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Monday, July 02, 2007

AB 1634 Supporters - Mandatory Spay & Neuter Gone Wild!

A part of (most) everyone's education as they become an adult is to learn to read and comprehend any form or bill before signing and approving it. You can't trust everyone nor assume everyone thinks just like you do about a certain issue. You can't automatically assume things. You are encouraged to clarify any points that seem vague or ambiguous before agreeing.

How much can we really control? When we have an opportunity to vote on something, this does offer a little toe hold on what may be unleashed.

We have sure gone through a lot recently, learning about how our food industry and government oversees the quality and control our our pets' food. Maybe you know how twisted things can get when bureaucracy has jurisdiction over prevailing common sense. Remember Reno? How about Spartacus?

One of the amazing things about some people is that they are so trusting. That if someone says animals are dying because this bill hasn't passed yet, they sometimes need no further information. If for example the fine print is left to interpretation and you are feeding a food, or using equipment that someone in control doesn't think is appropriate for your pet in your jurisdiction, with the passing of this bill, you have given them permission to use whatever logic and power they feel is necessary to enforce the letter of the law as they interpret it.

Common sense isn't common...

Thanks for the follow basic layout by Michael S and formatting fixes by Jan B.
The following provides food for thought on items in the bill

BILL NUMBER: AB 1634 AMENDED
BILL TEXT

AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 27, 2007
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 31, 2007
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY MAY 9, 2007
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 30, 2007
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 17, 2007
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 9, 2007

INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Levine
(Principal coauthor: Senator Padilla)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Nava and Solorio)

FEBRUARY 23, 2007

An act to add Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 122336) to Part 6 of Division 105 of , and to repeal Section 122336.21 the Health and Safety Code, relating to pets.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the California Healthy Pets Act.
SECTION 2. Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 122336) is added to Part 6 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

CHAPTER 9. SPAY AND NEUTER PROGRAM FOR CATS AND DOGS

Article 1. Definitions

122336. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) "Intact permit" means a document issued annually by a local jurisdiction or its local animal control agency if authorized to issue these permits, that authorizes a person to own or possess within that locality an unaltered cat or dog and meets the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 122336.2. A dog or cat license that meets the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 122336.2 shall be considered a permit for purposes of this chapter.
  • (PROBLEM: Here an intact permit is for one dog or one cat. In later sections the permit is addressed as being for the owner. WHICH IS IT?)
(b) "Local animal control agency" means the municipal or county animal control agency or other entity responsible for enforcing animal-related laws.

(c) "Local jurisdiction" means any city, county, or city and county.

(d) "Spay or neuter" means any procedure, as performed by a duly licensed veterinarian, that permanently sterilizes an animal and makes it incapable of reproduction.
  • (PROBLEM: Note that “permanently” excludes tubal ligation and vasectomy, both of which are reversible and healthier for the dog or cat as they mature since it keeps the organs that produce the hormones intact.)
Article 2. General Provisions

