BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                          SB 2102  
                                                         Page 1

Date of Hearing:  August 4, 1998

                        Susan Davis, Chair

         SB 2102 (Rosenthal) - As Amended:  July 21, 1998

  SUBJECT :  Redefines the term "breeder" and increases penalties for  
violating specified breeding restrictions

  SUMMARY  :  Modifies the definition of "breeder" from the current 50  
dogs sold or transferred per year to eight or more dogs sold in a  
12-month period or gross sales for a 12-month period of $3,000 or  
more.  Also generally increases penalties for selling ill or  
diseased dogs.  Specifically,  this bill  :

1) Redefines the terms "dog breeder" and "breeder" to mean a  
   person or entity that has sold or transferred for the purpose  
   of selling eight or more dogs in a 12-month period, or whose  
   gross sales of dogs for a 12-month period is $3,000 or more, as  
   specified.  The bill also expands the definition to include  
   third party breeders, as specified by a contractual  

2) Redefines the term "purchaser" to include those who purchase a  
   dog from an individual acting on behalf of a breeder.

3) Modifies penalties against breeders that knowingly sell a dog  
   that is diseased, ill or has a condition, any one of which  
   requires hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures.   
   The modified penalties are:

   1st offense - penalty up to $500 
   2nd offense - penalty up to $2,500, or 9 month sales  
   prohibition, or both
   3rd offense - penalty up to $5,000, or 18 month sales  
   prohibition, or both
   4th offense - penalty up to $10,000, or 3 year sales  
   prohibition, or both.

4) Allows the district attorney or city attorney to pursue a court  
   order enjoining a breeder from engaging in the sales of dogs at  
   both the retail and wholesale level.  Current law only allows  
   for restrictions of sales at the retail level.

5) Modifies an existing provision to provide for a refund of the  
   price of a dog, if the dog dies or must be destroyed within one  
   year after the purchaser has taken physical possession of the  
   dog after the sale by a breeder, as specified.

6) States that every seller of dogs who claims that they are not a  
   breeder as defined in the bill shall, in response to a court  
   action, "produce documentation of sales" for the most recent  
   12-month period to verify their claim.  Failure to produce  


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                                                         Page 2

   documentation to verify their claim "shall give rise to a  
   presumption that the seller of dogs is a breeder."

7) States that any seller of dogs failing to produce documentation  
   verifying the claim that they are not a breeder shall be  
   subject to a $1,000 penalty per sales violation and the  
   penalties detailed in #3 above.


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                                                         Page 3


1) Defines, in the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act, the  
   terms "dog breeder" and "breeder" to mean a person or entity  
   that has sold, transferred, or given away 50 or more dogs  
   during the proceeding calendar year that were bred and reared  
   on the premises of the person or entity.

2) Defines the term "purchaser" as any person who purchases a dog  
   from a breeder.

3) Specifies penalties against breeders that knowingly sell a dog  
   that is diseased, ill or has a condition, any one of which  
   requires hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures.   
   The penalties are:

   1st offense - penalty up to $1,000, or 30 day sales  
   prohibition, or both 2nd offense - penalty up to $2,500, or 60  
   day sales prohibition, or both
   3rd offense - penalty up to $5,000, or 6 month sales  
   prohibition, or both
   4th offense - penalty up to $10,000, or 1 year sales  
   prohibition, or both.

4) Provides remedies for a purchaser in cases where a breeder has  
   sold an ill or diseased dog, as specified.  If a dog dies,  
   regardless of the date of death of the dog, the purchaser shall  
   obtain a refund for the purchase price of the dog and other  
   expenses if certain conditions exist, as specified.

5) Provides that specified violations of provisions relating to  
   the sale of dogs by breeders are punishable by civil penalty of  
   up to $1,000 per violation.  Additionally, an action may be  
   prosecuted by a county district attorney or city attorney.

  FISCAL EFFECT  :  No direct state fiscal effect, as breeder  
violations are prosecuted by district attorneys and city  
attorneys.  Enforcement authority primarily is at the local and  
federal level.

This bill is keyed as nonfiscal and will not be referred to the  
Assembly Appropriations Committee.


1)   Need for Bill  

   According to the author's office, current law's definition of  
   dog breeder at 50 or more dogs sold, transferred or given away  
   per calendar year is too lenient.  They state that "90% of  
   those individuals breeding puppies in California have no legal  
   obligation to produce a quality animal, as only 10% of more  
   than 2.5 million puppies sold each year in California come from  
   pet shops or commercial breeders."


