CA AB 1634 - Same Number, New Bill

The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department is pleased to report that California...

The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department is pleased to report that California Assembly Bill 1634, which formerly attempted to impose the mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs six months of age or older with little exception, has been vastly amended.  Now entitled "Dog and cats: nonspayed or unneutered: civil penalties.", this is an entirely new bill with a familiar bill number. The bill, now co-authored by Senators Gloria Negrete McLeod and Alex Padilla, mandates a range of civil penalties in conjunction with animal control violations.

AB 1634 will be considered by the Senate Local Government Committee on Wednesday, June 25th, at 9:30AM.

Instead of the mandatory spay/neuter provisions it once provided, AB 1634 now:

  • Increases civil fines for intact impounded dogs, to $50 for the first occurrence, $100 for the second occurrence, and required owner-paid sterilization of the dog for the third occurrence. 
  • Increases civil fines for intact impounded cats, to $50 for the first occurrence, and required owner-paid sterilization of the cat for the second occurrence.
  • Establishes a new section of law that would set the same fines as above for any complaint, defined as any oral or written complaint that alleges the dog or owner has violated any provision of state or local animal control law.  The bill does not require that the complaint be made under oath, nor is it clear whether a complaint can be anonymous.  The bill further defines "complaint" as an observation of violation by a local animal control officer. This section will NOT apply to noise or barking dog complaints.

 

However, the American Kennel Club remains concerned that under this new bill localities are still permitted to enact mandatory spay/neuter laws, as well as the potential for abuse of enforcement. 

The American Kennel Club opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans, or mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs.  Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the health and welfare of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibility seriously.  However, the American Kennel Club recognizes the special obligation of dog owners, not only to their pets but also to their neighbors.  The AKC supports "curbing" and clean-up ordinances, leash laws, nuisance laws, and other reasonable regulations designed to ensure that dogs and their owners remain respected members of their communities. 

The American Kennel Club commends the California Senate Local Government Committee—especially chairwoman Gloria Negrete McLeod—on their leadership in crafting legislation aimed at addressing California's animal control issues. 

The AKC also congratulates the many dedicated Californians who have worked feverishly for 16 months in opposition to mandatory spay/neuter.  Their efforts have ensured that the rights and liberties of California's responsible dog owners and breeders were respected.

For more information on AB 1634, please contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.  Please return to AKC.org for the latest developments.