122336.1. (a) Subject to subdivision (c), a person shall not own or possess within the state any cat or dog over the age of six months that has not been spayed or neutered, unless that person possesses an intact permit, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 122336.
  • (PROBLEM: Pediatric s/n has a host of medical consequences and risks and is discounted by reputable vets as being unsafe and inadvisable.)
(b) (1) Subject to subdivision (c), any person who violates subdivision (a) shall, for each animal for which a violation has occurred, be issued a citation subjecting the person to a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500) if the person fails to provide proof that the person has met the requirements of subdivision (a) within 30 days of the date of the issuance of the citation. This penalty shall be imposed in addition to any other civil or criminal penalties imposed by the local jurisdiction.
  • (PROBLEM: Now a violation is a “fix-it” ticket that gives the owner 30 days to prove intact permit or spay/neuter is done. Note that the owner is presumed guilty until presumed innocent and that there is no due process.)
(2) At the time a citation is issued, the citing authority shall provide the person being cited with information as to the availability of spaying and neutering services at reduced cost.
  • (PROBLEM: And if no such service exists, then no such information will be provided?)
(c) If an owner of a cat or dog provides a letter from a California licensed veterinarian stating that it is the medical judgment of the veterinarian that the cat or dog should not be spayed or neutered prior to the age of nine months, the owner shall not be in violation of this chapter. No earlier than 30 days after the cat or dog has reached nine months of age, the veterinarian may provide a letter to the owner extending the date for spaying or neutering the cat or dog to 12 months of age. The letter from the veterinarian shall include the veterinarian's license number, the name of the owner, and a description of the cat or dog in question.
  • (PROBLEM: Okay, get this scenario: A puppy is born, the vet issues a letter saying no s/n until 9 months according to this section, then has one month for a second letter to extend to 12 months, but then what? What about s/n when it is best after 12 months? No provision for that, either!)
(d) Any civil penalty imposed under subdivision (b) shall be waived, in whole or in part, by the local jurisdiction if the person in violation provides verification that his or her cat or dog has been spayed or neutered.
  • (PROBLEM: Changing “may” to “shall” is superficial because local discretion is still in play.)
  • (PROBLEM: Waiving a fine “in part” can mean waiving only $1 if the ACO desires. In other words, if cited, an owner may be in compliance but be fined anyway even if the pet is s/n. This reeks of a money grab.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(e) (1) Any person who is in possession of any document issued by the local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency that permits the owner to possess an unaltered cat or dog shall be deemed in compliance with this act until the document expires or January 1, 2009, whichever occurs first.

(2) Upon expiration of the permit, the owner of the intact cat or dog permit shall obtain a new permit pursuant to the applicable provision of Section 122336.2 in order to be in compliance with this section.
  • (PROBLEM: How long is the new permit good for? Not specified.)
(f) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impose any obligation on a veterinarian to enforce the provisions of this chapter or to require the veterinarian to provide information to a local animal control agency as to the spay or neuter status of a cat or dog.
  • (PROBLEM: This was added to placate the CVMA board. It’s also garbage as the vet is in fact required to provide the s/n status in the letter for the dog or cat to get them out of doing it! If this subsection is to be valid then subsection (c) cannot be valid, and if subsection (c) is valid then this subsection is not valid!)
Article 3. Permits

122336.2. (a) A local jurisdiction shall issue an intact permit, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 122336, if the owner provides proof acceptable to the local jurisdiction , as determined by the local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency, that any of the following conditions are met:
  • (PROBLEM: “acceptable to the local jurisdiction” is a completely subjective term and will result in a patchwork of requirements that have little uniformity and result in a dog /cat being legal in one place and illegal in another.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(1) The owner demonstrates, by providing a copy of his or her business license and federal and state tax number, or by other proof, as required by the local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency, that he or she is doing business and is licensed as a breeder at a location for which the local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency has issued a breeder license.

(2) The owner's cat or dog is a valid breed that is recognized by an approved registry or association, and complies with at least one of the following:
  • (PROBLEM: Who defines what “approved” is and isn’t? A lack of a specific definition [and not a list as was in the very first version of the bill] makes this too vague and subjective.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)

(A) His or her cat or dog is used to show or compete and has competed in at least one legitimate show or sporting competition hosted by, or under the approval of, a recognized registry or association within the last two years, or by whatever proof is required by the local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency that the cat or dog is being trained to show or compete and is too young to have yet competed.
  • (PROBLEM: “whatever proof is required” is a completely subjective term and will result in a patchwork of requirements that have little uniformity and result in a dog /cat being legal in one place and illegal in another.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
  • (PROBLEM: Who defines what “approved” is and isn’t? Ditto for “recognized”. A lack of a specific definition [and not a list as was in the very first version of the bill] makes this too vague and subjective.)
  • (PROBLEM: It is impossible to tell at 6 months if a dog or cat has the aptitude and/or temperament to be a show animal. Therefore it is impossible to train them at 6 months and this exception is impossible to achieve for new dogs and cats.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)

