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

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Date Published: 10/02/2019 09:00 PM
AB588:v93#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 588
CHAPTER 430

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

[ Approved by Governor  October 02, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  October 02, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 588, 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, to the best of the knowledge of the shelter or rescue group, 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 the circumstances related to the bite. The bill would require the animal shelter or rescue group to obtain a signed acknowledgment 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 civil fine not to exceed $500, imposed by the city or county in which the animal shelter or rescue group is located, 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 imposing new duties on local public officials, 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, 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 the statutory provisions noted above.
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, to the best of the knowledge of the shelter or rescue group, that a dog, at the age of 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 both of the following:
(1) Disclose in writing to the person to whom the dog is sold, given away, or transferred, the dog’s known bite history and the circumstances related to the bite.
(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.
(d) Notwithstanding Sections 31401 and 31402, any violation of this section shall be punished by a civil fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500), imposed by the city or county in which the animal shelter or rescue group is located. 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 civil 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 civil 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, to the best of the knowledge of the shelter or rescue group, that a dog, at the age of 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 both of the following:
(1) Disclose in writing to the person to whom the dog is sold, given away, or transferred, the dog’s known bite history and the circumstances related to the bite.
(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.
(d) Notwithstanding Sections 31401 and 31402, any violation of this section shall be punished by a civil fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500), imposed by the city or county in which the animal shelter or rescue group is located. 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 civil 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 civil 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.

 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.