SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

 

 

March 8, 2005                                                                                                     Hearing Room 343

1:00 P.M.                                                                                                                      Tapes 58 - 59

Corrected 10/26/05

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Ginny Burdick, Chair

Sen. Charles Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Vicki Walker

Sen. Doug Whitsett

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:          Sen. Charlie Ringo

 

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Joe O'Leary, Counsel

Dale Penn, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

SB 641 – Public Hearing

SB 844 – Public Hearing

SB 246 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 58, A

003

Chair Burdick

Calls the meeting to order at 1:08 p.m. and opens a combined public hearing on SB 641 & SB 844.

 

 

 

SB 641 & SB 844 – PUBLIC HEARING

009

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Describes SB 641 relating to the creation of a crime for possessing dog fighting paraphernalia, and SB 844 relating to a penalty for a dog keeper who maintains a public nuisance by keeping a dog that bites a person.

031

Sen. Ryan Deckert

Senate District 14.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 641 & SB 844 (EXHIBITS A & B).  Addresses the story of Kathleen Imel, who saved a small child’s life from a pit bull that had a history of attacking people.

060

Sen. Deckert

Advocates the creation of a registry with information on people who are breeding particular dog breeds that have a history of attacks.  Expresses his desire for uniformity across the state for registering these dangerous breeds; outlines a method that would accomplish this goal.

100

Sen. Deckert

Talks about his support for SB 844, and stresses the need for the passage of this legislation.

116

Chair Burdick

Expresses the desire to hear from Kathleen Imel and commends Sen. Deckert in cooperating with others to come to a conclusion to SB 844.

126

Sen. Whitsett

Asks why this is a state-wide problem as opposed to a local issue.

131

Sen. Deckert

Responds that there is state-wide interest in this issue, and stresses that there is enough of a problem around the state to merit such legislation.  Addresses the recent case of Qyntel Woods, a Portland Trailblazer basketball player accused of dog fighting.

160

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires about other breeds of dogs to be placed in this registry besides pit bulls.

165

Sen. Deckert

States that they are working with other groups to include other breeds of dogs; expresses acceptance of those types of amendments.

178

Chair Burdick

Recounts a personal story of her near attack from a rottweiler.

193

Sen. Whitsett

Expresses his displeasure with the “first bite” clause that forces a fine from an owner after the first attack from that animal.  Explains that there are mitigating circumstances and many different reasons behind an attack.

217

Sen. Deckert

Responds with the hope that Sen. Whitsett will join the work group.

233

Sen. Prozanski

Addresses the problem of the “first bite” rule, and the issue of putting the dog down because of a single bite.  Speaks about the drafting in the bill relating to this topic.

265

Sen. Deckert

Reiterates his desire for a registry, and talks about an increase in the fine for not registering their animals under the bill.

277

Sen. Whitsett

Asks if the liability risk is transferable between owners.

286

Sen. Deckert

States his confusion over the current issue.

288

O’Leary

Discusses the liability of an animal passed to another owner.

304

Sen. Prozanski

Raises other issues with the liability over ownership of an animal.

317

Sen. Deckert

Talks about the need for a crime for possessing dog fighting paraphernalia. 

355

Chair Burdick

Closes the combined public hearing on SB 641 and SB 844 and opens a public hearing on SB 844.

SB 844 – PUBLIC HEARING

375

Sharon M. Harmon

Director, Oregon Humane Society.  Submits testimony and testifies in reserved support of SB 844 (EXHIBIT C).  Raises several problems that her organization has with SB 844.

425

Harmon

Addresses the registry method discussed earlier.  Expresses their desire for a microchip registry process.

460

Harmon

Affirms that pit bulls are a growing problem, but stresses alternative methods than those discussed earlier.

TAPE 59, A

038

Chair Burdick

Asks about the liability of owners.

041

Harmon

Agrees that too often owners are at fault, and advises the analysis of the circumstances that led to an attack.

056

Kelly Peterson

The Humane Society of the United States.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 844 (EXHIBIT D).

079

Marcia Keith

Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.  Submits testimony and testifies in conceptual support of SB 844 (EXHIBIT E).  Stresses they cannot fully support the bill unless the wording is altered, although they do support the concept.  Talks about the need for removal of breed-specific language.

119

Laura Ireland Moore

The Animal Law Practice.  Testifies in support of SB 844, and advocates the amending of SB 844 in relation to the breed-specific wording.  Talks about her law practice never having to deal with bite cases from pit bulls.

153

Mike Oswald

Director, Multnomah County Animal Services.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 844 (EXHIBIT F).  Discusses the wide variations surrounding the circumstance involving dog bites.

200

Oswald

Addresses recidivism dealing with dog attacks.  Talks about a reasonable and commensurate penalty system for future hostile dog owners.

242

Sen. Whitsett

Wonders if the bite wounds covered under the bill should be extended to include animal bite wounds as well.

248

Oswald

Explains the ordinance relating to bite wounds and dog attacks.

276

Sen. Whitsett

Rewords his earlier question.

287

Oswald

Replies that he believes animals attacking other animals should also be included under the bill.

300

Chair Burdick

Addresses the ordinances in place protecting livestock from animal attacks.

334

Mary Storm

Yamhill County, National Animal Interest Alliance.  Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 844 (EXHIBIT G).  Talks about the organizations that oppose breed-specific legislation.

359

Chair Burdick

Inquires about the strict liability standard for owners.

361

Storm

Replies that yes, owners should be held responsible.

371

Sen. Prozanski

Asks about the registry discussed earlier.

