Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 120

04/01/2015 01:00 PM House JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 2:00 p.m. Today --
Moved CSSSHB 11(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
-- Meeting Will Reconvene at 1:00 p.m. 4/2/15 --
           HB 147-ANIMALS: PROTECTION/RELEASE/CUSTODY                                                                       
2:17:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX announced  that the final order of  business would be                                                              
HOUSE  BILL NO.  147, "An  Act relating  to  the investigation  of                                                              
cruelty  to  animals  complaints;   relating  to  the  seizure  of                                                              
animals; relating  to the  destruction of  animals; relating  to a                                                              
bond  or security  posted for  the costs  of care  for an  animal;                                                              
relating to the  inclusion of an animal in a protective  order and                                                              
the crimes  and arrests for  violating that protective  order; and                                                              
relating  to   the  ownership  of   an  animal  upon   divorce  or                                                              
dissolution of marriage."                                                                                                       
2:17:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LIZ VAZQUEZ,  Alaska State  Legislature, said  the                                                              
bill amends  the cruelty of animal  statutes to require  owners of                                                              
animals  locally  seized  for  neglect   or  cruelty  to  pay  the                                                              
animal's  costs of  care  through  bond or  other  security.   She                                                              
stated  this   shifts  the  burden  from   governmental  agencies,                                                              
independent  shelters,   and  rescue  agencies  to   the  animal's                                                              
owners.  She pointed  out that this will save tax  dollars and the                                                              
lives  of  animals,  as  it  also  allows  for  the  adoption  and                                                              
rehoming of  a seized animal if  the owner surrenders  them, fails                                                              
to pay the  costs of care ordered,  or post an ordered  bond.  She                                                              
noted it also  amends the domestic violence statutes  to allow the                                                              
courts  to allow  for the  inclusion of  animals, including  their                                                              
temporary   care  in   a  domestic   violence  protective   order.                                                              
Finally,  she  related,  it  amends the  divorce  of  marriage  or                                                              
dissolution  statutes to  require  consideration  of the  animal's                                                              
well-being when adjudicating ownership or joint ownership.                                                                      
2:18:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ referred to  [Sec. 3, AS  03.55.120(c)(2)]                                                              
page 2, lines 23-24, which read                                                                                                 
     (2) the  notice required  in (b)  of this section  shall                                                               
     be conspicuously  posted at the premises from  which the                                                               
     animal was removed.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  advised that notice  is to be placed  in a                                                              
conspicuous place  on the premises  where the animal  was removed.                                                              
[Representative  Vazquez  referred  to the  definition  of  "peace                                                              
officer," Sec. 2,  AS 03.55.110(d)(2), page 2,  lines 14-18, which                                                              
     (2) "peace officer" means                                                                                                  
          (A) an officer of the state troopers;                                                                                 
          (B) a member of the police force of a                                                                                 
          (C) a village public safety officer; of                                                                               
          (D) a regional public safety officer.]                                                                                
2:19:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   VAZQUEZ   then    referred   to   [Sec.   4,   AS                                                              
03.55.130(d)(2)], page 3, lines 2-6, which read:                                                                                
     (2) posting  a bond  or security with  the court  of the                                                                   
     judicial  district  in  which   the  animal  was  seized                                                                   
     within  10 business  days  after  the court's  order  to                                                               
     post  a bond  or  security under  this  paragraph in  an                                                               
     amount  determined  by the  court  to be  sufficient  to                                                                   
     provide for the  animal's care for a minimum  of 30 days                                                                   
     from the date the animal was seized [REMOVED].                                                                         
2:19:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   VAZQUEZ    then   referred   to    [Sec.   5   AS                                                              
03.55.130(e)],  page 3,  lines 17-31  through page  4, lines  1-3,                                                              
which read:                                                                                                                     
     (e) ...Upon  the expiration of a bond or  security posed                                                               
     under  this section,  the owner  shall pay  or post  the                                                               
     amount  ordered by the  court every  30 days  thereafter                                                               
     until a  final disposition of  the animal is  ordered by                                                               
     the  court.  If  a bond  or security  posted under  this                                                               
     subsection  expires, the owner  fail to  pay or post  an                                                               
     additional  bond  or security,  and  the court  has  not                                                               
     ordered  an alternative  disposition,  the animal  shall                                                               
     become  the property  of the  custodian.   The court  of                                                               
     the  judicial district  in which the  animal was  seized                                                               
     may enter  an order  directing the  owner of the  animal                                                               
     to pay  the custodian  an amount  sufficient to  provide                                                               
     for the  animal's care  for a minimum  of 30 days  or to                                                               
     post  a bond  or  security  for the  same  amount.   The                                                               
     court  may   hold  a   cost-of-care  hearing  for   this                                                               
     purpose.  The  court shall, if possible, hold  a hearing                                                               
     under  this  section  not more  than  10  business  days                                                               
     after an  animal is taken  into custody.  The  custodian                                                               
     or, at the  direction of the custodian, a  peace officer                                                               
     or  person authorized  to  serve process  shall  provide                                                               
     notice  of the  time and  place  of the  hearing to  the                                                               
     owner  of the animal.   If  the owner  of the animal  is                                                               
     unknown  and  cannot  be  ascertained   with  reasonable                                                               
     effort,  the  custodian  or,  at the  direction  of  the                                                               
     custodian,  a  peace  officer or  person  authorized  to                                                               
     serve  process  shall  conspicuously   post  the  notice                                                               
     required by  this subsection  on the premises  where the                                                               
     animal was seized.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ explained  that the  above provision  sets                                                              
out the procedure  on the bond and securities for  the feeding and                                                              
care of the animals.                                                                                                            
2:20:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ referred to  [Sec. 8, AS  18.65.520(a)(15-                                                              
16)], page 7, lines 4-10, which read:                                                                                           
          (15) prohibit your abuser from removing, harming,                                                                 
     or disposing  of an  animal owned  or possessed by  you,                                                               
     your  abuser,  or  any  other   person  living  in  your                                                               
     residence,  or authorize  you to remove  an animal  from                                                               
     the possession of your abuser;                                                                                         
          (16) grant you the exclusive care, custody, and                                                                   
     control  of an animal  owned or  possessed by you,  your                                                               
     abuser, or  any other person  living in your  residence;                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  described the  above provisions as  key in                                                              
that  they  prohibit  the  abuser   from  "removing,  harming,  or                                                              
disposing of  the animal  owned by you  (the victim),  your abuser                                                              
or any  other person  living in your  residence or authorized  you                                                              
to remove  an animal  from the  possession of  your abuser."   The                                                              
following provision  "grant you  the exclusive care,  custody, and                                                              
control of  an animal owned or  possessed by you, your  abuser, or                                                              
any other  person living  in your residence."   She  advised there                                                              
