A bill that would allow law enforcement agencies to post public notices on their websites or social media before euthanizing seized birds and animals was passed overwhelmingly by the Assembly last week by a unanimous 71-1 vote.

The bill, AB 3035 by Assembly member Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), is sponsored by the California State Sheriff’s Association.

Existing law requires an officer who makes an arrest relating to dogfighting or animal abuse to lawfully take possession of the animals. If ownership of the seized animals or birds cannot be determined after reasonable efforts, the officer is authorized, after holding the animals or birds for a period of not less than 10 days, to petition a court for permission to euthanize the animals or birds. The petition is required to be published in a newspaper of general circulation. If AB 3035 becomes law, the petition would be allowed to be posted online.

The sheriffs claim that one newspaper charged $9,000 to publish the notice and they argue that local agencies strapped for revenue cannot afford to pay this cost.

CNPA and the ACLU are opposed to AB 3035.

The bill is now with the Senate Rules Committee where it awaits assignment to the appropriate policy committee, which most likely will be the Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill will not be heard until late July at the earliest.

CNPA staff will be reaching out to publishers in the coming weeks with information to contact the Senators below to let them know why they should vote No on the bill. Members of the Committee include:
Senator Nancy Skinner (Chair)
Senator John M. W. Moorlach (Vice Chair)
Senator Steven Bradford
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
Senator Holly J. Mitchell
Senator Mike Morrell
Senator Scott D. Wiener