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California

West's Annotated California Codes Health and Safety Code Division 105. Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Part 6. Veterinary Public Health and Safety Chapter 4. Animal Control

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: West's Ann.Cal.Health & Safety Code 121875 - 121945

Citation: CA HLTH & S 121875 - 12945


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2012

Summary:   Beyond being domestic pets, dogs provide many services to humans, such as tracking scents and guarding facilities. Below is a collection of California laws, collectively known as the Dog Act, that set out definitions, requirements, and penalties relating to guard dogs, tracking dogs, narcotics dogs, sentry dogs and the people who handle them.


Statute in Full:
§ 121875. Short Title

§ 121880. “Sentry Dog” Defined

§ 121881. “Guard Dog” and “Attack Dog” Defined

§ 121885. “Narcotic Detection Dog” Defined

§ 121890. “Tracker Dog” Defined

§ 121895. “Sentry Dog Company” Defined

§ 121896. “Trainer” Defined

§ 121900. “Dog Handler” Defined

§ 121905. “Hire” Defined

§ 121906. “Person” Defined

§ 121907. “Owner” Defined

§ 121910. Registration of Dogs by Sentry Dog Company

§ 121915. Notice of Assignments of Sentry Dogs; Maintenance of Assignment File

§ 121916. Permit to Own or Operate Business to Sell, Rent, or Train an Attack, Guard, or Sentry Dog; Adoption and Implementation of Local Agency Permit Program

§ 121917. List of Types of Animals to be Kept or Used with Respect to § 121916; Emergency Numbers; Maximum Number of Animals; Name and Address of Persons from Whom Animals Are Received or to Whom Animals Are Sold; Changes; Responsibilities of Permittee

§ 121918. Adoption of Ordinances for Protection and Welfare of Dogs

§ 121919. Grounds for Suspension or Revocation of Permit

§ 121920. Owner Identification in National Registry; Identification Tag on Dog; Contents

§ 121921. Requirements to Sell, Give Away, or Let for Hire Any Guard, Attack, or Sentry Dog

§ 121925. Humane Transportation

§ 121930. Visits by Dog Handler

§ 121935. Taking into or Keeping in Business Establishment Open to General Public; Requirements

§ 121940. Punishment

§ 121945. Civil Penalties for Violations



§ 121875. Short title

This chapter may be cited as “The Dog Act of 1969.”

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121880. “Sentry dog” defined

For the purposes of this chapter, “sentry dog” means a dog trained to work without supervision in a fenced facility and to deter or detain unauthorized persons found within the facility.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121881. “Guard dog” and “attack dog” defined

For purposes of this chapter, “guard dog” or “attack dog” means any dog trained to guard, protect, patrol, or defend any premises, area, or yard, or any dog trained as a sentry or to protect, defend, or guard any person or property, or any dog such as a schutzhund or any similar classification.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 1.)

§ 121885. “Narcotic detection dog” defined

For the purposes of this chapter, “narcotic detection dog” means a dog trained to locate narcotics by scent.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121890. “Tracker dog” defined

For purposes of this chapter, “tracker dog” means a dog trained to work with a handler in searching facilities for burglary 
suspects and other intruders.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7. Amended by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 2.)

§ 121895. “Sentry dog company” defined


For the purposes of this chapter, “sentry dog company” means any person who agrees to furnish trained sentry, attack, or  narcotic detection dogs for hire.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121896. “Trainer” defined

For purposes of this chapter, “trainer” means any person who engages in the practice of training any attack, guard, or sentry dog.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 3.)

§ 121900. “Dog handler” defined

For the purposes of this chapter “dog handler” means any person trained in the handling of dogs whose training includes the care, feeding, and maintenance of dogs, and the procedures necessary to control the behavior of a dog subject to this chapter.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121905. “Hire” defined

For the purposes of this chapter “hire” shall include, but not be limited to, the renting or leasing of the services of a dog with or without a dog handler, or the sale of a dog with an option to repurchase.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121906. “Person” defined

“Person” means any individual, partnership, firm, joint stock company, corporation, association, trust, estate, or other legal entity.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 4.)

§ 121907. “Owner” defined

“Owner” means any person who has purchased, or obtained legal custody of, an attack, guard, or sentry dog.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 5.)

§ 121910. Registration of dogs by sentry dog company

Each sentry dog company shall register each dog subject to this chapter that it handles with the local law enforcement agency and with the state, city, county, or district fire department that has the responsibility for the prevention and suppression of fires in the area where the sentry dog company is located.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121915. Notice of assignments of sentry dogs; maintenance of assignment file

Each sentry dog company that handles a dog subject to this chapter shall notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency and the appropriate fire department by mail not more than 15 days before a dog is sent on an assignment of the location and duration of the assignment. The local law enforcement agency and fire department shall maintain a file of the assignments.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121916. Permit to own or operate business to sell, rent, or train an attack, guard, or sentry dog; adoption and implementation of local agency permit program

(a) Any person or owner of an attack, guard, or sentry dog that operates or maintains a business to sell, rent, or train an attack, guard, or sentry dog shall obtain a permit from the local public agency or private society or pound contracting with the local public agency for animal care or protection services.

