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AB-2343 Stray animals: pounds and shelters: adoption of dogs and cats.(2013-2014)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  April 21, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 10, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2343


Introduced by Assembly Member Gatto

February 21, 2014


An act to amend Sections 31108, 31751.3, and 31752, and 31754 of the Food and Agricultural Code, and to add Section 17581.8 to the Government Code, relating to stray animals.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2343, as amended, Gatto. Stray animals: pounds and shelters: adoption of dogs and cats.
(1) Existing law specifies that no stray dog or cat impounded by a public or private shelter shall be euthanized before 6 business days after the stray dog or cat is impounded, not including the day of impoundment, and requires that the stray dog or cat be released to a nonprofit animal rescue or adoption organization prior to the scheduled euthanasia of the stray dog or cat in certain circumstances, subject to specified exceptions. Existing law requires that a public or private shelter make reasonable efforts to contact the owner of a stray dog or cat that is impounded and notify him or her that his or her dog or cat is impounded and is available for redemption. Existing law requires that a stray dog or cat be held for owner redemption during the first 3 days of the holding period, not including the day of impoundment, and be available for owner redemption or adoption for the remainder of the holding period.
This bill would, instead, for any local governmental entity that receives specified block grant funding, prohibit a stray dog or cat from being euthanized or otherwise disposed of until after that required holding period, except as provided. The bill would require that any stray dog impounded or stray cat admitted to a shelter pursuant to those provisions be made available for owner redemption, adoption, or release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization, as defined, during the required holding period, except as provided. The bill would require that any stray dog or cat with identification, as defined, be held exclusively for owner redemption during the entire holding period, and any stray dog without identification be held exclusively during the first 72 hours of the holding period and then may be made available for adoption or release to an animal rescue or adoption organization, and would authorize a public or private shelter to make available for adoption or release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization, any stray cat without identification that is admitted to a public private or shelter at any time. The bill would authorize a public or private shelter to make available for adoption or release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization, each member of a litter of puppies without identification, consisting of 3 or more stray dogs under 4 months of age that originated from the same location.

This bill would also specify that, for any local governmental entity that receives specified block funding, any animal that is of a species admitted by public or private shelters may be made immediately available for adoption or release to an animal rescue or adoption organization, but, if the animal is not so adopted or released, would prohibit the animal from being euthanized or otherwise disposed of until after expiration of the holding periods applicable to stray dogs and cats.

By imposing new duties on local officials with regard to the operation of public pounds and animal shelters, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Under the California Constitution, whenever the Legislature or a state agency mandates a new program or higher level of service on any local government, the state is required to provide a subvention of funds to reimburse the local government, with specified exceptions.
Existing law provides that no local agency shall be required to implement or give effect to any statute or executive order, or portion thereof, that imposes a mandate during any fiscal year and for the period immediately following that fiscal year if specified conditions are met, including that the statute or executive order, or portion thereof, has been specifically identified by the Legislature in the Budget Act for the fiscal year as being one for which reimbursement is not provided for that fiscal year.
This bill would provide that funding apportioned pursuant to a specified provision of the bill for use for prescribed purposes relating to providing care for impounded animals in shelters shall constitute constitutionally required reimbursement for the performance of any state mandates included in the statutes and executive orders identified in that provision. The bill would authorize a city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority to elect to receive specified state block grant funding provided under the annual Budget Act, and administered by the State Department of Public Health, if the city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority complies with specified procedures for securing funds, and uses any funds received for those specified purposes relating to the provision of mandated care for impounded animals in shelters. The bill would provide that the grant funding shall constitute the constitutionally required reimbursement for the provision of that mandated care. The bill would require a city, county, city and county or joint powers authority that elects not to apply for that block grant funding to hold a public hearing, during which it shall be required to make a finding regarding its decision not to apply for that funding, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program by mandating new duties on local governmental entities. funding.
(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) California has long sought to protect the welfare and interests of homeless animals.
(2) With the passage of the “Hayden Law” (Ch. 752, Stats. 1998), California codified longer holding periods for homeless animals in shelters and, among other things, required shelters to provide necessary veterinary care, to post lost and found lists, and to release animals scheduled to be euthanized to animal adoption and rescue organizations.
(3) The Commission on State Mandates ruled in 2001 that some policies of the Hayden Law are reimbursable mandates, which led to multiyear suspensions of funding for animal shelters during the state’s budget crisis.
(4) The vulnerability of these policies governing the treatment of homeless animals in shelters prompted the formation of a statewide stakeholders group that evaluated outcomes, developed best practices, and proposed solutions to help meet the state’s policy goal that no adoptable or treatable animal should be euthanized if it can be adopted into a suitable home, while addressing the state mandate funding issues.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that $10 million should be appropriated in the 2015–16 Budget Act of 2015 to fund the state block grant program established pursuant to Section 17581.8 of the Government Code. Code, as added by this act.
(c) It is further the intent of the Legislature that funds from the block grant program established pursuant to Section 17581.8 of the Government Code should be administered by the State Department of Public Health, with a portion of those funds used for the care of stray animals in shelters.

