BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                 SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
                  John L. Burton, Chairman
                  1997-98 Regular Session


SB 2102                                                S
Senator Rosenthal                                      B
As Amended: April 22, 1998
Hearing Date: April 28, 1998                           2
Corporations Code, Food and Agriculture Code,          1
Health and Safety Code, Revenue and Taxation Code      0
DBM:lgp                                                2
                                                       

                           SUBJECT
                               
  Dog and Cat Spaying and Neutering; Dog Breeding and Sale


                         DESCRIPTION  

This bill would provide that all animal shelters and humane  
societies must spay or neuter at their own cost any dog or  
cat over four months of age before it may be sold or given  
away.  It would create the Dog and Cat Spaying and  
Neutering Compliance Fund to provide grant funds to pay for  
those services.  This bill would also require that all  
shelters and humane societies collect a $40 spay or neuter  
deposit for any dog or cat under four months of age before  
it is sold or given away.  This deposit shall not be  
returned unless the owner of the pet provides proof that  
the dog or cat has been spayed or neutered within a  
specified time.

This bill would designate any person who sells more than  
one litter of dogs in any 36-month period as a "dog  
breeder."  It would require all dog breeders to pay an  
annual $100 fee to the Department of Corporations in order  
to obtain a dog breeder permit number that they must  
publish in any advertisement for the sale of dogs.  In  
addition, this bill would provide that any dog breeder  
would be subject to the provisions of the Polanco-Lockyer  
Pet Breeder Warranty Act, which currently governs only  
those persons or organizations that breed more than 50 dogs  
in a calendar year.  It would also increase the penalties  
for violations of the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty  









Act.

This bill would provide that no person may sell a dog  
without filing with the Board of Equalization either as a  
"dog breeder" or as an "occasional dog breeder."  It would  
clarify that both classes of dog breeder would be required  
to keep records of and pay taxes on the sale of dogs.  

This bill would appropriate money from the General Fund to  
the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Board of  
Equalization for the start up, record keeping, and  
enforcement costs associated with the bill.  It would also  
divert revenues from taxes imposed upon the retail sales of  
dogs and from fines for non-compliance with the provisions  
of the bill to the Dog and Cat Neutering Compliance fund.

(This analysis reflects author's amendments to be offered  
in committee.)

                          BACKGROUND  

The Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act provides for  
numerous consumer protections for persons who purchase dogs  
from designated dog breeders (those persons, corporations,  
or associations that breed more than 50 dogs in a calendar  
year).  The Polanco-Lockyer-Farr Pet Breeder Warranty Act  
offers similar protections for consumers who purchase dogs  
from pet shops.  Both acts provide for:

 written disclosure by the breeder of information about  
  the dog being purchased that includes its veterinary  
  treatment history and any known, congenital or hereditary  
  condition;
 penalties for the sale of ill or diseased dogs;
 a purchaser's right to remedies for non-disclosure of a  
  dog's prior condition
 a presumption that if a dog dies within 15 days of the  
  time it was purchased that the dog was ill at the time of  
  sale;
 written notice by the breeder to the purchaser of the  
  rights of purchasers. 


                   CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW
  
1.    Existing law  (Food and Agriculture Code Section 30503)  









  provides that no public pound or humane shelter may sell  
  or give away an unspayed or unneutered cat, unless it  
  collects a refundable spay or neuter deposit.  It  
  provides that the deposit shall not be returned unless  
  the owner of the pet provides proof that the dog or cat  
  has been spayed or neutered within a specified time.  

   This bill  would provide that all animal shelters and  
  humane societies contracting with a local agency must  
  spay or neuter any dog or cat over four months of age  
  before it may be sold or given away.  It would require  
  that shelters and humane societies spay and neuter those  
  dogs and cats for free and would create the Dog and Cat  
  Spaying and Neutering Compliance Fund to pay for those  
  services.  This bill would also require that all shelters  
  and humane societies collect a $40 spay or neuter deposit  
  for any dog or cat under four months of age before it is  
  sold or given away.

2.    Existing law  designates any person or association that  
  sells, transfers or gives away 50 or more dogs in the  
  preceding calendar year as a "dog breeder."  It  
  stipulates that all dog breeders are subject to the  
  provisions of the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty  
  Act.

  This bill  would:

  (1) change the definition of "dog breeder" for the  
  purposes of the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act  
  to include any person that sells more than one litter of  
  dogs in any three year period;

  (2) provide that all dog breeders pay an annual $100 fee  
  to the Department of Corporations in order to obtain a  
  dog breeder permit number and that they publish that  
  number in all advertisements for the sale of dogs;

  (3) provide that a dog breeder shall fill out a  
  Notification of Dog Sale form and provide a copy to the  
  Department of Consumer Affairs and the purchaser of the  
  dog.  He or she would be required to keep one copy of  
  that form.  