(b) Each local agency shall adopt and implement a permit program for the administration of subdivision (a) by the local agency or private society or pound contracting with the local public agency for animal care or protection services. A local agency may charge a fee for the issuance or renewal of a permit required under this section. The fee shall not exceed the actual costs for the implementation of the permit program.

(c) For purposes of this section, “local public agency” means a city, county, or city and county.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 6.)

§ 121917. List of types of animals to be kept or used with respect to § 121916; emergency numbers; maximum number of animals; name and address of persons from whom animals are received or to whom animals are sold; changes; responsibilities of permittee

(a) An applicant, when applying for a permit pursuant to Section 121916, shall furnish the local public agency with a list of the types of animals to be kept or used for any purpose, with the estimated maximum number of animals to be kept.

(b) An applicant shall furnish the local public agency with the name and the telephone number of a responsible person who has access to the animals and who can be reached during an emergency.

(c) An applicant shall notify the local public agency when any animal for which a permit is required is kept or maintained.

(d) The local public agency may establish the maximum number of animals to be kept or maintained on the premises.

(e) Any permittee shall report in writing any change in address, ownership, or management to the local public agency at least 15 days prior to any change.

(f) Any permittee shall maintain a register of the name and address of any person from whom any animal is received and to whom any animal is sold, traded, or given. This list shall be available to the local public agency representative upon demand.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 7.)

§ 121918. Adoption of ordinances for protection and welfare of dogs

For the protection and welfare of any dog under this chapter, the local public agency may adopt an ordinance to require or prohibit any of the following:
(a) Any permittee shall supply each animal with sufficient, good, and wholesome food and water as often as the feeding habits of the animal requires.

(b) Any permittee shall keep each animal and animal quarters in a clean and sanitary condition.

(c) Any permittee shall provide each animal with proper shelter and protection from the weather at all times. An animal shall not be overcrowded or exposed to temperatures detrimental to the welfare of the animal.

(d) Any permittee shall not allow any animal to be without care or control in excess of 12 consecutive hours.

(e) Any permittee shall take every reasonable precaution to ensure that no animal is teased, abused, mistreated, annoyed, tormented, or in any manner made to suffer by any person or by any means.

(f) Any permittee shall not maintain or allow any animal to exist in any manner that is, or could be, injurious to that animal.

(g) Any permittee shall not give an animal any alcoholic beverage, unless prescribed by a veterinarian.

(h) Animals that are natural enemies, temperamentally unsuited, or otherwise incompatible, shall not be quartered together or so near each other as to cause injury, fear, or torment.

(i) Any tack equipment, device, substance, or material that is, or could be, injurious or cause unnecessary cruelty to any animal shall be prohibited.

(j) The permittee shall keep or maintain animals confined at all times on the premises for which the permit has been issued, unless special permission to remove the animals has been obtained from the department. The permittee shall have full responsibility for recapturing any animal that escapes.

(k) The permittee shall give proper rest periods to any working animal. Any confined or restrained animal shall be given exercise proper for the individual animal under the particular conditions.

(l) The permittee shall not work, use, or rent any animal that is overheated, weakened, exhausted, sick, injured, diseased, lame, or otherwise unfit.

(m) No animal that the local public agency has suspended from use shall be worked or used until released by the local public agency.

(n) The permittee shall display no animal bearing evidence of malnutrition, ill health, unhealed injury, or having been kept in an unsanitary condition.

(o) The permittee shall keep or maintain each animal in a manner as may be prescribed to protect the public from the animal, and the animal from the public.

(p) The local public agency may order any animal to be taken to a veterinarian for examination or treatment.

(q) The permittee shall display no animal whose appearance is, or may be, offensive or contrary to public decency.

(r) The permittee shall allow no animal to constitute or cause a hazard or be a menace to the health, peace, or safety of the community.

(s) The permittee shall isolate at all times any sick or diseased animal from any healthy animal, and adequately segregate them so that the illness or disease will not be transmitted from one animal to another. In the case of pet shops, no sick, diseased, or injured animal defined by this chapter may be maintained on the premises for any purpose. Any sick or injured animal shall be isolated and given proper medical treatment.

(t) The permittee shall immediately notify the owner of any animal held on consignment or boarded if the animal refuses to eat or drink beyond a reasonable period, is injured, becomes sick, or dies. In case of death, permittee shall retain the body for 12 hours after notification has been sent to the owner.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 8.)

