The lobbying firm retained by SB 250 supporters has been giving a “Background Sheet” of misinformation about this bill to legislators.
CLAIM: SB 250 DOES NOT APPLY to an owner of a licensed dog or cat.
FACT: SB 250 DOES APPLY to the owner of a licensed dog.
SECTION 1. 30804.6 (b) of SB 250 reads:
(b) The licensing agency shall utilize its existing procedures or
may establish procedures for the denial or revocation of an
unaltered dog license and may deny or revoke a license for one or more of the following reasons:
(1) The owner, custodian, applicant or licensee is not in
compliance with all of the requirements of this section.
(2) The owner, custodian, applicant, or licensee has violated a
state law, or a city, county, or other local governmental provision
relating to the care and control of animals.
(3) Any unaltered dog license held by the applicant has been
revoked for violating a state law, or a city, county, or other local
government provision relating to the care or control of animals.
(4) The license application is discovered to contain a material
misrepresentation or omission of fact.
(5) In any case in which the owner or custodian of a dog with
an unaltered dog license is cited for permitting the dog to roam at
large, the license of the dog shall not be subject to revocation for
a first violation, if at the time the dog roams at large the dog
possesses a current license pursuant to Section 30801, Section
121690 of the Health and Safety Code, or as required by the local
This means that if a licensed dog is not wearing its collar and the owner is citied for the dog not wearing its license or rabies tag, the owner may have the unaltered dog licenses revoked for all dogs he then owns and also be forbidden from licensing any unaltered dogs ever again. Since dog licensing is mandatory under existing state law, the owner would not be allowed to own an intact dog ever again.
This means that if a licensed dog gets loose from its owner’s property twice within 15 years and the owner is cited for violating the leash law / at large law, the owner may have the unaltered dog licenses revoked for all dogs he then owns and also be forbidden from licensing any unaltered dogs ever again. Since dog licensing is mandatory under existing state law, the owner would not be allowed to own an intact dog ever again.
This does not encourage dog licensing. It is mandatory spay-neuter for all dogs a person owns now and into the future due to minor infractions already subject to appropriate fines. It is an excessive penalty, comparable to forbidding a person from registering a car due to a broken taillight.
CLAIM: SB 250 DOES NOT APPLY to an owner or breeder of any licensed dog used for shepherding, herding, guarding livestock, cultivating agricultural products, hunting or the purposes of field trials, or to any owner or trainer of a guide dog, signal dog, service dog, peace officer’s dog, or firefighter’s dog.
FACT: SB 250 DOES NOT adequately protect these dogs or other working dogs because:
- Before they become guide dogs for the blind, signal dogs for the deaf, or service dogs for the disabled – or breeding dogs used to produce the future generation these dogs — they spend the first year of their lives
unaltered and in the homes of volunteer puppy raisers. Puppy raisers are not legally the “owner or trainer” and these dogs are not yet “guide dogs, signal dogs, or service dogs”. While they are with puppy raisers,
these dogs are not exempt from the provisions in SB 250.
- Search-and-rescue dogs have no exemption at all in SB 250. Search-and-rescue area search and cadaver dogs work and train off leash and without their collars for safety reasons. Many local ordinances make no exceptions for search-and-rescue dogs in their leash laws / at large laws or in their requirements that dogs wear their license or rabies tags. SB 250 increases penalties for search-and-rescue dog owners to include revocation or denial of unaltered dog licenses.
- Before they become peace officer’s dogs for police service work, drug sniffing, or bomb sniffing, these dogs are in pet homes. Most of the time neither the dog owner nor anyone else has any idea he is raising a
future law enforcement dog. These are dogs bred for work that may grow up into adults that are “too much dog” for the pet owner to handle. If this happens the dogs are rehomed back to the breeder or other intermediary, and if suitable end up in being sold to law enforcement. But before this happens these dogs are subject to all of the same provisions in the law as any other pet. SB 250 does not have an exemption during that time, and cannot do so because no one – not even the pet owner – knows he is raising a future law enforcement dog. Dogs that a spayed or neutered before they are 18 to 24 months of age rarely grow up to be suitable for police service work.
- Dogs used for shepherding, herding, guarding livestock, and cultivating agricultural products are not protected from the provisions of SB 250 because the bill allows local ordinances to override the exemption.
- Dogs used for hunting and field trials are not protected from the provisions of SB 250 because the bill allows local ordinances to override the exemption.
- The breeding populations that produce the next generation of working dogs are largely unprotected. With or without exemptions for the working dogs themselves, or those owned by today’s breeders, there is no way to craft exemption language to protect the breeding populations required to supply future working dogs because a large percentage of future breeding dogs for work are not in the homes of today’s breeders or working dog handlers. They are not legally distinguishable from pet dogs.