375

Storm

Raises the concern of funding and difficulty in implementing such a registry.

422

Karen Herrold

Washington County.  Submits testimony and testifies in opposition to SB 844 (EXHIBIT H).  Addresses how breed-specific legislation does not work. 

459

Herrold

Brings up recent cases of other types of dogs attacking humans (both were smaller and regularly thought to be not hostile).

TAPE 58, B

028

Herrold

Stresses that irresponsible people are the problems, not dog breeds.

039

Chair Burdick

Inquires if she supports liability standards for owners.

038

Herrold

Replies yes, she supports such methods.  Emphasizes that most of the problems with dog attacks and irresponsible training techniques are individuals aligned with the criminal element.

077

Herrold

Talks about the circumstances behind most dog attacks.

113

Glen Stonebrink

Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.  Addresses line 34 on page 4 of SB 844, and stresses that a dog chasing cars should not be delineated as a prerequisite for sterilization. 

164

Kent Rohweder

Animal Services Officer.  Stresses that breed-specific legislation is not the method to pursue.  Acknowledges the need for liability standards for owners.

206

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing on SB 844 and opens a public hearing on SB 641.

SB 641 – PUBLIC HEARING

217

Sharon Harmon

Oregon Humane Society.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 641 (EXHIBIT L).  Addresses some possible conceptual amendments the Human Society advocates.

250

Harmon

Discusses the term “fighting pits” used in SB 641 as a term of dog fighting paraphernalia. 

271

Lieutenant Randy Covey

Oregon Humane Society.  Submits the Oregon Animal Cruelty Laws (EXHIBIT I).  Addresses the current dog fighting law in Oregon statutes (Exhibit I).

308

Sen. Whitsett

Discusses the terms in the bill on veterinarian medications being linked to dog fighting.

314

Covey

Talks about the reason veterinarian medications were included in SB 641.

325

Sen. Whitsett

Stresses the wording is way too broad, and needs to be amended.

335

Covey

Agrees that the wording does need to be clarified.

345

Harmon

Explains a possible method in addressing the issues raised concerning veterinarian medications and dog fighting paraphernalia.

367

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Points out that intent is needed before law enforcement can convict a person for having certain pieces of dog fighting paraphernalia.

414

Marcia Keith

Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.  Submits testimony and testifies in support of SB 641 (EXHIBIT J).

442

Dave Paul

Clackamas County Deputy District Attorney, Oregon District Attorneys Association.  Testifies in support for SB 641.  Addresses the earlier issue of veterinarian medications and paraphernalia, and stresses the presence of intent within the drafting protects individuals from owning random pieces of paraphernalia.

TAPE 59, B

032

Mike Oswald

Director, Multnomah County Animal Services.  Submits Testimony and testifies in support of SB 641 (EXHIBIT K).

050

Karen Herrold

Washington County.  Testifies in a neutral stance on SB 641.

065

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing on SB 641 and opens a public hearing on SB 246.

 

SB 246 – PUBLIC HEARING

075

Joe O’Leary

Counsel.  Describes SB 246 relating to public or private officials reporting suspected animal abuse.

083

Sen. Whitsett

Asks for a better definition of “maliciously killing an animal.”

089

Joe O’Leary

Describes the statutory definition relating to the term “maliciously killing an animal.”

123

Lieutenant Randy Covey

Oregon Humane Society.  Discusses the Animal Cruelty Laws (Exhibit I).  Testifies in support of SB 246.

149

Chair Burdick

Inquires about animal abuse.

152

Covey

Responds with information on animal abuse.

158

Sen. Starr

Asks about individuals putting down their animals under circumstances of illness, etc.

173

Covey

Replies that the law depends on the method of euthanasia.

193

Sen. Prozanski

Inquires about the possibility of breaching certain confidentiality rights, and what responsibilities officers and other public officials must observe.

226

Covey

Addresses the concern raised by Sen. Prozanski.

239

Sen. Prozanski

States that most people who would fall under this bill have no idea what aggravated animal abuse might be.

248

Chair Burdick

Discusses a recent article on this subject.

264

Sen. Prozanski

Declares his support for the concept behind SB 246.

271

Chair Burdick

Brings up the issue of reporting. 

278

Kelly Peterson

The Humane Society of the United States.  Submits research on cross reporting and testifies in support of SB 246 (EXHIBIT M).

298

Kevin Neely

Executive Assistant, Attorney General’s Office.  Submits a packet from American Humane Society and testifies in support of SB 246 (EXHIBIT N).

324

Chair Burdick

Closes the public hearing on SB 246 and adjourns the meeting at 2:55 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 641, written testimony, Sen. Ryan Deckert, 1 p
  2. SB 844, written testimony, Sen. Ryan Deckert, 1 p
  3. SB 844, written testimony, Sharon Harmon, 1 p
  4. SB 844, written testimony, Kelly Peterson, 1 p
  5. SB 844, written testimony, Marcia Keith, 2 pp
  6. SB 844, written testimony, Mike Oswald, 1 p
  7. SB 844, written testimony, Mary Storm, 2 pp
  8. SB 844, written testimony, Karen Herrold, 3 pp
  9. SB 641, Oregon Animal Cruelty Laws, Randy Covey, 108 pp
  10. SB 641, written testimony, Marcia Keith, 1 p
  11. SB 641, written testimony, Mike Oswald, 1 p
  12. SB 641, written testimony, Sharon Harmon, 1 p
  13. SB 246, Research on cross-reporting, Kelly Peterson, 8 pp
  14. SB 246, American Humane Packet, Kevin Neely, 9 pp