has been  a discussion  regarding the  word "custody"  and expects                                                              
to amend it to "possession."                                                                                                    
2:21:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  referred to  [Sec. 9, AS  18.65.590], page                                                              
7, lines 25-27, which read                                                                                                      
         Sec. 18.65.590 Definitions [DEFINITION], in AS                                                                     
     18.65.510 - 18.65.590,                                                                                                     
        (1) "animal" means a vertebrate living creature                                                                     
     not a human being, but does not include fish;                                                                          
2:21:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  responded to a question  asked while off                                                              
record by  Representative Millett  and stated  that the  four red-                                                              
bellied  fire frogs  they discussed  are under  the protection  of                                                              
this bill as they are vertebrates and not fish.                                                                                 
2:22:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX asked the reasoning in excluding pet fish.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  answered  that  Legislative  Legal  and                                                              
Research  Services reviewed  the bill  and noted  there are  three                                                              
definitions of "animal"  in the code.  This definition  is used in                                                              
[AS  25.24.990], the  general definition  of  the Alaska  Criminal                                                              
Code.   He pointed  out that  it is  also the  definition used  in                                                              
Title  3,  the animal  code.    He noted  that  another  provision                                                              
includes insects,  and the sponsor  felt that ... with  respect to                                                              
fish, these definitions did not include fish.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  said  that she  bought  red-bellied  fire                                                              
frogs, and  noted that  expensive salt  water aquariums  are quite                                                              
an investment.                                                                                                                  
2:25:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  stated   that  he  would  be  happy  to                                                              
include fish in the committee substitute.                                                                                       
CHAIR LEDOUX  responded that  her thought was  not that  fish were                                                              
expensive, but  if people  can get attached  to a frog  presumably                                                              
they can get attached to a fish.                                                                                                
2:25:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ replied that  individuals and  families do                                                              
get attached to fish.                                                                                                           
CHAIR LEDOUX  related that as a  child had a pet goldfish  and was                                                              
attached to it.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  stated she has two pet  goldfish, although                                                              
she is more attached to her dogs and birds, than the fish.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG remarked that he had clams as a child.                                                                 
2:26:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  submitted that the definition  [of animal]                                                              
adopted  in   the  committee  substitute   is  set  forth   in  AS                                                              
11.61.145(c), which read:                                                                                                       
     (c)  In  this  section,  "animal"   means  a  vertebrate                                                                   
     living  creature  not  a  human   being,  but  does  not                                                                   
     include fish.                                                                                                              
and, AS 11.81.900(b)(3), which read:                                                                                            
     (3) "animal"  means a vertebrate  living creature  not a                                                                   
     human being, but does not include fish;                                                                                    
and a definition including fish, AS 03.05.100(2), which read:                                                                   
     (2) "animal"  means an animal  other than a  human being                                                                   
     and  includes   a  mammal,   insect,  bird,  fish,   and                                                                   
     reptile,  whether wild or  domestic, and whether  living                                                                   
     or dead;                                                                                                                   
and, AS 08.98.250(2), excludes insects, which read:                                                                             
     (2) "animal"  means any animal other than  a human being                                                                   
     including  mammals, birds, fish,  and reptiles,  wild or                                                                   
     domestic, living or dead;                                                                                                  
2:27:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  advised  that  those  definitions  were                                                              
rejected because they say whether living or dead.                                                                               
2:27:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  referred to [Sec. 11,  AS 18.66.100(c)(17-                                                              
18)], page 9, lines 28-31, and page 10, lines 1-2, which read:                                                                  
          (17) prohibit the respondent from removing,                                                                       
     harming, or  disposing of an  animal owned or  possessed                                                               
     by  the  petitioner,  respondent, or  any  other  person                                                               
     living in the residence;                                                                                               
          (18) grant the petitioner the exclusive care,                                                                     
     custody,  and control  of an animal  owned or  possessed                                                               
     by  the petitioner,  respondent,  or  any other  persons                                                               
     living in the residence.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ  noted that  the  word "custody"  will  be                                                              
replaced by the word "possession."                                                                                              
2:28:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG advised  that the  sponsors are  working                                                              
on  a committee  substitute with  the Alaska  Network on  Domestic                                                              
Violence  and  Sexual  Assault  who  suggested  the  bill  not  be                                                              
included  in  the  domestic  violence  provisions  "or  any  other                                                              
person  living  in the  residence,"  because  some of  the  people                                                              
would not be parties  to the lawsuit and there  could be problems.                                                              
He  offered   that  a  number   of  states  that   include  animal                                                              
provisions  in domestic  violence  orders also  include any  minor                                                              
child  of the  parties  or  household  individuals living  in  the                                                              
residence.   He  surmised that  the  majority of  other states  do                                                              
this  and there  are a  total of  30 jurisdiction  that now  allow                                                              
CHAIR  LEDOUX  asked  how  minor  children  are  involved  in  the                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG responded  that the  pet could  be owned                                                              
by the minor child.                                                                                                             
2:30:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  questioned   in  terms  of  pets,  whether                                                              
Madagascar hissing cockroaches would be included.                                                                               
2:30:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX asked if that was a serious question.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  opined  that  his  cousin  had  Madagascar                                                              
hissing cockroaches  of which  he was  attached and questioned  if                                                              
fish were  included, whether  there was  a subsistence  preference                                                              
for the fish.                                                                                                                   
2:31:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  surmised   that  when  the  bill  was  put                                                              
together the sponsors were thinking in terms of pets.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG answered "Not entirely."                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  noted that  there  is potentially  a  huge                                                              
economic  pond  when   discussing  an  Iditarod  dog   team.    He                                                              
requested that  the sponsors consider  including an  exemption for                                                              
other kinds of stable animals, like horses.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG replied  that in some  areas of  the law                                                              
there is an exemption  for dog mushing, and offered  that he had a                                                              
divorce case  wherein the  husband and wife  owned a  fine mushing                                                              
team  and they  alternated the  Iditarod.   Clearly, he  remarked,                                                              
the [dog team] must  be looked at as a valuable  piece of property                                                              
and there  is no  intention  to change  that.  He  stated that  he                                                              
just  does not want  to send  the animals  to a  place where  they                                                              