SEC. 2.

 Section 31108 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:

31108.
 (a) Except as provided in Section 17006, for any local governmental entity that receives block grant funding under Section 17581.8 of the Government Code, no stray dog impounded pursuant to this division shall be euthanized or otherwise disposed of until after the expiration of the required holding period, which shall be six business days, not including the day of impoundment, except as follows:
(1) If the public or private shelter has made the dog available for owner redemption on one weekday evening until at least 7 p.m. or one weekend day, the holding period shall be four business days, not including the day of impoundment.
(2) If the public or private shelter has fewer than three full-time employees or is not open during all regular weekday business hours, and if it has established a procedure to enable owners to reclaim their dogs by appointment at a mutually agreeable time when the public or private shelter would otherwise be closed, the holding period shall be four business days, not including the day of impoundment.
(b) (1) In addition to the prohibition against euthanasia set forth in subdivision (a), a stray dog impounded pursuant to this division shall be made available for owner redemption, adoption, or release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization during the required holding period, as follows:
(A) A stray dog with identification shall be held exclusively for owner redemption during the entire holding period.
(B) A stray dog without identification shall be held exclusively for owner redemption during the first 72 hours of the holding period, and then may be made available for adoption or release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization.
(C) Each member of a litter of puppies without identification, consisting of three or more stray dogs under four months of age that originated from the same location, may be made available for adoption or release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization at any time.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent an owner from reclaiming his or her dog during or after any required holding period, pursuant to applicable law, if the public or private shelter still has physical possession of the dog.
(c) Except as provided in Section 17006, a stray dog that is impounded pursuant to this division shall, before the euthanasia of that animal, be released to a nonprofit, as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, animal rescue group or adoption organization if requested by the group or organization before the scheduled euthanasia of that animal. The public or private shelter may enter into cooperative agreements with any animal rescue group or adoption organization. In addition to any required spay or neuter deposit, the public or private shelter, at its discretion, may assess a fee, not to exceed the standard adoption fee, for animals adopted or released.
(d) During the holding period required by this section and before the adoption, release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization, or euthanasia of a dog impounded pursuant to this division, a public or private shelter shall scan the dog for a microchip that identifies the owner of that dog and shall make reasonable efforts to contact the owner and notify him or her that his or her dog is impounded and is available for redemption.
(e) As used in this division, a “business day” includes any day that a public or private shelter is open to the public for at least four hours, excluding state holidays.
(f) As used in this section, “identification” means a microchip, a readily visible license tag, as prescribed by Section 30951, a rabies vaccination tag, or other tag, tattoo, marking, or accessory that displays the identity or contact information of the owner or caretaker of the dog.

(g)As used in this section, an “animal rescue or adoption organization” is a for-profit or nonprofit, as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, entity, or a collaboration of individuals with at least one of its purposes being the sale or placement of any dog that has been removed from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane society shelter, or that has been previously owned by any person other than the original breeder of that dog.

SEC. 3.

 Section 31751.3 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:

31751.3.
 (a) (1)Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), no public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or animal rescue or adoption organization group shall sell, or give away to a new owner, any cat that has not been spayed or neutered.