(B ) The cat or dog has earned, or if under three years old, is in the process of earning, a conformation, obedience, agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, sporting, working, or other title from an approved registry or association.
  • (PROBLEM: Who defines what “approved” is and isn’t? A lack of a specific definition [and not a list as was in the very first version of the bill] makes this too vague and subjective.)
  • (PROBLEM: Not all of these animals earn or need a title to do their work. Most farms and ranches don’t bother to spend the time earning a title; they just put the animal to work! This shows an urban mindset ignorant of rural activities and operations.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(3) The owner is a legitimate breeder of mixed breed or purebred working dogs, or is supplying mixed breed or purebred dogs for training as working dogs to law enforcement, fire agencies, or legitimate professional or volunteer private sector working dog organizations.
  • (PROBLEM: Who defines what “legitimate breeder” is and isn’t? A lack of a specific definition [and not a list as was in the very first version of the bill] makes this too vague and subjective.)
(4) The dog is being actively used by law enforcement, fire agencies, or legitimate professional or volunteer private sector working dog organizations for law enforcement, fire service, search and rescue, or medical service activities, or is being raised, groomed, socialized, or otherwise prepared for duties for any of these purposes.
  • (PROBLEM: It is impossible to tell at 6 months if a dog or cat has the aptitude and/or temperament to be one of these animals. Therefore it is impossible to train them at 6 months and this exception is impossible to achieve for new dogs and cats.)
(5) The owner of a cat or dog provides a letter to the local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency from a California licensed veterinarian stating that due to age, poor health, or illness, it is unsafe to spay or neuter the cat or dog. The letter from the veterinarian shall include the veterinarian's license number, the name of the owner, a description of the cat or dog in question, and, if this information is available, the duration of the condition of the cat or dog, and the date by which the cat or dog may be safely spayed or neutered.
  • (PROBLEM: This conflicts with 122336.1-f, above.)
  • (PROBLEM: If a vet is seen by these records as being more favorable to s/n exceptions, they may become targets for backlash and professional reprisals, especially license revocations on bogus charges since these letters are not protected medical files but are public licensing records!)
(b) Any cat or dog owner who is not a resident of California shall be exempted from the permit requirements set forth in this chapter if the owner provides proof, as determined by the local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency, that the cat or dog is temporarily in California for training, showing, or any other legitimate reason.
  • (PROBLEM: Who defines what “legitimate” is and isn’t? Isn’t breeding a legitimate reason? A lack of a specific definition [and not a list as was in the very first version of the bill] makes this too vague and subjective.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(c)(1) Any individual or organization breeding animals for services provided by guide dogs, signal dogs, or service dogs, as defined in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 54.1 of the Civil Code, shall be presumptively entitled to an intact permit issued pursuant to this chapter.
  • (PROBLEM: Is this intact permit entitlement actually for the person or organization as is stated here, or is it one for each animal?)
(2) Any animal possessed by any individual with a disability protected by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336) shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter if the animal is providing guide dog, service dog, or signal dog services, as defined in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 54.1 of the Civil Code.

(3) Guide dog, signal dog, and service dog programs licensed by the State of California are exempt from all of the provisions of this chapter.

