FGHMovie.com HomePage. FGHMovieBlog: June 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

AB 1634.... and a half?

Well... this seems like a bummer. But after reading the new bill... it is NOT all that bad. Right???

(BELOW you will find the new bill and links)

At least the words spay and neuter remained in the bill.... right???

Here is the gist of the new bill.

The new bill targets only dogs and cats who are the subject of repeated complaints to animal control or repeated shelter impoundments.<< It relies heavily on Animal Control. And they are already overburdened.

I can see animal people filing complaints on those known to them to be breeding or at least not spaying and neutering and here is the million dollar question... WILL ANIMAL CONTROL BE ABLE TO KEEP UP ALL THE COMPLAINTS??? Is it able to handle all the complaints it has now?

In my opinion what this bill does is put the responsibility BACK on Animal Control instead of where it belongs, with the pet owner.

Think from Joe Publics POV. You hear a bill passes where it is manditory to spay or neuter your pet. What do you do? Those people who have been just putting off spaying or neutering will get it done. Those who don't care, do not get it addressed until there is a complaint. But there would be some percentage (those putting it off) who would get their pets fixed. Yippee!

Now, from Joe Publics POV with the new bill. Joe Public hears... I don't have to get my pet fixed until there is a complaint. So, Joe Public A. who is putting it off, continues to put it off, because his pet is good and there are and will be no complaints. But one day critter jumps the fence and waalaa babies are made. Joe Public A. sells or gives them to friends and we have what we have now... OVERPOPULATION, why??? Becuase ALL of Joe Public A's friends are good with their pets and there are no complaints but oopsie daisy, fence-jumper got to my dog and waalaa more babies.

Then we have Joe Public B. who doesn't care, and he still gets a complaint. And eventually gets the animal fixed, AFTER THREE COMPLAINTS. Now Joe RESCUER hears about the new bill and floods the Animal Control with complaints about known breeders. File one, two and finally three complaints and eventually the critter is fixed. But not after Animal Control has made three trips.

I have been on ride-alongs with Animal Control. It is a SLOW, TIME CONSUMING job. Meaning, you actually have to drive to each persons house to investigate the complaint. On my ride-alongs there was a stack of addresses that needed to be investigated for the day. Did we get to them all? No. Did we get to half? No? Were there interruptions? Absolutely.

When a call went out for a stray roaming in the streets in our area, we stopped what we were doing and went to chase a dog. I think we spent over an hour chasing down one dog with the aid of another Animal Control Officer, who I am certain also had a stack of reports of her own, that needed to be investigated.
And if the animal was injured, we drove directly to the vet. Then back to the stack of paperwork... uh-- oh no, not yet, another call, another stray and we were off and running.

Does this bill increase the budget for Animal Control or create a Task Force of NEW EMPLOYEES to handle these complaints? It doesn't? Rut roe.

Judy Crozier


In a message dated 06/19/2008 08:58:33 AM, rescuealliance@earthlink.net writes:

June 18, 2008

Dear Friends,

Earlier this week Assembly Member Lloyd Levine met with Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod to discuss AB 1634. Senator Negrete McLeod chairs the Senate Local Government Committee where AB 1634 has been held since mid-2007. The Senator presented amendments that remove all the current language of the bill and replace it with new language her office developed. The new bill targets only dogs and cats who are the subject of repeated complaints to animal control or repeated shelter impoundments. Assemblyman Levine agreed to adopt these amendments, which also adds Senator Negrete McLeod as a principal co-author.

The Senate Local Government Committee will hear and vote on the bill next Wednesday, June 25th, in Room 112 of the State Capitol. The hearing will start at 9:30 AM. The language should be in print tomorrow morning and available online at www.leginfo.ca.gov, and also on our website www.cahealthypets.com. The committee's new analysis should be available online by Friday morning, also at www.leginfo.ca.gov and will be posted on our website as soon as available.

The coalition we have built in support of the California Healthy Pets Act is the largest many people in California politics have ever seen. I know many of you will not be happy with this proposal, and I am personally deeply disappointed that AB 1634 has been rewritten by Senator Negrete McLeod. But, please take a careful look at the new bill and the committee's analysis, and come to your own conclusion about whether it might help decrease California's pet overpopulation.

If you have comments or suggestions on the new bill, please do not send them to me; instead, please contact Assembly Member Levine's office, preferably by email at AB1634staff@gmail.com. Your email may not get a personal response, but Assembly Member Levine's office has promised that every email will be read.

Although the new language does not reflect the intent of the original bill, the fact that Senator Negrete McLeod is now willing to support any bill having to do with spay and neuter is in itself a victory. With this new language, AB 1634 will no longer be known as the California Healthy Pets Act. Our coalition will continue to work on spay and neuter legislation in the months and years to come, and I will continue to keep you informed about our ongoing efforts to combat pet overpopulation through spay and neuter. The original California Healthy Pets Act will still be available on our web site for states, counties and cities across the US to reference as they craft local ordinances and state laws.

I urge you to forward and post this email immediately, to ensure that the widest array of comments is heard before the hearing on Wednesday.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to California's dogs and cats. Together, we will bring an end to their needless suffering and death in our state's shelters.

Judie Mancuso
President, Social Compassion in Legislation


 Proposed Law 

Assembly Bill 1634 requires the owner of a nonspayed or
unneutered dog or cat that is the subject of a complaint to
be cited and pay a civil penalty in addition to any other
fine, fee, or penalty.

For dogs, the bill specifies these civil penalties:
First occurrence: $50.
Second occurrence for the same dog: $100.
Third occurrence for the same dog: mandatory
spaying or neutering, with the owner paying for the
procedure's cost.

For cats, the bill specifies these civil penalties:
First occurrence: $50.
Second occurrence for the same cat: mandatory
spaying or neutering, with the owner paying for the
procedure's cost.

When issuing a citation, the local animal control agency
must give the animal's owner information about the
availability of spaying and neutering services. The owner
must pay the civil penalty within 30 business days. The
local animal control agency must waive the penalty if,
within 14 days, the animal's owner presents proof from a
veterinarian that the animal was spayed or neutered.

AB 1634 defines a "complaint" as an oral or written
complaint to the local animal control agency that the dog
or cat or its owner has violated state laws relating to
dogs or cats, or any local animal control ordinance. A
"complaint" also includes the observation by an employee or
officer of a local animal control agency of behavior by a
dog or cat or its owner that violates those state laws or

AB 1634 -- 6/18/08 -- Page 3

local ordinances. "Complaint" does not include excessive
noise by dogs or cats, and does not include excessive dog

The bill allows local officials to adopt more restrictive
ordinances or penalties.

For the owners of impounded nonspayed or unneutered dogs,
AB 1634 increases the existing fines from $35 to $50 on the
first occurrence, from $50 to $100 on the second
occurrence, and from $100 to mandatory spaying or neutering
on the third occurrence. For the owners of impounded
nonspayed or unneutered cats, the bill increases the
existing fines from $35 to $50 on the first occurrence, and
from $50 to mandatory spaying or neutering on the second

AB 1634 prohibits the State Controller from releasing
payments that reimburse local agencies for the state
mandated local costs of impounding stray and abandoned
animals until the Controller determines that the local
agency has complied with the State Department of Public
Health's rabies reporting regulations. The bill declares
that this provision modifies the payment methodology, but
does not suspend the state mandated local program.
In the end I am going to SUPPORT this bill. What other options do I have?