(2)For purposes of this chapter, an “animal rescue or adoption organization” is a for-profit or not-for-profit, as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, entity, or a collaboration of individuals with at least one of its purposes being the sale or placement of cats that have been removed from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane society shelter, or that have been previously owned by any person other than the original breeder of that cat.

(b) (1) If a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state certifies that a cat is too sick or injured to be spayed or neutered, or that it would otherwise be detrimental to the health of the cat to be spayed or neutered, the adopter or purchaser shall pay the public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or animal rescue or adoption organization group a deposit of not less than forty dollars ($40), and not more than seventy-five dollars ($75).
(2) The entity shall establish the amount of the deposit at the level it determines is necessary to encourage the spaying or neutering of cats.
(3) The deposit shall be temporary, and shall only be retained until the cat is healthy enough to be spayed or neutered, as certified by a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state.
(4) The cat shall be spayed or neutered within 14 business days of that certification.
(5) The adopter or purchaser shall obtain written proof of spaying or neutering from the veterinarian performing the operation.
(6) If the adopter or purchaser presents proof of spaying or neutering to the entity from which the cat was obtained within 30 business days of obtaining the proof, the adopter or purchaser shall receive a full refund of the deposit.
(c) Public animal control agencies or shelters, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelters, humane society shelters, and animal rescue or adoption organizations groups may enter into cooperative agreements with each other and with veterinarians in lieu of requiring spaying and neutering deposits to carry out this section.
(d) Any funds from unclaimed deposits made pursuant to this section, as it read on January 1, 1999, and any funds from deposits unclaimed after January 1, 2000, may be expended only for programs to spay or neuter cats and dogs, including agreements with a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or a humane society or licensed veterinarian, to operate a program to spay or neuter cats and dogs.
(e) This section only applies to a county that has a population exceeding 100,000 persons as of January 1, 2000, and to cities within that county.

SEC. 4.

 Section 31752 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:

31752.
 (a) Except as provided in Section 17006, for any local governmental entity that receives block grant funding under Section 17581.8 of the Government Code, no stray cat admitted to a public or private shelter shall be euthanized or otherwise disposed of until after the expiration of the required holding period, which shall be six business days, not including the day of admission, except as follows:
(1) If the public or private shelter has made the cat available for owner redemption on one weekday evening until at least 7 p.m. or one weekend day, the holding period shall be four business days, not including the day of admission.
(2) If the public or private shelter has fewer than three full-time employees or is not open during all regular weekday business hours, and if it has established a procedure to enable owners to reclaim their cats by appointment at a mutually agreeable time when the public or private shelter would otherwise be closed, the holding period shall be four business days, not including the day of admission.
(b) (1) In addition to the prohibition against euthanasia set forth in subdivision (a), a stray cat admitted to a public or private shelter shall be made available for owner redemption, adoption, or release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization during the required holding period, as follows:
(A) Any stray cat with identification shall be held exclusively for owner redemption during the entire holding period.
(B) Any stray cat without identification may be made available for adoption or release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization at any time.
(2) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent an owner from reclaiming his or her cat during or after any required holding period, pursuant to applicable law, if the public or private shelter still has physical possession of the cat.
(c) Except as provided in Section 17006, any stray cat that is admitted pursuant to this division shall, before the euthanasia of that animal, be released to a for-profit or nonprofit, as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, animal rescue group or adoption organization if requested by the group or organization before the scheduled euthanasia of that animal. In addition to any required spay or neuter deposit, the public or private shelter, at its discretion, may assess a fee, not to exceed the standard adoption fee, for animals adopted or released. The public or private shelter may enter into cooperative agreements with any animal rescue group or adoption organization, for purposes of compliance with this section.
(d) During the holding period required by this section and before the adoption, release to an animal rescue group or adoption organization, or euthanasia of a cat admitted pursuant to this division, a public or private shelter shall scan the cat for a microchip that identifies the owner of that cat and shall make reasonable efforts to contact the owner and notify him or her that his or her cat is admitted and is available for redemption.
(e) As used in this division, a “business day” includes any day that a public or private shelter is open to the public for at least four hours, excluding state holidays.
(f) As used in this section, “identification” means a microchip, a readily visible license tag, rabies vaccination tag, or other tag, tattoo, marking, or accessory that displays the identity or contact information of the owner or caretaker of the cat.