will be starved.                                                                                                                
2:35:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER reiterated  [Sec.  8, AS  18.65.520(a)(17)]                                                              
page 7,  lines 8-10, "grant you  the exclusive care,  custody, and                                                              
control or  an animal owned or  possessed by you, your  abuser, or                                                              
any  other person  living  person living  in  your residence;  and                                                              
..."   He said  he has  not determined  a positive suggestion  but                                                              
the legislation  appears to favor a  pet as opposed to  a valuable                                                              
dog team.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  advised there has been  some question as                                                              
to the  intent of the domestic  violence language.   Currently, he                                                              
noted, there  is a  provision in the  domestic violence  forms and                                                              
Sec. 8,  deals with  what can  be included  in the petition  filed                                                              
for  a domestic  violence order,  he  explained.   Sec. 11,  deals                                                              
with what  the order may contain  and the two sections  track each                                                              
other,  he further  explained.   Currently, a  box can be  checked                                                              
when seeking  a domestic  violence  order, or  that the judge  can                                                              
check, but there  is nothing in statute, he remarked.   He advised                                                              
that  this legislation  will  put it  in statute  so  there is  no                                                              
question.   He explained that  the sponsors  are not trying  to do                                                              
anything   additional,  just   to  codify   the  practice.     The                                                              
intention, he  noted, is to preserve  the economic value  of a dog                                                              
team  and  to  ensure  that  the  team  is  not  being  abused  or                                                              
2:37:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX referred  to [Sec. 8, AS 18.65.520(a)]  page 7, lines                                                              
14-17, which read:                                                                                                              
           ... It is not necessary to have an attorney to                                                                       
     obtain  a  protective  order,  but you  may  consult  an                                                                   
     attorney  if  you  choose.    If  you  would  like  help                                                                   
     obtaining  a  protective  order,  you  may  contact  the                                                                   
     nearest  domestic violence  program  located at  ______.                                                                   
CHAIR  LEDOUX advised  that  those  sentences are  different  from                                                              
what it has been in the past.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  stated  the intent  is  to  set it  out                                                              
specifically.   In the past,  he opined,  it has gone  under "(17)                                                              
and fit it under  that."  He advised that there  will be testimony                                                              
regarding judges  in other jurisdictions  that with  language like                                                              
this won't include  animals.  This provision ensures  that pro per                                                              
litigants know about  it, and the judges as well.   He pointed out                                                              
that  the Department  of Public  Safety publishes  a pamphlet  and                                                              
offers information on  their web site, and with the  passage of HB
147  it will  appear in  the pamphlet  and on  the web  site.   He                                                              
opined it will  make a significant difference in  the government's                                                              
2:38:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ related  that  it will  make a  difference                                                              
with law  enforcement because often  the respondent  is aggressive                                                              
and  possibly  asserts control  over  the  animal  as a  means  of                                                              
leveraging  control over  the victim.    She noted  there will  be                                                              
testimony with regard  to that issue as animals are  often used by                                                              
an  abuser to  control victims  in preventing  them from  leaving.                                                              
She  described this  provision in  the statute  as empowering  the                                                              
victim which is stronger than having it in a form.                                                                              
2:39:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  quiered whether this  allows someone who  obtained a                                                              
domestic  violence   restraining  order   to  remove   the  animal                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG responded  that usually  when the  order                                                              
is issued,  a Writ  of Assistance  is also  issued and  the police                                                              
accompany  the  person.   The  victim is  not  sent  out alone  to                                                              
retrieve children,  or animals, as  the purpose is to  protect the                                                              
victims,  he expressed.    He described  that  as the  key to  the                                                              
entire domestic violence procedure.                                                                                             
2:40:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ again  referred  to page  9, lines  28-30,                                                              
which  prohibits   the  respondent  from  "removing,   harming  or                                                              
disposing  of the  animal owned  or possessed  by the  petitioner,                                                              
respondent  or any  other person  living in the  residence."   She                                                              
then  referred to  page 9,  line 31  through page  10, lines  1-2,                                                              
"grant the  petitioner of the exclusive  care ..." and  stated the                                                              
word "custody"  will be replaced  with "possession and  control of                                                              
an animal  owned or  possessed by  the petitioner, respondent,  or                                                              
any  other person  living in  the  residence."   She advised  that                                                              
pages 12-16,  are sections  dealing with  divorce and  dissolution                                                              
of  marriages  that  empowers  the well-being  of  the  animal  in                                                              
deciding who  retains the animal.   She  referred to [Sec.  20. AS                                                              
25.24.200(c)], page 15, lines 28-29,                                                                                            
    (c)      ...   ownership    of   animals   taking   into                                                                
     consideration the well-being of the animals,                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE   VAZQUEZ   then   referred   to   [Sec.   18,   AS                                                              
25.24.200(a)], page 15, lines 2-4, which read:                                                                                  
     (5) if an animal is owned, the spouses have agreed to the                                                              
ownership  or   joint  ownership   of  the  animal,   taking  into                                                          
consideration the well-being of the animal.                                                                                 
2:42:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  advised that one is the  divorce statute                                                              
and the  other is the  dissolution statute.   He referred  to page                                                              
15, line  14, which  is included in  the Petition for  Dissolution                                                              
in that  a party can  include provisions  concerning animals.   He                                                              
described  it  as an  important  piece  of  the  bill as  a  large                                                              
portion of the  bill is to let  the public know what  they can do.                                                              
Often, he  opined, one  side of  a divorce  or dissolution  is pro                                                              
CHAIR  LEDOUX questioned  that if  at least  one side  is pro  per                                                              
regarding  [Sec. 19,  AS 25.24.200(b)],  page 15,  line 5-18,  how                                                              
will the  pro per  party know  that this  exists as generally  pro                                                              
per people do not read statutes.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG responded  that this  will be  reflected                                                              
in the court form.                                                                                                              
CHAIR LEDOUX  asked if there  is any place  that provides  that it                                                              
will be reflected in the court form.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG deferred  to Nancy  Meade, Alaska  Court                                                              
System.   He  offered  that with  the  concurrence  of the  Alaska                                                              
Court  System,   Sec.  16,  was   included  which  is   the  civil                                                              
jurisdiction  of  the  Alaska District  Court  because  there  are                                                              
provisions for  the costs of  care at the  beginning of  the bill.                                                              
He noted  that this section  was added to  be certain that  a case                                                              
within  the  Alaska  District  Court's  jurisdiction,  money-wise,                                                              
could do this.                                                                                                                  
2:44:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  responded  to  Chair  LeDoux  that  the                                                              
provision   is    on   page   12,    lines   7-8,    [Sec.16,   AS                                                              
22.15.030(a)(11)],  and  explained  that  it  amends  the  statute                                                              
setting  forth  the types  of  cases  within the  Alaska  District                                                              