3.    Existing law  provides that dog breeders who knowingly  
  sell dogs that are diseased or ill or have serious prior  









  conditions, shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to  
  $1,000 and be prohibited from selling dogs for up to 30  
  days for a first offense.  A second offense carries a  
  civil penalty of up to $2,500 and a prohibition from  
  selling dogs for up to 90 days. A third offense carries a  
  civil penalty of up to $5,000 and a prohibition from  
  selling dogs for up to six months. A fourth offense  
  carries a civil penalty of up to $10,000 and a  
  prohibition from selling dogs for up to one year.

   This bill  would provide for the same civil penalties, but  
  would provide for a prohibition against selling dogs for  
  up to one year, up to three years, up to five years and  
  up to ten years for the first, second, third and fourth  
  offenses, respectively.   In addition, this bill would  
  provide for civil penalties for dog breeders who fail to  
  register with the Department of Consumer Affairs of $250,  
  $500, $1,000, and $5,000 for a first, second, third, and  
  fourth offense, respectively.

4.    Existing law  (Revenue and Taxation Code, commencing  
  with Section 6001) provides that all persons must record  
  and pay tax on any sale.

   This bill  would clarify that all persons must record and  
  pay taxes on the sale of any dog.  It would also provide  
  that all persons who sell dogs must file for a temporary  
  seller permit with the State Board of Equalization.  



                           COMMENT
  
1.    Stated need: to reduce the number of unwanted dogs and  
  cats, provide consumer protections for individuals who  
  purchasing dogs, cut down on the breeding of dogs with  
  genetic problems, collect owed sales tax  

  The author identifies four problems this bill is designed  
  to address.  The first is that too many dogs and cats are  
  produced in California, and as a consequence too many  
  dogs and cats must be euthanized.  The author contends  
  that by requiring that all dogs and cats over four months  
  of age sold or given away by animal shelters be spayed or  
  neutered, this bill will reduce the frequency with which  
  adopted dogs and cats reproduce.  He argues further that  









  a dog breeder registration fee will discourage persons  
  from breeding and selling dogs irresponsibly.  

  The second aim of this bill is to provide consumer  
  protections for individuals who purchase dogs.  The  
  author claims that while the Polanco-Lockyer and  
  Polanco-Lockyer-Farr Pet Breeder Warranty Acts protect  
  consumers who purchase dogs from large scale breeders and  
  pet shops, over 90 percent of dog sales are made out of  
  an individual's home -- by backyard breeders, show  
  breeders, or dog fanciers.  Since none of these breeders  
  are subject to the provisions of Polanco-Lockyer or  
  Polanco-Lockyer-Farr, purchasers of those dogs are not  
  protected against the possibility that they are buying a  
  dog that might be seriously ill or that could pose a  
  health risk to the purchaser or his or her family. 

  The third purpose of this bill is to cut down on the  
  number of dogs that are bred despite known genetic  
  problems.  The author argues that show dogs are commonly  
  bred for characteristics that allow a dog to do well in  
  competition, but that also make that dog a bad pet.  He  
  claims that numerous breeds are affected by ailments  
  associated with breeding for show characteristics: 70  
  percent of Collies have genetic eye trouble, for example.  
   Allegedly, many dogs are bred for show characteristics  
  that also cause severe allergy or breathing problems, and  
  hip dysplasia occurs in as high as 50 percent of the dogs  
  of some breeds.  The author points out that nearly all  
  "show dogs" are bred by breeders too small to be subject  
  to the provisions of Polanco-Lockyer, so consumers are  
  not protected against the possibility that a dog they  
  purchase from such a breeder will suffer from any of  
  these kinds of ailments. 

  The fourth aim of this bill is to collect sales tax on  
  the sale of all dogs.  The author claims that small  
  breeders who sell dogs out of their home or in the  
  newspaper almost never collect or pay sales tax, even  
  though they are required by existing law to do so.  He  
  estimates that as much as $80 million is lost annually  
  because of non-compliance on the part of small breeders.


2.    Department of Consumer Affairs opposes  










  The Department of Consumer Affairs argues that this bill  
  offers "no new level of consumer protection," does not  
  provide for adequate enforcement of non-compliance, and  
  does not adequately address the question of costs.   
  Further, it argues that this bill creates unnecessary  
  government intervention.  

3.    Opposition concerns: mandatory spaying and neutering  
  could be harmful to some dogs  

  Sharon Coleman, attorney for the Animal Council, argues  
  that nearly one-half of the state's shelters already  
  sterilize animals before they are released.   
  Nevertheless, she argues that it would be unwise to  
  mandate that all adopted dogs and cats be sterilized at  
  four months, since standard veterinary practice suggests  
  that some should only be spayed or neutered after they  
  reach six months of age.  Coleman also argues that this  
  bill should provide for an exemption for animals that are  
  not medically fit to undergo a spay or neuter operation.   


  Other opponents question the motivation for spay and  
  neuter mandates, since the number of animals euthanized  
  in California animal shelters has been cut in half over  
  the past twenty years.

