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AB-588 Animal shelters: disclosure: dog bites.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/22/2019 09:00 PM
AB588:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 22, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 27, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 588


Introduced by Assembly Member Chen
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Mullin)

February 14, 2019


An act to add Sections 30503.5 and 30526 to the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to animal shelters.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 588, as amended, Chen. Animal shelters: disclosure: dog bites.
Existing law governs the operation of animal shelters by, among other things, setting a minimum holding period for stray dogs, cats, and other specified animals, and requiring animal shelters to ensure that those animals, if adopted, are spayed or neutered.
This bill would require an animal shelter, defined to include a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group, that knows that a dog, at the age of 4 months or older, bit a person and broke that person’s skin, thus requiring a state-mandated bite quarantine, before selling, giving away, or otherwise releasing the dog, to disclose in writing to the person to whom the dog is released the dog’s bite history and other specified relevant information. the circumstances related to the bite. The bill would require the animal shelter or rescue group to obtain a signed acknowledgement from the person to whom the dog is sold, given away, or transferred that the person has been provided this information about the dog. The bill would make a violation of this law punishable by a $500 fine and would require the proceeds of that fine to be paid to either the local public animal control agency or shelter or the city or county, depending on whether the violation was committed by a private or public entity.
By establishing a new crime punishable by a fine, the bill would create a state-mandated local program.
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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 30503.5 is added to the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:

30503.5.
 (a) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Animal shelter” means a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group.
(2) “Rescue group” means a for-profit or not-for-profit entity or a collaboration of individuals that removes dogs from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane shelter, or rehomes a dog that has been previously owned by any person other than the original breeder of that dog.
(b) If an animal shelter or rescue group knows that a dog, at the age of 4 four months or older, bit a person and broke that person’s skin, thus requiring a state-mandated bite quarantine, the animal shelter or rescue group shall, before selling, giving away, or otherwise releasing the dog, do all both of the following:
(1) Disclose the following information in writing to the person to whom the dog is sold, given away, or transferred, without disclosing the identity of any bite victim: the dog’s known bite history and the circumstances related to the bite.

(A)The dog’s known bite history.

(B)Any additional information that is known to the animal shelter or rescue group about the dog, including, but not limited to, food aggression, a nonpersonally identifiable description of the bite victim, and any other circumstances related to the bite, to the best knowledge of the animal shelter or rescue group.

(2) Obtain a signed acknowledgement from the person to whom the dog is sold, given away, or transferred that the person has been provided information about the dog as required by this section. The animal shelter or rescue group shall provide the person with a copy of the signed acknowledgment and retain the original copy in its files.
(c) These documentation and disclosure requirements are for the purpose of public safety and the appropriate placement of dogs. A documented bite history does not necessarily preclude a dog from being available for adoption, release, or transfer, notwithstanding any other law or local ordinance related to biting dogs.

(c)

(d) Notwithstanding Sections 31401 and 31402, any violation of this section shall be punished by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). If the person who violates this section is a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group, the proceeds of the fine shall be paid to the local public animal control agency or shelter. If a public animal control agency or shelter violates this section, the proceeds of the fine shall be deposited into the treasury of the city or county in which the public animal control agency or shelter is located.

SEC. 2.

 Section 30526 is added to the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:

30526.
 (a) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Animal shelter” means a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group.
(2) “Rescue group” means a for-profit or not-for-profit entity or a collaboration of individuals that removes dogs from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane shelter, or rehomes a dog that has been previously owned by any person other than the original breeder of that dog.
(b) If an animal shelter or rescue group knows that a dog, at the age of 4 four months or older, bit a person and broke that person’s skin, thus requiring a state-mandated bite quarantine, the animal shelter or rescue group shall, before selling, giving away, or otherwise releasing the dog, do all both of the following:
(1) Disclose the following information in writing to the person to whom the dog is sold, given away, or transferred, without disclosing the identity of any bite victim: the dog’s known bite history and the circumstances related to the bite.

(A)The dog’s known bite history.

(B)Any additional information that is known to the animal shelter or rescue group about the dog, including, but not limited to, food aggression, a nonpersonally identifiable description of the bite victim, and any other circumstances related to the bite, to the best knowledge of the animal shelter or rescue group.

(2) Obtain a signed acknowledgment from the person to whom the dog is sold, given away, or transferred that the person has been provided information about the dog as required by this section. The animal shelter or rescue group shall provide the person with a copy of the signed acknowledgment and retain the original copy in its files.
(c) These documentation and disclosure requirements are for the purpose of public safety and the appropriate placement of dogs. A documented bite history does not necessarily preclude a dog from being available for adoption, release, or transfer, notwithstanding any other law or local ordinance related to biting dogs.

(c)

(d) Notwithstanding Sections 31401 and 31402, any violation of this section shall be punished by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). If the person who violates this section is a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group, the proceeds of the fine shall be paid to the local public animal control agency or shelter. If a public animal control agency or shelter violates this section, the proceeds of the fine shall be deposited into the treasury of the city or county in which the public animal control agency or shelter is located.

SEC. 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.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.