Court's civil jurisdiction.                                                                                                     
2:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  noted that the intent of the  bill is also                                                              
to allow  victims to have their  pets protected by  the protective                                                              
order.   For  example,  Hurricane  Katrina initiated  the  federal                                                              
government's  realization that  many  pet owners  would refuse  to                                                              
leave a  dangerous situation  because they did  not want  to leave                                                              
their pet  behind.   She pointed out  that the federal  government                                                              
enacted  a   statute  entitled   Pets  Evacuation   Transportation                                                              
Standards Act of  2002.  She offered that subsequent  to filing HB
147,  two   constituents  wrote   that  they  stayed   in  abusive                                                              
situations because  they were afraid  to leave the dog  behind for                                                              
fear  the abuser  would cause  harm  to the  dog.   Representative                                                              
Vazquez  related  that  the  sponsors provided  a  summary  of  an                                                              
excellent  article  that  appeared  in  the  National  Council  of                                                            
Juvenile and  Family Court  Judges, "Protecting Domestic  Violence                                                            
Victims by  Protecting their  Pets," in the  spring of 2010.   She                                                              
pointed  out that  when  victims  are attached  to  their pets  or                                                              
animals,  they often  endanger their  own lives  by going  back to                                                              
care for  the pet  or animals.   In cases  of children,  there are                                                              
strong emotional  bonds formed especially  when children are  in a                                                              
chaotic  dysfunctional   environment  as   the  pet   can  provide                                                              
stability.   She described this  as the intent of  the legislation                                                              
to protect the victims by also protecting the pet.                                                                              
2:48:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN stated  that  he noticed  in the  materials                                                              
there is  a letter from the  "Alaska Network on  Domestic Violence                                                              
and Sexual  Assault" that  is voicing  opposition to the  proposed                                                              
statute change.                                                                                                                 
2:48:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX opened public testimony                                                                                            
2:48:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SHERRY RAMSEY,  Attorney and Director, Animal  Cruelty Prosecution                                                              
of  the Humane  Society  of  the United  States,  said  she is  in                                                              
support of HB 147,  which provides a number of  important tools in                                                              
the  protection  of animals.    She  advised she  is  particularly                                                              
enthusiastic  regarding the provision  allowing domestic  violence                                                              
victims to request  that their beloved animals  are included under                                                              
the  protection  of the  restraining  orders.   As  a  prosecuting                                                              
attorney,  and  in private  practice,  understands  how  important                                                              
this provision  can be in protecting  not only the animal  but the                                                              
human  victims.   She remarked  that an  important study  revealed                                                              
that up to 49  percent of domestic violence victims  admitted they                                                              
delayed leaving  a dangerous situation  due to fear  their animals                                                              
might  be harmed  or  killed by  the  abuser if  they  left.   She                                                              
related that  another study  shows a  large percentage  of victims                                                              
advising  that their  animals  had been  threatened  or harmed  by                                                              
their abusers.   She explained  that many studies  demonstrate how                                                              
important  it is to  ensure that  a victim  can leave a  dangerous                                                              
situation  with her  entire  family, including  furry  ones.   She                                                              
pointed out that  animals are considered property  in every state,                                                              
and  because abusers  often  control every  aspect  of a  domestic                                                              
violence  victim's life,  the abusers  will often  argue they  are                                                              
the legal  owner of the  animal.  She  described the  situation as                                                              
the abuser using  that animal to manipulate the  victim and he/she                                                              
won't  let  the  victim  remove  the  animal  from  the  premises.                                                              
Ultimately, she  said, victims might  sneak back into the  home to                                                              
try  to  retrieve an  animal  as  they  are  fearful it  could  be                                                              
abused.  She  noted that the article referenced  by Representative                                                              
Vazquez, she  co-authored on  the subject  which was published  in                                                              
the  National  Council   of  Juvenile  and  Family   Court  Judges                                                            
quarterly  magazine.   She  said the  article  offers examples  of                                                              
issues  revealed with  regard to  this,  and it  explains why  the                                                              
specific language  used in  this bill is  appropriate and  best at                                                              
ensuring the law  will be effective and enforceable.   She offered                                                              
that she  has worked  in other  states assisting  in drafting  and                                                              
passing  these bills.    As of  2014, she  advised,  there are  29                                                              
states,  the  District  of  Columbia, and  Porto  Rico  that  have                                                              
enacted legislation  similar to include provisions  for animals in                                                              
domestic  violence  restraining  orders,  as  well  as  additional                                                              
bills pending around  the country.  She remarked  that the results                                                              
have  been  an effective  means  to  protect victims  of  domestic                                                              
violence, and that  she has never heard of any of  the laws having                                                              
any  negative effect  or unintended  consequences.   In fact,  she                                                              
explained,  she was  sent a law  from California  to review  which                                                              
expands this  type of protection  in not only adding  animals onto                                                              
restraining  orders,  but all  other  protection  orders, just  as                                                              
juvenile,  elder abuse,  and civil  harassment  proceedings.   She                                                              
surmised  that California's  original  law to  include animals  in                                                              
domestic violence  restraining orders has  worked so well  that it                                                              
is now  being expanded  for protection of  more victims  of abuse.                                                              
These laws  make procedures  within states  consistent and  ensure                                                              
that judges  understand they can  provide this relief,  which some                                                              
judges do not.   She explained that state laws are  the only means                                                              
to  ensure  that human  victims  of  domestic violence  and  their                                                              
beloved animals  can be protected from  an abuser.  She  urged the                                                              
committee to support this important bill.                                                                                       
2:54:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked if she  was a professor,  and what                                                              
courses she taught in this area                                                                                                 
MS. RAMSEY responded (indisc.) and teaches animal law.                                                                          
2:54:31 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHY HESSLER,  said she is  a clinical  law professor at  Lewis &                                                              
Clark Law  School, in  Portland, Oregon.   Her areas  of expertise                                                              
include animal law,  and previously was a legal  services attorney                                                              
and clinical law  professor with a general civil  and property law                                                              
practice for  over 15 years,  including domestic  violence issues,                                                              
she said.   She offered  that currently  she writes,  teaches, and                                                              
lectures in  the area of animal  law.  She described herself  as a                                                              
person who  has studied animal law  issues for quite a  while, and                                                              
that  she is  pleased  Alaska is  looking to  change  its laws  in                                                              
three important ways.   First, she pointed out,  in addressing the                                                              
cost of  care elements  of this  legislation the provision  allows                                                              
the state  to act  in order to  get an abused  animal the  care it                                                              
needs without  cost to  the taxpayers.   It  charges costs  to the                                                              
owners who  are already responsible  for the animals, and  who may                                                              
later  be  adjudicated as  an  abuser  who  caused the  harm  that                                                              
