SB 250
Pet Responsibility Act
April 2, 2009

Existing law generally prohibits public pounds and private shelters from selling or giving away any dog or cat that has not been spayed or neutered; provides, under certain circumstances, for the sale or giving away of a dog or cat that has not been spayed or neutered upon the payment of a refundable deposit, as specified; provides for the imposition of fines or civil penalties against the owner of a nonspayed or unneutered dog or cat that is impounded by a public pound or private shelter; and immunizes cities and counties, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and humane societies from an action by the owner of a dog or cat for spaying or neutering the dog or cat in accordance with the law. A violation of any of these provisions is an infraction, punishable as specified.

This bill would provide, in addition, that every dog owner shall secure a license for the dog, as required by state or local law, and that no person shall own, keep, or harbor, except as specified, an unsterilized dog, as defined. It would make it unlawful for any person who owns, keeps, or harbors any unsterilized cat, as defined, 6 months of age or older to allow or permit that cat to roam at large. It would require any owner or custodian, as defined, of an unsterilized dog to have the animal sterilized at 6 months of age, obtain a certificate of sterility, or, if provided by local ordinance, obtain an unaltered dog license, which license shall be defined and issued as specified. The requirement to sterilize the dog may be appealed, as specified. It would require an owner or custodian of an unsterilized cat who permits that cat to roam at large to have the cat sterilized or obtain a certificate of sterility. It would allow an unaltered dog license to be denied, revoked, and reapplied for, as specified, and the licensing agency to utilize its existing procedures or to establish new procedures for any appeal of a denial or revocation of an unaltered dog license, as specified. The bill would authorize the licensing agency to assess a fee for the procedures related to the issuance, denial, or revocation of an unaltered dog license.