BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                  Adam B. Schiff, Chairman
                  1997-98 Regular Session

SB 2102                                                S
Senator Rosenthal                                      B
As Amended:  May 18, 1998
Hearing Date:  May 19, 1998                            2
Health and Safety Code                                 1
DBM:cjt                                                0

                   Dog Breeding and Sales


This bill would designate any person who sells or transfers  
for the purpose of sale more than one litter of dogs in any  
36-month period as a "dog breeder."  It 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 knowingly selling a dog that is diseased,  
ill, or that has a pre-existing condition.


The Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act provides  
numerous consumer protections for persons who acquire dogs  
from designated dog breeders (those persons, corporations,  
or associations that breed more than 50 dogs in a calendar  
year).  Those protections include:

 written disclosure by the breeder of information about  
  the dog being purchased that includes its veterinary  
  treatment history and any known, congenital or hereditary  
 penalties for the sale of ill or diseased dogs;
 a purchaser's right to remedies for non-disclosure of a  


  dog's prior condition, including a refund for the  
  purchase price of the dog, sales tax, and any  
  veterinarian's fees paid;


 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. 

In addition, the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act  
provides that designated breeders must maintain sanitary  
breeding facilities, provide dogs with adequate food,  
water, shelter, exercise, living space, opportunities for  
socialization, and veterinary care.   

                   CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW

1.    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  

   This bill  would change the definition of "dog breeder"  
  for the purposes of the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder  
  Warranty Act to include any person that sells or  
  transfers for the purpose of selling more than one litter  
  of dogs in any three-year period.

2.    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 monetary penalties,  
  but would provide for a prohibition against selling dogs  
  for up to six months, up to three years, up to five  
  years, and up to ten years for the first, second, third  
  and fourth offenses, respectively.


1.    Stated need: to provide consumer protections for  
  individuals purchasing dogs, cut down on the breeding of  
  dogs with genetic problems  

  The author identifies two purposes of this bill.  The  
  first is to provide consumer protections for individuals  
  who purchase dogs.  The author claims that while the  
  Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act protects  
  consumers who purchase dogs from large scale breeders,  
  the majority 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, 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  

  The second 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 bred for show characteristics also  
  have severe allergy or breathing problems, as a result of  
  the desired show characteristic, e.g., a pushed-in nose.   
  Hip dysplasia also 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. By holding  
  these breeders financially responsible for irresponsibly  
  bred dogs, and by increasing the penalties for the sale  
  of irresponsibly bred dogs, the author argues that this  
  bill creates a disincentive to continue to breed  

2.    Opposition concerns:  backyard breeding is a hobby,  
  not a business  

  Opponents of this bill argue that small scale dog  


  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 was intended to regulate.  They also  
  argue that dogs raised by small scale breeders are far  
  less likely to be "problem dogs" with illnesses or  
  genetic defects.  Their principal concern is that this  
  bill would discourage small scale breeders from breeding  
  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.  

3.    Further opposition concerns: bill could subject  
  breeders to unknown liability  

  Opponents of this bill argue that the scope of  
  Lockyer-Polanco should not be expanded because it  
  subjects dog breeders to liability for outcomes that are  
  beyond their control.  As an illustration, they argue  
  that some studies indicate that conditions once thought  
  to be exclusively hereditary -- hip dysplasia, for  
  instance -- are now being attributed to environmental  
  causes as well.  Opponents fear that dog breeders will be  
  required to refund the cost of dogs and to pay for  
  expensive veterinary care because a veterinarian  
  misdiagnoses an environmentally caused ailment as  

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 dog 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 dogs have litters of one to three dogs,  
  while others have litters of 15-16.  

Support:  Ohlone Humane Society; Activists for Protective  
Animal         Legislation; Coalition to Protect Animals in  
Entertainment; Animal    Protection Institute; Contra Costa  
Humane Society; Haven Humane       Society; Spay and Neuter  


Action Project; Orange County Coalition      for Pet  
Population Control; Doris Day Animal League; The Ark    
Trust, Inc.; Animal Assistance League of Orange County;  
Sequoia   Humane Society; Coalition for Humane Legislation;  
St. Francis of Assisi Animal Rescue; Animal Spay Hotline;  
A-Pal; Concerned Animal Lovers Association; H.A.R.T.  
Muttmatchers; Santa Cruz           SPCA; The Pet Place;  
Actors and Others for Animals; In Defense of      Animals;  
The Fund for Animals; Little Angels Pug Rescue; Boxer   
Rescue Fund, Inc. of Los Angeles; Animals Issues Movement;  
Lake      Tahoe Humane Society; State Humane Association of  
California;  California Federation for Animal Legislation;  
German Shepherd     Rescue; SPCALA; Bob Barker Productions,  
Inc.; South Bay In  Defense of Animals; Feral Feline  
Feeders, Inc.; Orange County       People for Animals;  
numerous individuals.

Opposition:    The Animal Council; The American Kennel  
Club; Two Cities Kennel Club; California Federation of Dog  
Clubs; Barbary Coast     Bull Terrier Club;  
Sacramento-Sierra Saint Bernard Club; San Francisco Dog  
Training Club; Sierra Foothills Dalmatian Club;   American  
Dog Owners Association; Human/Animal Bond in      Society;  
Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs; K9 Rescue Ltd.; Del   Sur  
Kennel Club; Fiddler's Green; Sundance Dalmatians; Dal  
Things; National Animal Interest Alliance; Pasanita  
Obedience Club, Inc.; numerous individuals.

Source:  Author

Related Pending Legislation:  None Known

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

Prior Vote:  Failed passage in Senate Judiciary Committee  
3-3; reconsideration