required  the care.   She said  with reference  to the  protective                                                              
order piece, in  29 other jurisdictions it has  been working well.                                                              
She stated  that she  is not aware  of any  adverse impact  to the                                                              
domestic   violence  community,   to  the   victims,  or   to  the                                                              
administration of  justice.  She  related that she  has experience                                                              
in a  number of jurisdictions  that have  elected, as a  catch all                                                              
provision,  to allow  judges to  do what  they deem  best for  the                                                              
victim of  violence.  Although,  she noted, some judges  have been                                                              
disinclined,  concerned,  hesitant, and  also  refused to  include                                                              
pets in  the orders  because they  felt they  did not possess  the                                                              
authority.   She noted  that codifying  is a  current practice  in                                                              
Alaska wherein  the statute  would make clear  to judges,  and pro                                                              
per parties, that  this is an appropriate remedy to  seek and that                                                              
it is  important for  a number  of reasons.   She explained,  that                                                              
these  pet  provisions  are  included  in  the  National  District                                                              
Attorneys  Association  Manual on  investigating  and  prosecuting                                                              
abuse, and is part  of the training that this is  the ideal way to                                                              
2:58:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HESSLER  described  the  consensus  about  human  and  animal                                                              
violence, in that  it is clear abusers use the  animals to control                                                              
and punish  victims.   She continued  that not  dealing with  pets                                                              
puts  certain victims  at risk  and  it is  clear that  protecting                                                              
animals leads  to more safety for  victims.  She pointed  out that                                                              
the Federal Bureau  of Investigation (FBI) treats  animal abuse as                                                              
a serious crime  to be considered.  She noted that  this bill does                                                              
not change  ownership of  the animal,  as it  is only a  temporary                                                              
control, but  it is important to  animals and society  that animal                                                              
abuse  is  taken   seriously.    She  remarked   that  clarity  is                                                              
important  and within  her research  found  that jurisprudence  is                                                              
slim and  muddled as judges  do not have  guidance, are  not clear                                                              
on  what they  can  do,  some are  adding  custody,  and most  are                                                              
dealing with animals  as property.  She noted  that the provisions                                                              
in this bill handle that question in an eloquent manner.                                                                        
3:00:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked whether Ms. Hessler  is familiar with                                                              
the letter submitted in opposition that was discussed earlier.                                                                  
MS. HESSLER responded "I am."                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN   pointed  out  that  the   Alaska  Network                                                              
basically depicts that  this will become a tool for  abuser to use                                                              
and  it will  create a  confusing system.   He  said it  basically                                                              
does  not  support  the legislation  and  asked  how  Ms.  Hessler                                                              
responds to that.                                                                                                               
MS.  HESSLER noted  that within  the  states she  has reviewed  or                                                              
worked in,  she has not experienced  [the Alaska  Networks claims]                                                              
as [the law]  has allowed victims  to leave the home  more quickly                                                              
and completely.   The ownership  issue relating to the  animal can                                                              
be  dealt with  at a  later time  and  through a  safe venue,  she                                                              
explained.  It could  be that the victims feel  compelled to speak                                                              
to  the  abuser,  but  they  certainly   don't  have  to  and  the                                                              
protective order gives  them the right not to, she  remarked.  She                                                              
described a situation  where the pet is keeping the  victim in the                                                              
home,  or they  come  home  to feed  the  pet, wherein  [the  law]                                                              
protects  the victim  as  once the  victim  has  control over  the                                                              
animal, safety is at hand.                                                                                                      
3:01:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SALLY   CLAMPITT,   President   and   Co-Founder,   Alaska   Rural                                                              
Veterinary  Outreach,  Inc.  (ARVO), said  the  organization  puts                                                              
together medical  teams of volunteer veterinarians  and assistants                                                              
to travel to remote  villages where there are problems  of an over                                                              
population of  animals, usually  dogs.  The organization  provides                                                              
very little  to no  cost clinics,  vaccines, and general  wellness                                                              
as  its  approach  is addressing  issues  through  prevention  and                                                              
education.   She  offered that  the committee  may understand  the                                                              
challenges  in having pets  in rural  Alaska without any  support,                                                              
and not  just veterinary support,  but there is nothing  there for                                                              
many  of the  animals living  in  a subsistence  based low  income                                                              
community.    She  described  that   as  a  result,  many  of  the                                                              
communities have  developed procedures in which to  deal with over                                                              
population  that are  heart breaking  as they  do not have  humane                                                              
euthanasia,  or can  spay/neuter animals.   She  pointed out  that                                                              
currently, and  somewhat routinely, the communities  destroy stray                                                              
animals which  is traumatic and  unpleasant, and children  grow up                                                              
with this.   She stated  that any legislation  looking at  the big                                                              
picture  of the  importance of  the  relationship between  animals                                                              
and  their people  is beneficial  to  all arms  of animal  welfare                                                              
that  Alaska has  to  deal  with.   She  said she  recognizes  the                                                              
struggle  between  animal  abuse   and  domestic  violence.    She                                                              
further  recognizes  the  invaluable healthy  links  between  many                                                              
programs  and disadvantaged  people,  everything from  therapeutic                                                              
horseback riding to  dogs that visit seniors, or  children who are                                                              
terminally  ill.   There is  an amazing  uplifting experience  for                                                              
these  folks when they  can have  some sort  of relationship  with                                                              
animals and she sincerely hopes the bill passes.                                                                                
3:05:22 PM                                                                                                                    
RONNIE   ROSENBERG,   President,  Animal   Control   Commissioner,                                                              
Fairbanks  Animal  Shelter Fund,  said  that  prior to  living  in                                                              
Fairbanks, she  was a supervising  attorney for three  counties in                                                              
North Dakota  for Legal Services  of North Dakota  and represented                                                              
several domestic  violence shelters.  She said  she fully supports                                                              
the  bill  as  in  codifying  the   provisions  there  will  be  a                                                              
checklist for  advocates that  assist pro  per people  in domestic                                                              
violence applications  and the issue of animals can  be brought to                                                              
the court's attention  right up front.  The judges  or magistrates                                                              
can make  a ruling on that  rather than people not  remembering or                                                              
not thinking  about it until later.   In that manner,  she opined,                                                              
it  will protect  victims and  especially children  living in  the                                                              
home who  are already  in chaotic  situations.   Beyond that,  she                                                              
stated,  she  fully   supports  the  idea  that   perpetrators  of                                                              
violence towards  animals have to  pay a bond and  are responsible                                                              
for the  costs rather than  passing it  onto the taxpayers.   Over                                                              
the years  there have  been several  cases where  the cost  became                                                              
quite  large and,  she noted,  it has  been hard  to recoup  those                                                              
monies without  people either posting  a bond or decide  they will                                                              
relinquish the  animal so the animal  can receive proper  care and                                                              
