The San Francisco SPCA Urges CA Senate Committee to Endorse AB 1122

Legislation Would End Live Animal Sales at Flea Markets & Reduce Animal Abuse

San Francisco, Jun 22 2009: The San Francisco SPCA today called on the California Senate to endorse AB 1122, legislation that would put a stop to live animal sales at temporary retail venues such as flea markets, swap meets and parking lots.  AB 1122, introduced by Assemblyman Ted Lieu, has already been passed by the California Assembly and has now moved to the Senate for consideration. A hearing on AB 1122 by The California Senate Public Safety Committee is expected to be held on Tuesday, June 23.

The San Francisco SPCA is urging its supporters to contact Committee Members and ask them to follow the lead of the Assembly in swiftly passing this humane legislation. View a list of California Senate Public Safety Committee members

The President of The SF/SPCA, Jan McHugh-Smith, commended the California Assembly for passing AB 1122, and called on the Senate to do the same. "The banning of live animal sales from these venues will significantly improve the lives of countless animals," she said. "The absence of effective regulations routinely results in deplorable conditions for animals, especially puppies, at these venues." Animals sold at swap meets, flea markets and parking lots are frequently crammed into hot, unsanitary cages, often without food or water, repeatedly manhandled by shoppers, and purchased on impulse.

Puppies sold in these venues are the typically "products" of mass breeding facilities known as puppy mills. Documented problems of these puppy mills include over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, overcrowding and lack of socialization with humans.  These animals may appear healthy at sale time but many suffer from hard-to detect diseases, or fall prey to disease because their immune systems are not yet fully-developed. Other puppies are removed from their mothers too early and die from starvation because they don't yet have teeth and are unable to chew. 

An additional problem is the smuggling of puppies from puppy mills across the US/Mexico border. The animals are usually sold out of the back of vehicles for cash, and the sellers often use disposable cell phones so that buyers have no recourse if the puppies get sick and die, as they often do. As a result, consumers can incur significant emotional and financial costs in caring for these animals.

The San Francisco SPCA has been striving to prevent cruelty to animals and to better their lives for 141 years.  We believe that AB 1122 is a progressive step toward this goal, and we commend Assemblyman Lieu for his hard work on this issue.

The SF/SPCA is asking the community to email or phone the California Public Safety Committee and urge them to endorse AB 1122.

 Who to Contact: California Senate Public Safety Committee 

 (Chair) State Senator Mark Leno
Representing the 3rd Senate District (San Francisco/San Rafael)
State Capitol, Room 4061
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4003
Email Senator Leno

(Vice-Chair) State Senator John J. Benoit
Representing the 37th Senate District (Riverside County)
State Capitol, Room 4066
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4037
Email Senator Benoit

State Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Representing the 22nd Senate District (Los Angeles)
State Capitol, Room 5100
Sacramento, CA  95814
Phone: (916) 651-4022
Email Senator Cedillo

State Senator Loni Hancock (Berkeley)
Representing the 9th Senate District
State Capitol, Room 3092
Sacramento, CA  95814
Phone: (916) 651-4009
Email Senator Hancock

State Senator Robert Huff
Representing the 29th Senate District (Los Angeles County, Orange County and San Bernardino County)
State Capitol, Room 3048
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4029
Email Senator Huff

State Senator Darrell Steinberg
Representing the 6th Senate District (Sacramento)
Phone:  (916) 651-4006
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA  95814
Email Senator Steinberg

State Senator Roderick Wright (Los Angeles County)
Representing the 25th Senate District
State Capitol, Room 5064
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-4025
Email Senator Wright

About the San Francisco SPCA

The San Francisco SPCA is a community-supported, non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving, protecting and providing immediate care for cats and dogs who are homeless, ill or in need of an advocate. The SF SPCA also works long-term to educate the community, reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies through spaying and neutering, and improve the quality of life for animals and their human companions.

Support the San Francisco SPCA by adopting, donating, volunteering and becoming a client of the state-of-the-art SF SPCA Veterinary Hospital at the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center. SF SPCA has San Francisco volunteer opportunities to care for shelter dogs and cats, conduct adoption counseling, assist clients and veterinary staff at the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center, provide foster care, help with the Community Cats Program, and enrich the lives of people in the community through animal-assisted therapy.

For more information about San Francisco pet adoption, call the San Francisco SPCA at (415) 522-3500 or visit

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