HSUS LAW–Seizure, Forfeiture, No Animals 5-10yr Applies to SB917

SB917, codified as CA PC597.4,  the HSUS law in CA passed in 2011–  is being spread nationwide (as expected)  and will likely  also cause loss of animals for 5-10 years under PC 597.9 .  The PC597.4 makes selling outside into animal abuse, but NOT if you are a non profit group.

Additional HSUS law passed under CA AB1117*** in 2011, mandates loss of animal ownership for 5-10 years if prosecuted under misdemeanor or felony in CA. AND HSUS made sure to “EXEMPT” alleged “non profits”, shelters and others from “animal abuse” which is both disparate, unethical, arbitrary+capricious,  illogical and far worse.

AND  even if you are acquitted, under the NEW law HSUS is currently pushing- for past few years— your animals are pre-seizure LIENED and you won’t get them back.

[Note: The purpose of SB917 is to set precedent that “selling” is illegal (while “adoption” is legal)……………… and by snagging people, the ARs hope to be able to charge one with PC 597 or 597.1…………….. thus making your case a felony or misdemeanor……..and thus subjecting one to loss of animals for 5-10 years.  

Citing authority will not be too happy to cite ONLY for  “infractions”, and as each animal is a separate count, it’s pretty easy to see that almost all charges will be  misdemeanor-felony, plus infraction, and then possibly dropping infraction and charging as felony because of multiple counts.

AB1117 MANDATES a 5 or 10 year sentence of no animals, see below at *** Amazingly in 2011, very few animal fanciers and animal businesses opposed AB1117, and not that many even opposed the even worse SB917 except for lobbyist for PetPAC, Pet Defense, and the the SPCA USSPCO, a few rabbit groups, a few hunting groups, and a few others.  It could be others opposed it and they were not on the opposition list.

To get owned animals  back (assuming you made all of the payments for storage)–and assuming you are acquitted— you THEN are forced to PROVE by separate HEARING that you must attend, WHY you are good enough to GET THEM BACK.  This is done, for example, in CA child dependency courts, where most parents lose their kids. That’s one reason there are so many foster kids, a truly broken-down system. You may recall in the SF Bay area a few years ago, CPS seized the son of a nurse who owned a rescue dog, when the rescue dog went after a little dog.

The owner lost her son for quite some time, and didn’t sue anyone later as the statute of limitations lapsed. She ended up getting her son back after the Court decided the dog was not dangerous. It is believed that her son was subject to child molestation in the foster home if we recall the news reports…They also got the dog back. We talked to the owner but she could not afford legal representation to prosecute a case.

In the arena of CA animal law it is likely most owners would also never see another animal again for years.  AND, IDA (in defense of animals) is publicly telling the public to take pictures and gather evidence so they can help you turn in people for selling animals……

Look at this, ARs telling people to ……..

Using this law, we can prevent the sale of thousands of animals every year in California and make business difficult for animal abusers and breeders. Enforcement is going to be difficult, so we need you to help monitor enforcement of this important new [PC 597.4] law.”

“IDA is calling on animal advocates across California to be vigilant and do some investigating in your community. Is there a flea market or carnival that sells live animals in your area? How about a parking lot or outside a grocery store? If you find animals being sold outdoors, take a photo of the animals and the area and contact us. We can assist you in assessing if the seller is in violation of the law (there are some exceptions) and contacting your local law enforcement and getting the sales stopped.  ”If you can help monitor enforcement of Section 597.4 (then lists contact#)”

“Selling” or “giving away” of animals or pets as an act,  should NEVER be categorized as animal abuse–  AND where selling and giving away is exempted only by “non profits”,  it loudly calls out for arbitrary and disparate enforcement, plus it likely tramples commercial speech.  It amounts to one standard for some animals and another standard for other animals.  It would be the same as saying buying a Bichon is illegal, and  it’s illegal animal abuse — but adopting a Bichon is legal and NOT animal abuse. It doesn’t get any more insane than that.

For organized shows, this ridiculous law exempts only the shows which include judging on the premises, which indicates competition.  Obviously many bird or reptile shows will not involve judging, but they could involve sales.  This law makes display and sales illegal with regard to location, which is crazy. This can be seen by viewing an “exemption” they carved out, which is for example, applied to a dog show. If dog trials were outside or obedience runs are outside, then it’s anyone’s guess of exactly what entity owns the exact property in that location, and even if it was privately leased to the County for $1.00 per month, would that make it public property?

