SS/SCS/SBs 113 & 95 - This act modifies provisions of the Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) and the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.
Currently under the ACFA, the maximum fee for obtaining a license to operate certain dog facilities is $500 per year. The act increases this maximum to $2,500 per year. The act additionally requires a licensee to pay a $25 fee each year to be used by the Department of Agriculture for Operation Bark Alert.
The act changes the name of the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act to the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act and modifies many of the act's definitions. Anyone subject to the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act must retain all veterinary and sales records for the most recent previous 2 years and make the records available upon request.
Current law prohibits anyone from having more than 50 dogs when the purpose is to breed them and sell the resulting puppies. The act removes this prohibition.
The act removes the current criminal penalty provision under the the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act and adds new penalty and enforcement provisions to the ACFA and the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act. Where the state veterinarian or an animal welfare official finds that past violations of the ACFA or Canine Cruelty Prevention Act have not been corrected, the director of the Department of Agriculture may refer such cases to the Attorney General or a local prosecutor who may bring an action seeking a restraining order, injunction, or a remedial order to correct the violations. The court may assess a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation. Additionally, the act creates the crime of canine cruelty, a Class C misdemeanor, which occurs when someone repeatedly violates the ACFA or Canine Cruelty Prevention Act in such a manner that poses a substantial risk to the health and welfare of animals in the person's custody or when someone violates an agreed-to remedial order involving the safety and welfare of the animals. A second or subsequent offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
The act makes it a Class A misdemeanor for anyone required to have a license under the ACFA to keep his or her animals in stacked cages where there is no impervious layer between the cages, except if cleaning the cages.
The act contains an emergency clause.