Monday, May 24, 2010

ACTION ALERT: First Strike and You're Out: A Model Law

May 12, 2010: Bill to Create Online for Animal Abusers

The Senate Appropriations Committee has placed S.B. 1277 in a suspense file, meaning it could cost the state more than $150,000 and the committee will consider it later. It also means the bill will die unless it is affirmately released from the suspense file for further action...

...Last year Sen. Florez introduced a bill that would have strengthened judges' authority to keep convicted abusers away from animals, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it. An online registry is certainly an alternative. .." More

Feb 19, 2010: Senate Bill No. 1277 (.pdf)

March 4th, 2010: A Special Message from California Senator Dean Florez

by Senator Dean Florez

As California's Senate Majority Leader, I take the job of protecting Californians and their animals very seriously. Experts have proven a strong correlation between violence against animals and incidents of domestic abuse. I believe we should have tough laws in place to protect both people and animals from violence.

That's why, last week, I was joined by the Animal Legal Defense Fund's Executive Director Stephen Wells in Sacramento to announce that I am sponsoring tough new legislation that will create a public registry for criminals convicted of felony animal abuse.

On the same day, ALDF launched its national campaign to push for animal abuser registries in all 50 states.
Contact your own legislator asking for animal abuser legislation where you live at ALDF's special website,

If someone has been convicted of animal cruelty, I believe they should be prohibited from owning any animals in the future. The animal abuser registry will be an effective tool in preventing ownership of animals by convicted animal abusers..."

Jun 13, 2009: Gov. Schwarzenegger Vetoes CA Bill to Limit Abusers' Access to Animals

Update October 12, 2009: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has, however, vetoed AB 243, a bill passed by the California legislature that would have banned ownership or possession of any animal for 5 years upon conviction of misdemeanor animal cruelty and 10 years for felony crimes against animals. Anyone caught owning or possessing an animal in violation of this would have been guilty of only a misdemeanor.

May 17, 2009: A Proposal for Mandatory Bans on Contact with Animals Following a Conviction for Animal Neglect or Cruelty

Currently, most states have no mandatory requirements keeping those who are convicted of animal abuse crimes away from animals following their convictions. This despite the fact that offenders have demonstrated, through their actions, their utter disregard for the welfare of animals, and that recidivism in some types of animal abuse cases can reach 100%.

Yet having an animal in one’s life is a privilege, not a right – and with that privilege comes certain responsibilities, including the responsibility of providing adequate care and otherwise not abusing or neglecting the animal. The Animal Legal Defense Fund's First Strike and You're Out law provides another tool to help combat animal neglect and cruelty by mandating that those who are convicted of a violation of their state animal protection laws are prohibited from owning or having contact with animals for a set period of time, ranging from five years for a first misdemeanor offense up to the lifetime of the offender following a second felony offense.

Enacting a First Strike and You're Out law in your state will help in the fight against animal neglect and cruelty by keeping offenders away from potential new animal victims, which would, for example, help stem the high rate of recidivism often associated with animal hoarding. This proposal will also help reduce the huge economic toll which repeat offenders impose on their communities – hoarding cases in particular are very costly, often requiring the cooperation of several local agencies.

First Strike and You're Out Law Highlights

  • Separates offenders from potential new victims
  • Will help to reduce future crimes against animals and save limited community resources
  • Those who have been convicted of animal neglect or cruelty have demonstrated, through their actions, their irresponsibility with animals. This justifies having a set period of time where they are not allowed contact with them.
  • Addresses high recidivism rates (near 100%) for certain offenders (i.e. animal hoarders)

How You Can Help

Animal Advocates:
Please contact your state legislators today and ask them to support a First Strike and You're Out law for those who are convicted of animal neglect or cruelty.

For more information on ALDF's model law, or for assistance in drafting a First Strike and You're Out law for your state, please download the following forms or contact

First Strike and You're Out Model Law: Information (PDF)
First Strike and You're Out Model Law: Text (PDF)

ALDF's complete model law collection can be found in the Resources section of our website..." More