be adopted.   She  said she  strongly hopes  this bill  passes and                                                              
asked that fish  be included, as not too many years  ago there was                                                              
a case with a  huge tank of fish in a domestic  violence situation                                                              
and the woman and  her four children were very  reluctant to leave                                                              
the home.                                                                                                                       
3:08:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   noted  that  the  Alaska   Council  on                                                              
Domestic Violence  and Sexual Assault submitted a  letter opposing                                                              
the bill as  it did not feel  that legislation was necessary.   He                                                              
asked whether she felt legislation is necessary.                                                                                
MS.  ROSENGERG related  that  it  is necessary  in  order to  have                                                              
consistency as it  gives direction to the court.   She pointed out                                                              
that  some rural  areas have  magistrates who  are not  attorneys.                                                              
She explained  that this  legislation leads to  a full  flow sheet                                                              
so that  when people  go to the  court by  themselves, or  with an                                                              
advocate who is  not an attorney, or even a paralegal,  there is a                                                              
form the person  fills out and it will spur their  minds that they                                                              
should say something  about the pet.  She opined  this will not be                                                              
an  impediment in  commercial kennels  or dog  mushing because  it                                                              
will be treated as  a business asset or, in fact,  it could be the                                                              
victim  who wants  to have  the  dogs and  the court  will make  a                                                              
determination  based on findings  of fact.   She offered  that she                                                              
is not certain why  they are opposing this legislation  as she did                                                              
not know they were opposing it.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG corrected himself  and related  that the                                                              
letter  of  opposition is  from  the  Alaska Network  on  Domestic                                                              
Violence & Sexual Assault.                                                                                                      
3:11:43 PM                                                                                                                    
METIS RILEY,  Board Member, Straw  for Dogs, said she  supports HB
147, particularly  regarding cost  of care  in that the  financial                                                              
burden should  be placed with the  owner responsible for  the care                                                              
they did or did  not give, and not taxpayers,  municipal shelters,                                                              
or law enforcement  agencies.  She offered that  in her experience                                                              
she has  seen the cost  (indisc.) the care  needed or not  even be                                                              
able  to be  given  due  to ownership  questions  during  seizure.                                                              
Also,  she  stated,  this  bill  places  responsibility  onto  the                                                              
owners  of the  animals  who  caused the  neglect  or  abuse.   In                                                              
addition, the  other components of  this bill are  well researched                                                              
issues regarding  the link  between domestic  violence and  animal                                                              
abuse.   She  remarked  that she  believes  that  while this  bill                                                              
provides pet health  it is really about people and  the people who                                                              
either need to be  held responsible for their actions,  or need to                                                              
be protected so they can protect their own animals.                                                                             
3:13:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SYLVIA PANZARELLA,  said she strongly  supports HB 147 as  she and                                                              
her husband are  animal lovers and consider their pets  to be part                                                              
of  their  family.    Most  people  know  that  pets  are  living,                                                              
breathing creatures,  great and  small, who experience  happiness,                                                              
sadness, fear,  and love as they  are not inanimate objects.   She                                                              
stated  that something  must be  done  to help  combat cruelty  to                                                              
animals and their  human families in that more  protection must be                                                              
offered.  She  remarked that this  bill is just one tool  added to                                                              
the tool kit  which has the bonus  of saving Alaskans  money.  She                                                              
opined that  as word  gets out  concerning this  bill, all  of the                                                              
mailboxes in  all of  the districts will  be flooded  with letters                                                              
of support.   She asked  that the committee  support this  bill as                                                              
it is an important bill.                                                                                                        
3:16:19 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. ROBERT GERLACH,  DVM, State Veterinarian, Office  of the State                                                              
Veterinarian,  Department of Environmental  Conservation,  said he                                                              
is  available   for  questions   regarding  animal  care   or  the                                                              
standards for animal care.                                                                                                      
3:16:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  whether he  would be involved  in                                                              
any manner if the bill passes.                                                                                                  
DR.  GERLACH  responded  that his  involvement  is  judgement  and                                                              
evaluation for proper  care of animals, as to  whether the animals                                                              
were  cared for  properly,  and whether  there  was improper  care                                                              
with respect to cruelty to animals.                                                                                             
3:17:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG referred to  Sec. 1, [AS  03.55.110(c)],                                                              
page 1, lines 8-13, through page 2, lines 1-5, which read:                                                                      
     (c)  Before  a peace  officer  may  take an  animal  and                                                                   
     place  it into  protective  custody,  the peace  officer                                                                   
     shall request  an immediate  inspection and decision  by                                                                   
     a veterinarian  licensed under  AS 08.98 that  placement                                                                   
     into  protective  custody   is  in  the  immediate  best                                                                   
     interest  of  the animal.    If  a veterinarian  is  not                                                                   
     available  to  perform  an inspection,  before  a  peace                                                                   
     officer  may take  an animal,  the  peace officer  shall                                                                   
     communicate with  a veterinarian who has,  after hearing                                                                   
     a description  of the  condition of  the animal and  its                                                                   
     environment,  decided  it   is  in  the  immediate  best                                                                   
     interest of  the animal that it be placed  in protective                                                                   
     custody.     If  the  peace  officer  is   not  able  to                                                                   
     communicate  with  a veterinarian,  before  the  officer                                                                   
     may take  an animal, the officer  shall decide it  is in                                                                   
     the immediate  best interest  of the  animal that  it be                                                                   
     placed into protective custody.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG described the  provision as  a procedure                                                              
that must  be undertaken by the  state or any level  of government                                                              
if they seize an  animal for abuse or neglect.   He asked how this                                                              
provision works and the role of a veterinarian.                                                                                 
3:17:56 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. GERLACH replied  that when abusive action is  taking place, or                                                              
a  complaint  filed,  that  generally a  peace  officer  would  be                                                              
involved  in determining if  there was  abuse or  lack of  care to                                                              
the  animal.   He  explained  that in  the  case where  the  peace                                                              
officer is unable  to make a judgement, they would  rely on either                                                              
local veterinarians  or the state veterinarian's  office to assist                                                              
them  in the  determination.   He  pointed  out  that the  statute                                                              
reads that  the animal  has to  have proper  care with  respect to                                                              
feeding and watering  an animal and maintaining  health, providing                                                              
medical care  and health  for the  animal, and providing  shelter.                                                              
He  described that  as broad  and not  distinct in  that there  is                                                              
room  for interpretation.    He said  in  this determination,  the                                                              
goal is  to establish an  objective set  of care standards  that a                                                              
peace  officer could  institute when  making an  evaluation in  an                                                              