(4) A person in possession of a cat or dog to be used for any of the purposes set forth in the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. SECTION 2131 et seq.) shall be exempt from the provisions of Section 122336.1, provided the person is licensed by or registered with the United States Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act.
  • (PROBLEM: This section exempts animals for medical research and out-of-state breeders, including PUPPY MILLS, meaning that the overpopulation problem cited as the reason for this bill will continue, making this entire bill nothing more than a giant fraud!)
(d) An unaltered cat or dog for which an intact permit was issued who ceases to meet the requirements of subdivision (a) is subject to the spay and neuter requirements set forth in Section 122336.1.
  • (PROBLEM: Since subdivision (a) above has local discretion worded into it, the mere act of the ACO “changing its mind” on what is acceptable proof will put people out of compliance!)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(e) (1) The amount of the fee for an intact permit shall be determined by the local jurisdiction, and shall be no more than what is reasonably necessary to fund the administration of that jurisdiction's intact permit program.
  • (PROBLEM: Who defines what “reasonably necessary” is and isn’t? A lack of a specific definition [and not a list as was in the very first version of the bill] makes this too vague and subjective.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(2) A local jurisdiction shall waive the intact permit fee for an unaltered cat or dog that meets any of the requirements described in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (a), and the provisions of subdivision (c) and may waive all or part of the intact permit fee for an unaltered cat or dog meeting the requirements of paragraph (5) of subdivision (a).
  • (PROBLEM: Waiving a fine “in part” can mean waiving only $1 if the ACO desires. In other words, if cited, an owner may be in compliance but be fined anyway even if the pet is s/n. This reeks of a money grab.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(3) Any fee assessed by a local jurisdiction pursuant to this chapter shall not be duplicative of any other local fee in that jurisdiction.

(f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a local jurisdiction from adopting or enforcing a more restrictive spay or neuter program pursuant to Section 122331, provided that the program allows for a cat or dog to be temporarily or permanently exempted from a spay or neuter requirement for the reasons set forth in paragraphs (3) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (a), or the provisions of subdivision (c).

122336.21. (a) The local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency may allow for issuance of an intact permit, and imposition of an intact permit fee, for one male and one female dog per household in order to allow the dogs to produce a single litter of offspring. In no event shall the intact permits issued for this purpose have a duration in excess of one year. In addition, the following conditions shall be met for purposes of obtaining and retaining the permit:
  • (PROBLEM: WHAT ABOUT CATS?)
  • (PROBLEM: In no event are these intact permits extended beyond one year. Most dogs are too young to have hip and other certifications so this bill promotes the breeding of immature dogs that have not undergone screening as adults. )
  • (PROBLEM: In seeking an intact permit and the animal is too young to breed, but is not shown or trained for anything listed above, then what?)
(1) The animal has been examined by a licensed veterinarian and is following the preventative health care program recommended by the veterinarian.
(2) The owner has not been convicted of one or more violations of the following offenses:

(A) Section 121705 of the Health and Safety Code. (Rabies concealment)
(B ) Section 286.5 of the Penal Code. (Bestiality)
(C) Section 596 of the Penal Code. (Animal poisoning)
(D) Section 597 of the Penal Code. (Animal tortue/overwork.abuse/neglect, including endangered species violations)
(E) Section 597.5 of the Penal Code. (Felony dog fighting)
(F) Section 599aa of the Penal Code. (Animal fighting)
(G) Section 487e of the Penal Code. (Grand theft animal-napping > $400)
(H) Section 487f of the Penal Code. (Petty theft animal-napping < $400)
(I) Section 487g of the Penal Code. (Animal fraud)

(3) The owner has not been convicted of two or more violations of any local ordinance involving the dog for whom the unaltered animal certification is sought.

(4) The owner has not received an order from the local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency involving the dog for whom the unaltered animal certification is sought.

(5) The dog for whom the unaltered animal certification is sought has not been determined by local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency to be a "vicious animal."
  • (PROBLEM: Breed-specific discrimination.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(6) The animal is properly housed and cared for as follows:
(A) The animal is provided sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water.
  • (PROBLEM: Who defines what “sufficient quantity” is and isn’t? Ditto for “good and wholesome”—does that exclude raw food diets, for example? A lack of a specific definition [and not a list as was in the very first version of the bill] makes this too vague and subjective.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(B ) The animal is provided shelter that will allow the animal to stand up, turn around, and lie down without lying in its feces, and the area where the animal is kept is properly cleaned and disinfected.
  • (PROBLEM: Who defines what “properly cleaned and disinfected” is and isn’t? Does that mean the entire house for those people who do not crate their animals? The entire yard for those who keep them outside? A lack of a specific definition [and not a list as was in the very first version of the bill] makes this too vague and subjective.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(C) The animal is fully contained on the owner's property and provided appropriate exercise.
  • (PROBLEM: Who defines what “appropriate exercise” is and isn’t? A lack of a specific definition [and not a list as was in the very first version of the bill] makes this too vague and subjective.)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(D) The animal owner otherwise complies with any applicable state law concerning the care and housing of animals.

