
          available and the necessity of having a veterinarian 
          supervise when administering the drugs could jeopardize 
          public safety.

          The author's office points out that a recent AG's decision 
          indicates that prior consultation with a licensed 
          veterinarian is insufficient (Opinion 08-505, 12/23/11).  
          Moreover, the AG's opinion finds that "the duties of local 
          animal control officers, which consist of protecting 



                                                               SB 1162

          animals and the public through the enforcement of local 
          animal control laws," does not fit within the context of 
          current law.  

          The author's office states that animal control officers 
          must act quickly when there is an emergency situation in 
          the field in order to capture injured animals or to protect 
          the public from dangerous animals.  It is not always 
          possible to immediately determine whether an animal is a 
          stray, abandoned or wild.  While animal control officers 
          have general authority to kill an injured animal or one 
          posing an immediate threat to public safety, this is a 
          remedy of last resort.  In the case of protected species, 
          like a mountain lion, a depredation permit may be required 
          before killing the animal, which causes further concerns.

          The author's office believes that limited authorization for 
          animal control officers to use tranquilizers under these 
          exigent circumstances would be more humane and would better 
          protect public safety.    

          JJA:k  8/30/12   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                ****  END  ****