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                                                         Page 4

   The author believes that this leads to undue increases in  
   genetic diseases in dogs, increasing veterinarian costs, and  
   consumer dissatisfaction causing more dogs to be abandoned or  
   given to shelters and rescue organizations.

   The author's office indicates that their redefinition of dog  
   breeder will "include dog fanciers and hobbyists who breed and  
   sell puppies on a regular basis."  The author believes that  
   this will give the vast majority of puppy buyers the one-year  
   warranty provided for in current law, thereby 
increasing consumer satisfaction, as sick or genetically impaired  
puppies will be subject to consumer remedies.

2)  Bill Has Been Substantially Amended Since June 30 Hearing  

   SB 2102 failed passage in this committee on June 30.  It was  
   unanimously granted reconsideration and Joint Rule 61(b) of the  
   Legislature was waived in order for the bill to be heard again.

   The bill was substantially amended on July 21.  These  
   amendments modify the proposed definition of breeder once  
   again, reduce the degree of penalty enhancement in the bill,  
   and require affirmative verification by an individual that they  
   are not a breeder.

3)  Latest Redefinition of Breeder Uses Number of Dogs or Gross  
   Sales   Threshold; Opponents Cite Additional Confusion  

   The bill, as most recently amended, redefines the term breeder  
   to mean those selling "eight or more dogs in a 12-month period,  
   or whose gross sales of dogs for a 12-month period is three  
   thousand dollars ($3,000) or more".  The author's office has  
   asserted that this definition will appropriately include  
   individuals who are breeders, and that it is superior to the  
   current definition of 50 each year.  The author and proponents  
   argue existing law's definition is overly broad and does not  
   include many individuals who are more than just casual  

   Opponents counter that the current definition is sufficient,  
   and that puppy mills are going to largely ignore the law no  
   matter the definition.  Additionally, opponents note that the  
   revised definition adds a new layer of complexity to the  
   process that will only lead to confusion among many interested  
   parties.  They note that many breeds have litters of more than  
   eight puppies, and this definition "discriminates" against  
   those breeds.

   Opponents also note that the gross sales threshold of $3,000 in  
   a 12-month period is "an entirely new concept" and  
   discriminates against individuals carefully breeding valuable  
   dogs on a small scale.  They note that for some breeds, a  
   single dog may cost $3,000 or more, thereby theoretically  
   making an individual who bred a two puppy litter into a breeder  
   for purposes of state law.  They believe this is an absurd  
   result and does not protect consumers in the least.


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                                                         Page 5

4)  How Do Other States Define Breeder  ?

   The opponents concerns about the redefinition of breeder raise  
   the question as to how other states define breeders.  The chart  
   attached to this analysis details how other states and the  
   federal government define breeder (or its equivalent).

   Fourteen states, including California, have explicit  
   definitions of breeder or equivalent that differ from the  
   federal definition.  Some of these states require breeders to  
   be licensed with an appropriate state agency, while others  
   subject breeders to inspections and other enforcement  
   provisions.  California requires neither (enforcement is  
   local), and the current version of SB 2102 does not propose  
   such a scheme.


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                                                         Page 6

   Some states create multiple categories separating out hobby  
   breeders from commercial breeders.  Colorado, Kansas, Maine,  
   and Missouri make such distinctions.  Many of the fourteen  
   states use numeric limits on the number of offspring sold to  
   define categories, with some states using the number of  
   reproducing females as a definitional parameter.  The state  
   closest in definition to the numeric parameters in SB 2102 is  
   New York, which defines a pet dealer as one selling more than  
   nine animals per year for profit to the public.

   No other state appears to use a gross sales threshold to define  
   breeders, although a $500 threshold is part of the mechanism  
   used in the federal statutory definition of dealer.

   In summary, the dollar threshold is virtually untested by other  
   states, and the numeric limitation in the bill appears to be a  
   slightly more restrictive variation of a test used by about a  
   dozen other states.  California's current law is among the  
   least restrictive of the 14 states that define breeders.

