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 Public Safety Committee on a unanimous 7-0 vote.

The bill, AB 3035 by Assembly member Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), is sponsored by the California State Sheriff’s Association. 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.In his presentation of the bill, Patterson called the existing publication requirement of these notices a “monopoly” because there is no other option available to law enforcement agencies.

Patterson also told the committee that his staff called several newspapers in southern California to inquire about how much it would cost to publish an animal destruction notice. He reported that his staff received rate quotes between $8,000 and $11,000 to publish the ad.

CNPA and the ACLU testified in opposition to AB 3035.

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 bill will next be considered on the Assembly floor.