(g)As used in this section, an “animal rescue or adoption organization” is a for-profit or nonprofit, as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, entity, or a collaboration of individuals with at least one of its purposes being the sale or placement of any cat that has been removed from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane society shelter, or that has been previously owned by any person other than the original breeder of that cat.

SEC. 5.Section 31754 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:
31754.

(a)Except as provided in Section 17006, for any local governmental entity that receives block grant funding under Section 17581.8 of the Government Code, any animal relinquished by the purported owner or any other person with the authority to relinquish the animal that is of a species admitted by public or private shelters may be made immediately available for adoption or release to an animal rescue or adoption organization, but if not so adopted or released, shall not be euthanized or otherwise disposed of until the expiration of the holding period applicable to stray dogs in Section 31108 and stray cats in Section 31752.

(b)Nothing in this section is intended to require a public or private shelter to admit an animal that is relinquished by the owner.

SEC. 6.SEC. 5.

 Section 17581.8 is added to the Government Code, to read:

17581.8.
 (a) Funding apportioned pursuant to this section shall constitute reimbursement pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for the performance of any state mandates included in the statutes and executive orders identified in subdivision (e).
(b) (1) A city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority may elect to receive block grant funding pursuant to this section.
(2) The State Department of Public Health shall administer the block grant funding program established under this section.
(c) (1) A city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority that elects to receive block grant funding pursuant to this section in a given fiscal year shall submit a letter requesting funding to the State Department of Public Health on or before August 30 of the fiscal year in which the funding is available.
(2) The State Department of Public Health shall, no later than November 30 of each fiscal year in which the funding is available, apportion block grant funding appropriated under a specified item under Section 2.00 of the annual Budget Act to a city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority that submitted a letter to the department requesting funding in that fiscal year according to the provisions of that item.
(3) A city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority that receives block grant funding pursuant to this section shall not be eligible to submit claims to the Controller for reimbursement pursuant to Section 17560 for any costs of any state mandates included in the statutes and executive orders identified in subdivision (e) incurred in the same fiscal year during which the city, county, city and county or joint powers authority received funding pursuant to this section.
(d) Block grant funding apportioned pursuant to this section is subject to annual financial and compliance audits.
(e) If a city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority elects to receive block grant funding under this section, any block grant funds received by the city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority shall be used to fund the costs of the following programs and activities:
(1) Providing care and maintenance during the holding periods for impounded animals imposed under Sections 31108 and 31752 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
(2) Providing care and maintenance for four business days from the day after impoundment, or six business days from the day after impoundment, for impounded rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pot-bellied pigs, birds, lizards, snakes, turtles, or tortoises, as legally allowed as personal property, pursuant to Section 31753 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
(3) For impounded animals held for four business days after the day of impoundment, for either of the following purposes:
(A) Making the animal available for owner redemption on one weekday evening until at least 7:00 pm, or one weekend day.
(B) For those local agencies with fewer than three full-time employees or that are not open during all regular weekday business hours, establishing a procedure to enable owners to reclaim their animals by appointment at a mutually agreeable time when the agency would otherwise be closed, pursuant to Sections 31108, 31752, and 31753 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
(4) Verifying whether a cat is feral or tame by using a standardized protocol prescribed in subdivision (c) to Section 31752.5 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
(5) Posting lost and found animal lists pursuant to Section 32001 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
(6) Maintaining records on animals that are not medically treated by a veterinarian, but are either taken up, euthanized after the holding period, or impounded, pursuant to Section 32003 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
(7) Providing “necessary and prompt veterinary care” for abandoned animals, other than injured cats and dogs given emergency treatment, pursuant to Sections 1834 and 1846 of the Civil Code.
(f) A city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority that elects not to apply for block grant funding under this section shall hold a public hearing, during which time it shall make a finding regarding its decision not to apply for that funding.
(g) Nothing in this section shall preclude a city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority from complying with any required holding period for an impounded animal that is in effect on January 1, 2015.
(h) No more than 4 percent of the block grant funds made available under this section to a city, county, city and county, or joint powers authority shall be used for administrative costs.

SEC. 7.SEC. 6.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.