5)  Modified Penalty Provisions Reflect Previous Committee  

   The bill, in addition to redefining breeders, also generally  
   increases penalties for those who knowingly sell a dog that is  
   diseased, ill or has a condition, any one of which requires  
   hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures.  The bill  
   reduces the penalty for the first offense from a $1,000 penalty  
   to a $500 penalty, with no other punishment.  However, on the  
   second, third, and fourth offense the bill increases the time a  
   breeder is barred from selling dogs.

   The latest amended version of the bill reflects suggestions  
   about the appropriate level of penalties made by staff in the  
   June 30th analysis of the bill.

6)  New Provisions Raise Specter of "Guilty Until Proven Innocent"  

   On page 6, lines 3-16, the bill adds new provisions requiring  
   sellers of dogs asserting they do not meet the proposed  
   statutory definition of breeder to "produce documentation of  
   sales for the most recent 12-month period to verify his or her  
   claim."  This documentation would be produced in response to a  
   court action.  The bill goes on to state that failure to  
   produce documentation "shall give rise to a presumption that  
   the seller of dogs is a breeder" and would subject the  
   individual to specified penalties.

   The wording of these provisions have come under attack from  
   opponents to the bill.  The California Federation of Dog Clubs  
   writes that they believe these provisions "completely reverse  
   the foundation of American justice."  They state "If a person  
   cannot provide documentation...that person is presumed guilty  
   and subject to penalties.  It is highly unlikely that anyone  
   will ever be able to  provide documentation that they did NOT  
   sell any number of dogs or that they did NOT make any money by  


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                                                         Page 7

   selling dogs...The very premise of a person being guilty of an  
   act unless they are proven innocent begs the question of what  
   justice system individual dog owners will now be facing."

   At a minimum, the wording of these provisions is awkward.  The  
   author may wish to modify or delete these provisions.


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                                                         Page 8

7)  Brief Summary of Supporters Arguments  

   Supporters of the bill argue that the bill increases consumer  
   protections and will reduce indiscriminate breeding.  The  
   Animal Protection Institute writes that the bill "will serve to  
   minimize the risk to the public of purchasing an ill animal and  
   will also provide an incentive to breeders to improve the care  
   and treatment of their animals....[The bill] is essential to  
   address the tragedy of companion animal overpopulation in  

   Proponents additionally argue that the bill will make breeders  
   more accountable for the offspring they create, deter casual  
   breeders and promote an environment of care and concern for  
   both the breeder and potential owner.

8)  Brief Summary of Opponents Arguments  

   Opponents believe that the bill is overly broad and will not be  
   effective.  The American Kennel Club writes that while they  
   support "reasonable and enforceable laws which protect the  
   health and welfare of dogs", they believe that SB 2102  
   "restricts the rights of responsible breeders and owners who  
   take their responsibilities seriously".  Sandy Oak Chesapeakes  
   of Sebastopol writes that the bill "is not fair and reasonable  
   and will have no effect whatsoever on the Puppy Mills and/or  
   commercial breeders who do not comply" with current law.

   Opponents also argue that the bill is unenforceable,  
   unworkable, and may even work to the benefit of puppy mills.   
   They also dispute the supporters contention that genetic  
   defects and other problems are on the rise, and that such  
   problems are caused by negligent breeding.

9)  Department of Consumer Affairs Opposes Bill  

   In a letter to the committee dated June 26, the Department of  
   Consumer Affairs officially opposed SB 2102.  The letter states  
   in part "SB 2102 would place a heavy burden on private parties  
   who choose to breed their dogs...This bill represents  
   unnecessary governmental involvement in the practices of  
   private parties."



Activists for Protective Animal Legislation
Actors and Others for Animals
Allstate Insurance Companies
Amanda Foundation
Animal Assistance League of Orange County
Animal Defense League
Animal Emancipation, Inc.


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                                                         Page 9

