California Assembly Bill 241, which would limit the number of intact dogs and cats any person could own for breeding and selling as pets, was amended on the Senate floor Aug. 24 and is now on its second reading.
The bill, which previously indicated that it would be a misdemeanor for any person to have more than a combined total of 50 adult (four months or older) unsterilized dogs and cats for breeding or raising them for sale as pets, has been amended to also include business entities.
The amended bill reads, “No person or business entity, as defined, shall own, possess, control or otherwise have charge or custody of more than a combined total of 50 adult unsterilized dogs and cats, in the state, at any time used for the purpose of breeding or raising dogs or cats for sale as pets.”
“Business entity” is defined as any company, firm, association, partnership, business trust, corporation, limited liability company or other legal entity.
This does not apply to public animal control agencies, shelters, rescue groups, veterinary facilities and research facilities.
In addition, the amended bill would make it a misdemeanor to act in concert with another person or to voluntarily assist a business entity in violating these provisions.
Those who possess too many dogs or cats would have to spay or neuter the excess animals or sell, transfer or relinquish the animals within 30 days. If necessary, any euthanasia would have to be performed by a licensed veterinarian or other qualified person.
AB 241 authorizes a peace officer, humane officer or animal control officer to take possession of any animal kept in violation.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the American Kennel Club continue to oppose the bill.
PIJAC said the “anti-pet bill” does nothing to advance animal welfare. Instead, “it will limit the availability of healthy well-socialized pet puppies from reputable breeders. Because the number of dogs permitted under this bill is completely arbitrary, proponents are advocating for the lowest limit they believe will be adopted in law. Next year, they can come back and seek to limit it further.”
The AKC argues that the quality of a breeder is not determined by the number of animals he has, but by the care the animals receive. “This legislation will not improve the lives of cats and dogs, will negatively impact responsible breeders and may force result in animals being euthanized or relinquished to shelters. Concentrating animal control efforts on dogs whose behavior demonstrates that they are a problem for the community would be a much better use of taxpayer funds.”