Friday, April 13, 2012

Legislative update

The legislative session is in full swing now. There are several bills of concern, that the California Federation of
Dog Clubs has already taken steps to address. News, updates and  copies of letters we have sent can be accessed on our blogsite:
This year we are dealing with the following:
SB 969 (Vargas) - Groomer/bather regulations. We OPPOSE as written. Would establish a new state council to issue biennial licenses which would be required for anyone who grooms or washes/brushes pets for compensation. No one under the age of 18 would qualify to obtain this license. Requires 300 hours of instruction and 1000 hours of hands-on experience for new licensees. Would adversely affect professional handlers. High schoolers who apprentice in grooming shops may be affected. Hearing April 23 in the Senate Business Professions and Economic Development Committee. The author is amending the bill. There will be a capwiz tool available to us from NAIA once the bill alterations are made public.
SB 1145 (Emmerson) - Increased fines and penalties for animal fighting. Neutral. We are watching this one at this point. Fines and penalties for animal offenses seem plenty high enough already.
SB 1221 (Lieu/Steinberg) outlaws hunting with hounds. Sponsored by the HSUS. Would prohobit a person from allowing a dog to pursue any big game animal. Allows the capture or killing of such dogs. We OPPOSE. Hearing in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on April 24th.
SB 1229 (Pavley) - Real Property: rentals: animals. Would prohibit a landlord from requiring debarking or declawing as a condition of rental. CFODC is neutral at this time, believing a landlord shoud be able to set the rules for their property. In Senate Judiciary Committee.
SB 1500 (Lieu) - Liens on animals. We OPPOSE. This bill removes some protections for accused offenders and enables state or private seizing agencies to remove ownership rights to seized animals, even if the defendent is acquitted of charges or charges are dropped. In Senate Public Safety Committee, hearing April 17th.
AB 610 (Solorio) Spay/Neuter license plate fund. Amended 3-21-12.  We have OPPOSED this since last session, initially due to inflammatory rhetoric about "overpopulation"  contained in the text of the bill, (which has since been removed) but now primarily due to concerns about the disbursement of the funds that would be collected from such a program. No fund recipient or method is specified. Judie Mancuso, an advocate for statewide mandatory spay/neuter, is the primary proponent of the bill and the director of a non-profit animal group that advocates for MSN. This group might eventually benefit from the funding. Passed by Senate yesterday, and returned to the assembly for concurrence of amendments.
AB 1279 (Fletcher) - Animal Shelter terminology.  Changes, for example, from "pound' to "shelter" and from "destroy" to "euthanize". Watching at this time, to see if there will be amendments. In the Senate. 
AB 1839 (Ma) - Veterinary assistants - Would require fingerprinting and background checks for vet assistants, presumably for animal abuse offenses. In Assembly Appropriations committee. No hearing date yet. CFoDC is watching.
AB 1939 (Pan) Seller reporting of puppy sales and puppy licensing. Sponsored by Concerned Dog Owners of California. We (CFODC) OPPOSE this bill and have contacted the assembly local government committee with a letter of opposition. The hearing will be Wednesday, April 25th.
AB 2148 (Hayashi) - Guide Dogs reclaimed by agency. CFoDC supports at this time, although these agencies can already reclaim their dogs under current law. Ideally, contracts between the parties involved should specify all terms of the arrangement rather than more laws being passed. In the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection committee.
AB 2194 (Pan) - humane officers criminal background checks. Neutral. Watching. In the Assembly Public Safety Committee, hearing April 17th.
AB 2304 (Garrick) - Cosmetic Tooth Cleaning. Neutral. Would require written permission from owners for groomer to do nonmedical dental cleaning. Keeping an eye on this one. In Assembly Business Professions and Consumer Protection committee, hearing on 4-17.
AB 2444 (Portantino) - Amends definition of Grand theft to include when property "is taken as a result of an agreement or prior arrangement to
take and the taking is made in concert with one or more other individuals." CFoDC is neutral. In Assembly Public Safety Committee.
AB 2536 (Butler) - Stray Animal, Ownership - establishes a "finders, keepers" rule for lost dogs. Finders must report the stray dog to animal control but may keep in their custody and can obtain ownership after 14 day. We are OPPOSED. It is difficult enough for owners to reclaim their lost or stray dog without having 3rd parties involved. This bill would encourage animal theft. In Assembly Agriculture and Judiciary at this time.
AB 2540 (Gatto) - Would add tax to pet spa services and grooming services of $50 or more. CFODC OPPOSES. Hearing April 23rd in the Assembly Revenues and Taxation Committee.
County of Ventura has a Breed-specific mandatory spay neuter proposal for "pit bulls" as does the city of Upland.
And finally, the city of Los Angeles is proposing a ban on the sale of dogs, cats and even rabbits (!) in pet stores. The proposal would only allow sales by licensed "rescues" in pet stores. We are opposed to retail sales bans of animals.
Those clubs and individuals who have not yet joined or renewed their membership for 2012, we urge you to do so at this time so that we can advocate more effectively for you. Our membership form is available here: 
Thank you for your support, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have local news and information or suggestions for us.
Sincerely yours,
Officers and Board of Directors
California Federation of Dog Clubs
 ****A Message from the California Federation of Dog Clubs***permission to crosspost and forward****

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