3:19:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  offered   that  the  state's  laws  are                                                              
carefully crafted and  this bill does not affect that  part of the                                                              
3:19:48 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHRYN  MONFRIEDA,  Chief,  Criminal   Records  &  Identification                                                              
Bureau,  Division  of Statewide  Services,  Department  of  Public                                                              
Safety,  advised that  the division  submitted  a 3/27/15,  fiscal                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  referred to  the fiscal note  with money                                                              
attached and  submitted that  he is not  anxious to see  this bill                                                              
go to  the House  Finance Committee  for $2,900.   He  opined that                                                              
when  a   fiscal  note  is  for   small  amounts  of   money,  the                                                              
legislature's procedure  is to submit a committee  note that would                                                              
zero that out.   He advised it  is his intention to  make a motion                                                              
at the  appropriate time,  otherwise it could  delay the  bill for                                                              
another year.  He  asked if the Department of  Public Safety could                                                              
"live" with that.                                                                                                               
MS. MONFRIEDA advised  that the Department of Public  Safety could                                                              
"live" with [zeroing out the fiscal note].                                                                                      
3:22:18 PM                                                                                                                    
PEGGY  BROWN,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Network  on  Domestic                                                              
Violence and  Sexual Assault,  advised that she  is not  an expert                                                              
in animal rights  or animal welfare issues, and has  worked at the                                                              
Alaska  Network  for 19  years.    The Alaska  Network  determines                                                              
legislation  by  whether it  is  necessary  and  the impact  on  a                                                              
victim's  safety  particularly  regarding  protective  orders  and                                                              
statutes.   She  advised  that protective  orders  are a  critical                                                              
tool  used  for   the  victim's  safety,  especially   in  Alaska.                                                              
Previously,  she  offered,  the  Alaska Network  worked  with  the                                                              
Alaska  Court   System  regarding   protective  order   forms  and                                                              
"personal essential  items," which includes pets  and their names.                                                              
She  opined that  Alaska  has a  high relationship  with  animals,                                                              
animal  companions, and  being  outdoors.   She  pointed out  that                                                              
pets are  included in the protective  order forms, and  the Alaska                                                              
Network  has  trained  judges  and   attorneys,  and  that  victim                                                              
service providers  have advised  that this  inclusion is  working.                                                              
She stated  that the  Alaska Network  is opposing  HB 147,  as the                                                              
Alaska  Court  System  currently  has  pets on  the  form  and  it                                                              
needn't be  in statute.  She  advised that currently a  victim can                                                              
obtain a protective  order and have complete care,  and possession                                                              
of their  pets.  She  offered that  shelter programs  have on-site                                                              
kennels   and  relationships   with   various  animal   societies,                                                              
including people  who care  for animals in  particular.   She said                                                              
her point  in the opposition is  that the Alaska Network  does not                                                              
believe  there is a  problem, and  that pets  are included  within                                                              
the instructions  for the protective  order forms  police officers                                                              
provide to  victims.   Currently, if the  respondent is  trying to                                                              
coerce  the victim  through threat  or  injury to  the animal  the                                                              
respondent  would already be  in violation  of a protective  order                                                              
provision.   She described  the legislation  as redundant  to some                                                              
degree, and  at the worst  degree "if it  isn't broke, why  are we                                                              
trying to  fix it."  She  questioned whether there  are unintended                                                              
consequences in  adding a tool  for an  abuser in that  the victim                                                              
would  be  in  constant  contact,  or  increased  contact  through                                                              
modification of the  protective orders, of which  the court system                                                              
would be additionally  charged with monitoring.   She related that                                                              
she  had  listened  to  testimonies   regarding  "animal  cruelty,                                                              
animal  welfare,  animal rights,  animal,  animal,  animal."   She                                                              
expressed  that putting  this legislation  into victim  protective                                                              
statutes  posed the  question of  getting a  protective order  for                                                              
animal  cruelty, and  asked why  it has  to be  put with  domestic                                                              
violence victims.   She clarified that  it is important  she go on                                                              
record that  there already  are protective  orders for  victims to                                                              
have their  pets, and  that the  crime of  domestic violence  goes                                                              
with the victim, not the animal.                                                                                                
3:30:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROWN noted  that she had received  a call from a  victim that                                                              
was   concerned  this   legislation  would   affect  her   current                                                              
protective order  with pets.  Ms.  Brown said she  appreciates the                                                              
intent of  the bill, and the  efforts for animals, but  the Alaska                                                              
Network opposes this legislation.                                                                                               
3:31:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  questioned  whether the Alaska  Network has  concern                                                              
with  other provision  of the  legislation such  as, divorce,  and                                                              
who pays when  an animal is taken  out of the home.   She surmised                                                              
that the Alaska Network's concerns are the protective order.                                                                    
MS. BROWN responded that Chair LeDoux is correct.                                                                               
3:31:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN advised that  he is  on the Alaska  Network                                                              
on Domestic  Violence and Sexual  Assault Pro Bono Panel,  and has                                                              
worked  on cases assigned  by the  Alaska Network.   He  described                                                              
himself as  exceptionally  dedicated to protecting  the rights  of                                                              
victims of  domestic violence.   He  asked how a  box gets  on the                                                              
protective order  form and why is  it there.  He explained  that a                                                              
judge researching that  issue would find it is not  in the statute                                                              
and  opined  that  something  supporting  that box  should  be  in                                                              
statute.   He  said  he agrees  the domestic  violence  protective                                                              
orders work  well and that there  are many provisions on  the form                                                              
that track  the statute  exactly.   He offered  that his  worry is                                                              
having  a box  without  statutory  support,  and that  the  Alaska                                                              
Network  program may  be  undermined with  the  lack of  statutory                                                              
MS.  BROWN said  she  mentioned  this issue  to  the sponsors  and                                                              
believes Representative Claman makes a valid point.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  said he does  not believe  any municipality                                                              
should be housing  a pets for eight or so weeks  that is unrelated                                                              
to the domestic violence issues.                                                                                                
3:37:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX offered  that she has the same confusion  in that she                                                              
agrees  "if it  ain't  broken, don't  fix  it,"  but she  believes                                                              
Representative Claman  is correct  that because this  procedure is                                                              
provided why  not put it into a  statute.  She explained  if it is                                                              
put into statute,  the protective order forms can  read exactly as                                                              
they  have been  reading,  and the  judge can  refer  back to  the                                                              
statute.  She  asked whether her concern was  that the legislature                                                              
would  "monkey"  around  with  the language  on  the  petition  as                                                              
opposed to actually having a problem with codifying it.                                                                         
MS BROWN  responded that  the Alaska Network's  issue is  not with                                                              
codifying  what is  currently  done,  as the  issue  is of  mixing                                                              