§ 121919. Grounds for suspension or revocation of permit

The local public agency may suspend or revoke a permit issued under this chapter if the local public agency determines that the permittee has done any of the following:

(a) Made any false statement or given any false information in connection with an application for a license or a renewal or reinstatement thereof.

(b) Violated any provisions of this chapter.

(c) Violated any rule of an ordinance adopted pursuant to the authority contained in this chapter.

(d) Committed any other act that would be grounds for denial of a license.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 9.)

§ 121920. Owner identification in national registry; identification tag on dog; contents


(a) The owner or trainer of any attack, guard, or sentry dog shall ensure that the dog has been microchipped and the owner's identification has been entered into a local or national registry. Each dog subject to this chapter shall, at all times, wear an identification tag. The identification tag shall be provided by the attack, guard, or sentry dog company furnishing the dog for hire. The identification tag shall contain, but not be limited to, the following information:

    • The name of the dog.
    • The name, address, and telephone number of the attack, guard, or sentry dog company furnishing the dog for hire.
    • Any telephone number so provided shall be to a telephone that is manned by a person 24 hours per day every day of the year so that calls from the public may be received and answered.

(b) The identification tag required by this section shall be in addition to any tag required or issued by any agency of government to show that a dog has been immunized or inoculated against disease.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7. Amended by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 10.)

§ 121921. Requirements to sell, give away, or let for hire any guard, attack, or sentry dog

No person shall sell, give away, or let for hire any guard, attack, or sentry dog unless the following requirements have been met:

(a) The dog has been immunized against distemper and rabies.

(b) A certificate of rabies vaccination has been issued by a licensed veterinarian and is current and valid.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 11.)

§ 121925. Humane transportation

Whenever a dog subject to this chapter is being transported anywhere, it shall be well secured in a humane manner as will reasonably prevent its possible escape.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121930. Visits by dog handler

Each dog subject to this chapter shall, wherever and whenever the dog is kept when on actual duty, be visited by a dog handler at least once every 12 hours to insure that the dog's physical condition, its surroundings, and its food and water supply are adequate, and if inadequate, the dog handler shall do whatever may be necessary to correct or remedy the situation. Such dog handler shall be either the owner of, or be employed by or under contract to, the sentry dog company that placed the dog on assignment.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121935. Taking into or keeping in business establishment open to general public; requirements

(a) No person shall take a sentry dog or a tracker or attack dog into, or keep a sentry dog or a tracker or attack dog in, any portion of any business establishment that is open to the general public, unless any such dog is accompanied or kept by a dog handler.

(b) No person shall keep any sentry dog or tracker or attack dog in any business establishment or any other place open to the general public at any time unless there is posted at every entrance of the business establishment or place a sign of sufficient size and design to warn persons that such a dog is used at the business establishment or place.

(c) This section does not apply to dogs used and accompanied by peace officers or uniformed employees of private patrol operators and operators of a private patrol service who are licensed pursuant to Chapter 11.5 (commencing with Section 7580) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, while employees are acting within the course and scope of their employment as private patrolmen.

(d) This section does not apply to any dog handler or his or her dog while training the dog or another dog handler.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7.)

§ 121940. Punishment

(a) Except as otherwise specified in this chapter, any person violating any provision of this chapter, other than Section 121945, shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation. The action pursuant to this chapter may be prosecuted in the name of the people of the State of California by the district attorney for the county in which the violation occurred and in the appropriate court, or by the city attorney in the city in which the violation occurred and in the appropriate court.

(b) Nothing in this chapter limits or authorizes any act or omission that violates Section 5971 of the Penal Code.

Credits
(Added by Stats.1995, c. 415 (S.B.1360), § 7. Amended by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 12.)

§ 121945. Civil penalties for violations

In lieu of the civil penalties imposed pursuant to Section 121940, any person or owner who violates this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), or shall be prohibited from selling, renting, leasing, or training any attack, guard, or sentry dog for up to 30 days, or both. For a second offense, the person or owner shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or a prohibition from selling, renting, leasing, or training any attack, guard, or sentry dog for up to 90 days, or both. For a third offense, the person or owner shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) or a prohibition from selling, renting, leasing, or training any attack, guard, or sentry dog for up to six months, or both. For a fourth or any subsequent offense, the person or owner shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or a prohibition from selling, renting, leasing, or training any attack, guard, or sentry dog for up to one year, or both. For purposes of this section, a violation that occurred over five years prior to the most recent violation shall not be considered. An action for recovery of the civil penalty and for a court order enjoining a person or owner from engaging in the business of selling, renting, leasing, or training any attack, guard, or sentry dog for the period set forth in this section, may be prosecuted by the district attorney for the county where the violation occurred, or the city attorney for the city where the violation occurred, in the appropriate court.

Credits
(Added by Stats.2001, c. 377 (S.B.769), § 13.)


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