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Assembly passes declawing-devocalization bill affecting California landlords and tenants

May 15, 2010 |  5:38 pm

Softpaws

State legislation that would make it illegal for landlords in California to require animal declawing or devocalization as a condition of tenancy passed in the Assembly on a 63-7 vote Thursday.

"Declawing and devocalization are permanent, complex surgeries that can have unintended consequences for property managers, physical complications for animals, and emotional and financial consequences for pet owners," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), in a statement.

AB 2743 also would forbid landlords from giving preferential treatment to tenants with declawed or devocalized animals and from advertising in a way designed to discourage applicants whose animals have not been declawed or devocalized.

The California Apartment Assn., which represents more than 50,000 rental property owners, managers and industry professionals, supports the legislation. 

Declawing is a surgical procedure in which the claws and last bones of an animal's toes are removed to prevent the animal from scratching. Devocalizing, or debarking, involves surgically cutting an animal's vocal cords to reduce barking or other vocalizations.

The measure imposes a civil fine of no more than $2,500 for each instance of declawing or devocalization resulting from a landlord-tenant agreement. It calls for a civil penalty of no more than $1,000 for each violation that does not result in a declawing or devocalization.

The bill has moved to the state Senate for consideration.

RELATED DECLAWING NEWS:
Nava introduces bill to forbid California landlords from requiring animal declawing, debarking
Cities rush to save cats' claws (2009 story)

-- Anne Colby

Photo: Cat with claw caps. Credit: An Moonen / Los Angeles Times

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