animal welfare with victim's rights.                                                                                            
3:39:06 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BROWN replied  to  Chair LeDoux  that  she did  not have  the                                                              
section in  front of her that  her statement was referring  to and                                                              
opined  that  there  are  a couple  of  sections  that  allude  to                                                              
exclusive care.   She stated  she is testifying  to the  pieces of                                                              
custody  and possession  which  are  currently in  the  protective                                                              
order, regardless  of ownership.   She  remarked that  with regard                                                              
to codifying  it, the Alaska Network  agrees, but there  are other                                                              
provisions  around  the  protective order  regarding  the  animal,                                                              
possession,  and   custody  that   the  Alaska  Network   sees  as                                                              
potentially very dangerous.                                                                                                     
3:40:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   offered  Representative   Vazquez  his                                                              
assurance that the  legislation will not be opened  up to domestic                                                              
violence  as  that  is  not  the  intent  of  the  sponsors.    He                                                              
explained that if  it is not done in the House  Judiciary Standing                                                              
Committee, and it  came back from the Senate the  House would have                                                              
to concur.                                                                                                                      
MS. BROWN stated "I have to see it to believe it."                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG offered  that  is a  fair statement  and                                                              
unless there is a problem "we won't see it."                                                                                    
MS. BROWN agreed  that it is a fair statement.   She described the                                                              
concern of  the Alaska Network  is that protective  order statutes                                                              
will be opened  up and a lot can  happen.  She opined  that it has                                                              
been  proven  that very  well-meaning  people,  particularly  with                                                              
animal welfare,  can state that  doing things in  protective order                                                              
statutes may seem  on its face to be good, but  in practice can be                                                              
incredibly dangerous.   For instance,  she offered, if there  is a                                                              
lot of interaction  at the courthouse, how many  victims have been                                                              
shot  and killed  at a  courthouse.   She asked  the committee  to                                                              
understand  that on  practical,  real world  concerns, the  Alaska                                                              
Network is  very picky about why  protective orders should  not be                                                              
opened  up as  before there  were protective  orders the  homicide                                                              
rate of "women  against men" was astronomical.   Yet, she offered,                                                              
when  protective  orders  were introduced  the  homicide  rate  of                                                              
"women murdering  partners" decreased  nation-wide by  70 percent.                                                              
She  asked the  committee  to understand  why  the Alaska  Network                                                              
takes a  strong position opposing  a bill in that  currently there                                                              
are remedies so why have the legislation.                                                                                       
3:43:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  surmised that  the Alaska  Network is not  concerned                                                              
whether the legislation  was codified, but if in  codifying it the                                                              
legislature  would open  up the  statute and  that bad things  can                                                              
happen when titles are opened up.                                                                                               
MS. BROWN  said she was  testifying as  to how the  Alaska Network                                                              
perceives  this   legislation,  but  is  aware  that   it  is  the                                                              
legislature's call.                                                                                                             
3:43:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN said  he  understands  the concerns  raised                                                              
and he  will work with  the organization  to reassure it  that the                                                              
legislature  is ensuring  that the protective  order statute  does                                                              
not suddenly get turned into something undesirable.                                                                             
3:44:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG stated  that wherever  this is  put into                                                              
statute appears to  be a help elsewhere.  He referred  to a 4/1/15                                                              
research brief  by Chuck Burnham,  Legislative Legal  and Research                                                              
Services,  and  read:  "As  you   know,  27  states  have  enacted                                                              
statutes that  permit pets  to be  included in protective  orders.                                                              
As the attached  Table 1 shows, 18 of these states  provide on the                                                              
forms used  to petition  for protective  orders sections  specific                                                              
to  pets."   In  other  words, he  explained,  at  least 18  other                                                              
states have  statutes as well as  the forms and the purpose  is to                                                              
provide certainty  over time  and stability.   He stated  that the                                                              
Department  of   Public  Safety  will  be   performing  additional                                                              
services as a  result of this legislation, such  as information on                                                              
their website, and  pamphlets as it is the sponsors'  intention to                                                              
provide  greater protection  for the  victims.   He asked  if that                                                              
provided solace.                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN advised  that law enforcement already  does those things                                                              
and  it is  on the  instructions  of how  to  obtain a  protective                                                              
order.   She  stated that  the instructions  are the  notification                                                              
that  law  enforcement  currently  gives to  victims  and  clearly                                                              
offers  multiple  avenues.    She opined  that  the  Alaska  Court                                                              
System has the  instructions on its website, and  the notification                                                              
is  currently  in  place.   The  instructions  would  have  to  be                                                              
changed to  some degree,  and she opined  that pets  are currently                                                              
part of that.                                                                                                                   
3:47:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG offered that  the fiscal note  indicates                                                              
the additional services provided.                                                                                               
MS. BROWN  stated it is regarding  updating the data base  for law                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG agreed and said they have a pamphlet.                                                                  
MS. BROWN  stated she was talking  about the pamphlet and  not the                                                              
data base.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Ms. Brown to take a look and see.                                                                
3:48:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked that  in addition to  the committee's                                                              
material that a copy of the protective order form be included.                                                                  
3:48:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  that the  Department  of  Public                                                              
Safety provide a copy of the pamphlet to the committee.                                                                         
3:48:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  closed public  testimony after  ascertaining  no one                                                              
further wished to testify.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG advised  it is  the sponsors'  intent to                                                              
provide a committee substitute.                                                                                                 
CHAIR LEDOUX held HB 147 in committee.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB147 Fiscal Note - DEC.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Fiscal Note - DPS.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Letter of Opposition - ANDVSA 03-27-15.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Letter of Support - MOA Animal Control Advisory Board Resolution 2015-04.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Letters of Support 03-30-15.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Letters of Support 03-31-15.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Sectional Analysis.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Supporting Documents-American Bar Association Resolution 108B.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Supporting Documents-Article Protecting Domestic Violence Victims by Ramsey et. al.PDF HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Supporting Documents-Costs of Animal Care.PDF HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Supporting Documents-Cruelty to Animals Cases in District Courts.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Supporting Documents-Definition of Animal.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Supporting Documents-Juelfs v. Gough.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Supporting Documents-Leg. Research Awarding Custody of Pets in Divorce Proceedings.PDF HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 Supporting Documents-Summary Protecting Domestic Violence Victims by Ramsey et. al.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB147 ver Y.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
CS HB 11 Ver H 3-27-2015.pdf HJUD 4/1/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 11