4.    Further concerns:  backyard breeding is a hobby, not a  
  business  

  Coleman argues that backyard dog breeders rarely make  
  money from the activity and approach it as a hobby rather  
  than a business.  She argues that it would be unfair to  
  regulate small breeders in the same manner as large,  
  corporate breeders, and that it could subject hobbyists  
  to serious hardship.  As an illustration, she raises the  
  possibility that backyard dog breeders could be subject  
  to increased home owner's insurance or could violate  
  zoning regulations because they would be running a  
  business from their home. 

  Opponents of this bill further argue that backyard  
  breeders breed dogs because they enjoy the activity, not  
  to make a profit.  They claim that as "dog lovers" they  
  do not have the same motives as the large puppy mills  
  that Polanco-Lockyer sought to regulate.  They also argue  









  that dogs raised by backyard breeders are far less likely  
  to be "problem dogs" and to end up at shelters than are  
  dogs bred by large breeders.  Their principal concern is  
  that this bill will make it prohibitively expensive for  
  backyard hobbyists to breed dogs, and could result in a  
  higher percentage of the state's dogs coming from puppy  
  mills.  This, they claim, would be tragic, since large  
  scale puppy mills do not raise or socialize animals  
  correctly, and often sell inferior dogs.  



4.    Does the bill create inequities between dog owners and  
  other pet owners, or between owners of different breeds  

  Opponents argue that it is unfair to subject dogs  
  breeders to such strict regulations when the breeding of  
  other kinds of pets is only minimally regulated.   
  Further, they point out that the use of "litters per  
  36-month period" as the way of distinguishing breeders is  
  unfair, since some breeds of dog have litters of one to  
  three dogs, while others have litters of 15-16.  

 

Support:  Actors and Others for Animals; Amanda Foundation;  
Animal              Assistance League of Orange County;  
Animal Issues Movement;                                 
Animal Protection Institute of America; The Ark Trust,  
Inc.;     Association of California Insurance Companies;  
Bob Barker                                              
Productions, Inc.; Boxer Rescue Fund, Inc.; California  
Federation          for Animal Legislation; Coalition for  
Humane Legislation; Coalition                          to  
Protect Animals in Entertainment; Concerned Animal Lovers  
Association; Contra Costa Humane Society; Doberman Pinscher  
          Rescue, Sun Valley; Doberman Pinscher Rescue,  
Animal Placement    Center; Doris Day Animal League; Feral  
Feline Feeders, Inc.;                                   
Friends for Pets Foundation; Fund for Animals, Inc.; German  
          Shepherd Rescue, Burbank; Humane Animal Rescue  
Team; Haven                                             
Humane Society; Humane Farming Association; Humane Society  
of        the United States; Humane Task Force; In Defense  
of Animals; Lake Tahoe Humane Society; Lassen Humane  
Society; Little Angels Pug                              









Rescue; Los Angeles SPCA; Orange County Coalition for Pet  
Population Control; Orange County People for Animals; The  
Pet       Place; Rancho Cucamonga Friendship for Animals;  
Rottweiler Rescue; Saddleback Valley Humane Society; Santa  
Cruz SPCA; Sequoia Humane Society; South Bay In Defense of  
Animals; South Bay Pet Inns; State Humane Association of  
California; St. Francis of                        Assisi  
Animal Rescue; Town of Apple Valley; Vilalobos Rescue   
Center; Gray Panthers; The California Academy of Family  
Physicians; Numerous individuals.

Opposition:                                       The  
Animal Council; Department of Consumer Affairs; Cal-Tax;  
Ventura County Dog Fanciers Association; Silver Bay Kennel  
Club      of San Diego; National Pet Alliance; San  
Francisco Dog Training                                  
Club; Great Companions Dog Training; Sandy Oak Chesapeakes;  
                                                        
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club; Responsible Pet Owners Alliance;  
          California Federation of Dog Clubs; Human/ Animal  
Bond in                                                 
Society; The Cat Fanciers Association; Malibu Kennel Club;  
San       Lorenzo Dog Training Club; Western Rottweiler  
Owners; Nitewind                                  English  
Springer Spaniels; Borzoi Club of California; Barbary Coast  
          Bull Terrier Club; California Collie Fanciers;  
Sundance Dalmatians;                                   Two  
Cities Kennel Club; Sierra Foothills Dalmatian Club; Del  
Sur                                                     
Kennel Club; Dal Things; deAngela Doberman Pinschers;   
Burlywood Collies; Davis Dog Training Club; Belle Kennels;  
The       Golden Empire Brittany Club; United Kennel Club,  
Inc.; Numerous                                     
individuals.

                           HISTORY
  
Source:  Author

Related Pending Legislation:  None Known

Prior Legislation:  SB 621 (Rosenthal) Withdrawn from  
Senate Judiciary Committee, 1997

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