Animal Protection Institute
Animal Spay Hotline
Animals Issues Movement
Anza Animal Clinic
The Ark Trust, Inc.
Association of California Insurance Companies
Bob Barker Productions, Inc.
Boxer Rescue Fund, Inc. of Los Angeles
California Academy of Family Physicians
California Federation for Animal Legislation
Cats Are People Too
Cats In Need of Human Care
Coalition for Humane Legislation
Coalition to Protect Animals in Entertainment
Concerned Animal Lovers Association
Contra Costa Humane Society
Doberman Pinscher Rescue - Animal Placement Center
Doberman Pinscher Rescue - Sun Valley
Doris Day Animal League
Feral Feline Feeders, Inc.
Friends for Pets Foundation
The Fund for Animals
German Shepherd Rescue
H.A.R.T. Muttmatchers
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
Law Offices of Lawrence Rose
Little Angels Pug Rescue
Maria Dales Communications
Mendocino Animal Hospital
Ohlone Humane Society
Orange County Coalition for Pet Population Control
Orange County People for Animals
Personal Insurance Federation
The Pet Place
Rancho Cucamonga Friendship for Animals
Rottweiler Rescue - Southern California
Saddleback Valley Humane Society and SPCA
Santa Cruz SPCA
Sequoia Humane Society
South Bay In Defense of Animals
Spay and Neuter Action Project
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles
St. Francis of Assisi Animal Rescue
State Humane Association of California
Tellem Incorporated
Town of Apple Valley
370 Individuals



                                                          SB 2102  
                                                         Page 10

Afghan Hound Club of California
American Dog Owners Association
American Feed Industry Association
The American Kennel Club
American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Northern California
The Animal Council
Antelope Valley Kennel Club
Apple Valley Kennel Club
The Art Network
Associated Obedience Club of Northern California
Aztec Doberman Pinscher Club of San Diego
Bahia Sur Kennel Club
Barbary Coast Bull Terrier Club
BisSchips CB Schipperkes
Bull Terrier Club of America
Bulldog Club of Southern California
Cabrillo Kennel Club
Cain Terrier Club of Northern California
California Canine Hikers
California Collie Fanciers, Inc.
California Federation of Dog Clubs
California Grain and Feed Association
California School of Dog Grooming
California Veterinary Medical Association
Central Valley Australian Shepherd Club of America
Channel City Kennel Club
Cocker Spaniel Club of San Diego
The Collie Club of America, Inc.
The Collie Club of Northern California
County-Wide Dog Training Club, Inc.
Coyote Hills Kennel Club
CRIS'S K9 Training
Custom Canines Obedience
Dal Things
Dalane Golden Retrievers
Dalmatian Club of Southern California
Del Sur Kennel Club
Department of Consumer Affairs
Diablo Valley German Shepherd Dog Club
Fiddler's Green
For-Chin Japanese Chins
The German Shepherd Dog Club, Inc.
Golden Empire Brittany Club
Golden Gate Akita Club
Golden Retriever Club of greater Los Angeles
Golden State Chow Chow Club
Golden State Rottweiller Club
Golden West Fox Terrier Association
Great Pyrenees Club of America
Great Pyrenees Association of Southern California
Hartig Kennel
Human/Animal Bond in Society
Irish Setter Club of San Diego
JMC Services
K9 Rescue Ltd.


                                                          SB 2102  
                                                         Page 11

Kayra Kennel
Keeshond Club of Southern California
Kennel Club of Palm Springs
Kennel Club of Riverside
Kern Valley Kennel Club
Kerry Blue Terrier Club of Southern California
Killja Labradors
Lake Matthews Kennel Club
Mensona Kennel Club
National Animal Interest Alliance
Northern California Basset Hound Club
Northern California Flat-Coated Retriever Club
Orange Coast Rhodesian Ridgeback Club
Pasanita Obedience Club, Inc.
Pekingese Club of Central California 
Redwood Empire Kennel Club
Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs
Sacramento-Sierra Saint Bernard Club
Saga Welsh Springer Spaniels
Saint Bernard Club of Southern California
Samoyed Club of Los Angeles
San Angeles Saluki Club
Sandy Oaks Chesapeakes
San Francisco Dog Training Club
San Gabriel Valley Collie Club
San Joaquin Kennel Club
Santa Clara Valley Kennel Club
Santa Maria Kennel Club
Shoreline DFA
Sierra Foothills Dalmatian Club
Sierra Vista Labrador Retriever Club
Silver Bay Kennel Club of San Diego
Smooth Fox Terrier Fanciers
Society Collies
South Bay Collie Fanciers, Inc.
South West Dog Sports of California
Southern California Beagle Club
Southland Weimaraner Club
St. Bernard Club of San Diego
Sundance Dalmatians
Tioka Norwegian Elkhounds
Two Cities Kennel Club
Vallejo Dog Training Club
Ventura County Dog Fanciers
The Welsh Springer Club of America
Western Fox Terrier Breeders Association
Western Hound Association of Southern California
33 Individuals

  Analysis prepared by  :  Robert Herrell / aconpro / (916) 319-2089