Amended in Senate July 2, 2013

Amended in Senate May 28, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 19, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 18, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 272

Introduced by Assembly Member Gomez

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(Coauthor: Senator Anderson)

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February 7, 2013

An act to amend Section 121690 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to rabies.


AB 272, as amended, Gomez. Rabies: vaccinations.

Existing law imposes various requirements upon dog owners in rabies areas designated by the State Public Health Officer. Any person who violates these requirements is guilty of an infraction, and is punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000. Violation of these requirements also results in impounding of the dog by the local jurisdiction. Among the requirements imposed under existing law is that a dogbegin insert owner, after his or her dog attainsend insert 4 months of agebegin delete or older be vaccinatedend deletebegin insert, annually procure the dog’s vaccinationend insert against rabiesbegin insert by a licensed veterinarian with canine antirabies vaccine approved by, and in a manner prescribed by, the State Department of Public Health, with specified exceptionsend insert.

This bill would require that a dogbegin delete 3 orend deletebegin insert owner, by the time his or her dog isend insert 4 months of agebegin delete or older be vaccinatedend deletebegin insert, procure the dog’s vaccinationend insert against rabiesbegin insert by a licensed veterinarian with canine antirabies vaccine approved by the department and in a manner consistent with the vaccine labelend insert. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


Section 121690 of the Health and Safety Code
2 is amended to read:



In rabies areas, all of the following shall apply:

4(a) Every dog owner, after his or her dog attains the age of four
5months, shall no less than once every two years secure a license
6for the dog as provided by ordinance of the responsible city, city
7and county, or county. License fees shall be fixed by the
8responsible city, city and county, or county, at an amount not to
9exceed limitations otherwise prescribed by state law or city, city
10and county, or county charter.

11(b) (1) Every dog owner,begin delete afterend deletebegin insert by the timeend insert his or her dog attains
12the age of begin delete three orend delete four months, shall, at intervals of time not more
13often than once a year, as may be prescribed by the department,
14procure its vaccination by a licensed veterinarian with a canine
15antirabies vaccine approvedbegin delete by, and in a manner prescribed by,end deletebegin insert byend insert
16 the departmentbegin insert and administered according to the vaccine labelend insert,
17unless a licensed veterinarian determines, on an annual basis, that
18a rabies vaccination would endanger the dog’s life due to disease
19or other considerations that the veterinarian can verify and
20document. The responsible city, county, or city and county may
21specify the means by which the dog owner is required to provide
22 proof of his or her dog’s rabies vaccination, including, but not
23limited to, by electronic transmission or facsimile.

24(2) A request for an exemption from the requirements of this
25subdivision shall be submitted on an approved form developed by
26the department and shall include a signed statement by the
27veterinarian explaining the inadvisability of the vaccination and a
P3    1signed statement by the dog owner affirming that the owner
2understands the consequences and accepts all liability associated
3with owning a dog that has not received the canine antirabies
4vaccine. The request shall be submitted to the local health officer,
5who may issue an exemption from the canine antirabies vaccine.

6(3) The local health officer shall report exemptions issued
7pursuant to this subdivision to the department.

8(4) A dog that is exempt from the vaccination requirements of
9this section shall be considered unvaccinated.

10(5) A dog that is exempt from the vaccination requirements of
11this section shall, at the discretion of the local health officer or the
12officer’s designee, be confined to the premises of the owner,
13keeper, or harborer and, when off the premises, shall be on a leash
14the length of which shall not exceed six feet and shall be under
15the direct physical control of an adult. A dog that is exempt from
16the provisions of this section shall not have contact with a dog or
17cat that is not currently vaccinated against rabies.

18(c) All dogs under four months of age shall be confined to the
19premises of, or kept under physical restraint by, the owner, keeper,
20or harborer. Nothing in this chapter and Section 120435 shall be
21construed to prevent the sale or transportation of a puppy four
22months old or younger.

23(d) A dog in violation of this chapter and any additional
24provisions that may be prescribed by a local governing body shall
25be impounded, as provided by local ordinance.

26(e) The governing body of each city, city and county, or county
27shall maintain or provide for the maintenance of a pound system
28and a rabies control program for the purpose of carrying out and
29enforcing this section.

30(f) (1) Each city, county, or city and county shall provide dog
31vaccination clinics, or arrange for dog vaccination at clinics
32operated by veterinary groups or associations, held at strategic
33locations throughout each city, city and county, or county. The
34vaccination and licensing procedures may be combined as a single
35 operation in the clinics. No charge in excess of the actual cost shall
36be made for any one vaccination at a clinic. No owner of a dog
37shall be required to have his or her dog vaccinated at a public clinic
38if the owner elects to have the dog vaccinated by a licensed
39veterinarian of the owner’s choice.

P4    1(2) All public clinics shall be required to operate under antiseptic
2immunization conditions comparable to those used in the
3vaccination of human beings.

4(g) In addition to the authority provided in subdivision (a), the
5ordinance of the responsible city, city and county, or county may
6provide for the issuance of a license for a period not to exceed
7three years for dogs that have attained the age of 12 months or
8older and have been vaccinated against rabies or one year for dogs
9exempted from the vaccination requirement pursuant to subdivision
10(b). The person to whom the license is issued pursuant to this
11subdivision may choose a license period as established by the
12governing body of up to one, two, or three years. However, when
13issuing a license pursuant to this subdivision, the license period
14shall not extend beyond the remaining period of validity for the
15current rabies vaccination and, if a dog is exempted from the
16vaccination requirement pursuant to subdivision (b), the license
17period shall not extend beyond one year. A dog owner who
18complies with this subdivision shall be deemed to have complied
19with the requirements of subdivision (a).

20(h) All information obtained from a dog owner by compliance
21with this chapter is confidential to the dog owner and proprietary
22to the veterinarian. This information shall not be used, distributed,
23or released for any purpose, except to ensure compliance with
24existing federal, state, county, or city laws or regulations.


SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
26Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
27the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
28district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
29infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
30for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
31the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
32the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California