(7) The owner furnishes the director of animal control services with a signed statement agreeing to the following conditions:

(A) Offspring of the unaltered animal may not be sold and may be adopted without a fee only after they reach eight weeks of age.
  • (PROBLEM: If the puppies/kittens cannot be sold, then how can the owners recur anything of the expenses?)
  • (PROBLEM: Why at 8 weeks?)
  • (PROBLEM: By this wording, the puppies/kittens can be adopted with a fee before 8 weeks, but that is before weaning, and no responsible breeder does that!)
  • (TRAP: If we claim this section as bad then supporters will come right back with a claim that it really is about the money after all!)
(B ) Records will be kept documenting how many offspring were produced and who adopted them.
  • (PROBLEM: This creates a list of who to go after to check for not being s/n for more fines. This reeks of a money grab and a witch hunt.)
(8) The dog for whom the unaltered animal certification is sought is currently licensed pursuant to local requirements.

(9) The owner has considered having the animal microchipped for purposes of identification.

(b) The owner shall maintain records documenting how many offspring were produced or adopted, or both, and shall provide proof that the dog has been spayed or neutered after a single litter. This information shall be made available to an animal control agency upon request.
  • (PROBLEM: Poison pill here. The sire and dam are required to be s/n after they have the litter? It’s one and done? How does this affect artificial insemination or animals raised specifically for stud purposes only?)
(c) The amount of the fee for an intact permit issued under this section shall be determined by the local jurisdiction and shall not exceed the cost of administering this section.
  • (PROBLEM: What are the costs for this mess, and how will they be constrained to keep the fees from skyrocketing?)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2012, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2012, deletes or extends that date.
  • (PROBLEM: After 1-1-12 this section ends, leaving the other sections in play, which means breeding exemptions will end as well! All this does is postpone the whole point, which was to end legal pet breeding in the state!)
Article 4. Funding

122336.3. (a) (1) Any civil penalty collected pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 122336.1 shall be used for funding the administration, outreach, and enforcement activities set forth in Article 5 (commencing with Section 122336.4).

(2) To the extent that funding is available pursuant to this chapter, a local animal control agency shall establish a free and low-cost spay and neuter program for low-income individuals. The agency shall undertake outreach efforts to inform qualified persons about these programs.
  • (PROBLEM: What are the costs for this mess, and how will they be constrained to keep the fees from skyrocketing and allow for low-cost s/n?)
  • (PROBLEM: What does “low-income” mean? What dollar amount?)
  • (PROBLEM: This puts far too much discretion in the hands of the ACOs, which is ripe for abuse.)
(b) All permit fees collected pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 122336.2, and subdivision (c) of Section 122336.21, shall be used for funding the administration of the permit program in the local jurisdiction in which the permits are issued.

Article 5. Enforcement

122336.4. A local animal control agency shall be responsible for enforcing, conducting outreach efforts in connection with, and administering, this chapter.
  • (PROBLEM: There is no accountability for the ACOs here.)
SECTION 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.

SECTION 4. This act shall become operative on April 1, 2008.

No on California AB 1634
"California Healthy Pets Act"
Choosing a 'feel good' perky name for a bill perpetuates the GRAND deception

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 7/02/2007 11:45:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Anonymous jan sent us a woof // July 03, 2007

Brilliant post.

I wish we had law makers as thorough and knowledgeable.   

Puppy Boone says: Let's chat!

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