So if it is public property or private property, why would that make it “abuse” vs “non-abuse?”  That is just plain arbitrary. In some jurisdictions, selling is disallowed, BUT it is not considered “animal abuse.” However, some places like Albuquerque, NM say that off leash, or no fencing=animal abuse. Even no microchip=abuse. Also it is illegal to give out a flyer advertising sale of animals.

One cannot be exempted from animal abuse in this fashion, no matter what HSUS claims.  The SB917  exemptions given by HSUS were mostly those that already did not apply,because of other regs already in place,  but HSUS made sure no exemption was made for poultry apparently, so no live animals can now be sold at Farmers’ Markets according to the Bay Area group that announced it.

The exemptions that were allowed were random and not based upon any set policy, no reasonable time place or manner conditions, nor did it take into account intent, since what difference does “swap meet/flea markets”  [which ARE exempted] vs Farmers Market have? In  Northern CA there are many parakeets and chicks sold at Farmers Markets within swap meets for example……

And we don’t care whether CA PC Sections 597, 597.1 597(b) or whatever it’s numbered— is called. The entire section of the Code is animal welfare and animal abuse. Calling it malicious mischief does not change that it is under the Code Section for animal abuse.

Actual ABUSE is ABUSE no matter what location, even if it’s INSIDE THE ANIMAL POUND, INSIDE THE RESCUE LOCATION, INSIDE A HOME. “Non profits” cannot, repeat, cannot– be exempted from animal abuse. Yet this law SB917 exempts it. By calling selling “abuse.” Then AB1117 further entrenches legal selling by claiming conviction misdemeanor will mandate no animals for 5-10 years. Can you imagine how this might work at a smaller dog show where 5 entrants or 5 owners do not have 100% compliance with EVERY state, county, local and Federal law even though the hosting organization is held out for 100% compliance? Who is at fault there?

***California  Bill Number:
A.B. 1117

Oct. 8, 2011: CA Gov. Jerry Brown has signed A.B. 1117 into law.

Now CA Penal Code 597.9

A.B. 1117  adds PC Sec. 597.9 that would requires:

The court would be required to bar the person convicted of a misdemeanor violation of the animal cruelty ( or ) animal fighting laws from “possessing, maintaining, having custody of, residing with, or caring for any animal for a period of not less than five years.” It would be a 10 year period for  receiving felony convictions.

One who violates these orders would be guilty of a public offense, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, by a fine
not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both.

Farm animals would be exempt if the owner files a petition establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the sanction “would result
in substantial or undue economic hardship to the defendant’s livelihood and that the defendant has the ability to properly care for, and does not present a danger to, the livestock in his or her possession.”

One can petition for a modification of an order barring such contact with animals and must prove by a preponderance of evidence,  that he or she:

(A) does not present a danger to animals.
(B) has the ability to properly care for all animals.
(C) has successfully completed all classes or counseling ordered by the court.

If the person meets this burden of proof, the court may reduce the mandatory ownership prohibition and may order that the
defendant comply with reasonable and unannounced inspections by animal control agencies or law enforcement.

A.B. 1117  provides that  if a seizure of animals is upheld, there is a lien   that requires owners to pay the full cost of care and treatment before the animal can be returned, regardless of the outcome of any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding or  of the value of the animal seized

SO— even if one was acquitted of all charges, one must STILL PAY the HUGE lien costs for storage, care and treatment.

The bill also clarifies that there is no right to a post seizure hearing on seizures undertaken pursuant to a warrantIn these situations the bill provides that the animal shall not be returned—- not only until the charges are paid—- but also unless the owner demonstrates that the he or she can and will
provide the necessary care and does not
present a danger to the animal.

The bill would authorize regardless that the prosecutor could seek forfeiture.

http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/597.9.html  Click here to read the regulation under the Penal Code.

Pet Defense stands ready to defend owners cited under PC 597.4 as unconstitutional.

3 thoughts on “HSUS LAW–Seizure, Forfeiture, No Animals 5-10yr Applies to SB917

  1. Just got charged under this law. Any chance there’s any legal aid especially since they let 12 other people doing the same thing get away as they were writing me a ticket?

  2. for us to respond to you, you must submit a name, email and phone number
    that can be verified so we can contact you. we do not use facebook.

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