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Author Topic: BILL NUMBER: AB 1634 - Mandatory spay & neuter - BILL DROPPED - kinda  (Read 9897 times)
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« Reply #100 on: June 26, 2007, 03:35:28 PM »

You didn't look at the studies on increased hypothyroidsim, cancer rate increases, the study done by the CCI (service dogs) that showed aggression and fear problems in early altered dogs.  You are taking one study, that doesn't address all the concerns and basing it on that?

That "one study" was based on studies of over 1800 dogs. And seemed good enough for the guy you quoted. I guess he chose to interpret the study to fit his own agenda.

That "one study" concluded that early neutering was recommended, since the good outweighed the bad.

Quote
I have had 4 dogs altered.   All were over the old standard recommendation of 6 months of age.  My male dane was done after 2 years of age.  Giant breeds should minimally wait until they are at least a year of age, preferably older.

I've heard from a various sources that Great Danes are one of the breeds that suffers the greatest from humans desires to breed new dog breeds. They apparently suffers many diseases.

Quote
  It is a health issue for me, but this bill does nothing to address one of the main reasons people do not alter, the cost!   

 This bill punishes the responsible people and their pets.  It does nothing to address the people that still will not be able to afford to alter their pets.  Nor will these people even vaccinate for rabies because they won't want to risk a $500 fine if they are found with a dog over 4mos unaltered.  People won't license their dogs.   People may not get medical attention for their pets because of the risk of being fined. 

  This bill is all fluff, it sounds good on the surface, but inside it's lacking. 

Very good point. This is a Catch 22 of sorts. Perhaps a temporary amnesty could be instated? And also, the spay and neutering business will surely become cheaper once more people will have to get their pets done, it's simple capitalism - supply and demand.

Another thing: Perhaps the time limit should be set at a later date, eg 12 months or something like that. But the general idea is a good one.

 
Quote
You care about animal rights? Well so do I, and mine and everyone else's pets have a right to a healthy life.  Pets deserve to get medical attention and not be left to suffer and die because their owner couldn't afford the altering on time and now risks a $500 fine so they don't take them in to the vets.  Or their dog gets hypothyroidism (increases with early altering) which requires medication for the rest of their life but the owner can't afford it so they surrender them. Hip dysplasia already common, will be even more common, again, expensive surgery and pain and less of a quality of life even if the owner can afford surgery.   Certain cancers that are already common in some breeds (particularly large and giant breeds that this 4mos altering affects the most).  Most people can't afford treatment for that.
Hip dysplasia is often (not always) a result of perverted breeding. Big breeds often gets this. Breeds with stocky builds as well.

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  Or how about the dog that bites a kid, brought on by fear and aggression as a result of early altering?   Is that acceptable?

A dog who isn't obedient and calm enough, is clearly a dog that is mistreated by its owner. An aggressive dog, attacking people, has not been properly trained.

Quote
  Did you ask your vet friend if they recommend altering a Great Dane at 4mos of age?

No. I asked about dogs in general.

Read the study. The sooner the better (males) and after 3 months (females).

It was a study that your article referenced, so why are you even argueing these facts?

-Hedge
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« Reply #101 on: June 26, 2007, 05:40:10 PM »

Quote
I've heard from a various sources that Great Danes are one of the breeds that suffers the greatest from humans desires to breed new dog breeds. They apparently suffers many diseases.

 The length of time it takes for a giant breed to mature has nothing to do with how it was bred or that it came from a poor lineage.  Because they are a giant breed it takes them longer to mature.   Small or toy breeds mature faster.  Every breed suffers from it's own particular breed "problems" which may be a result from poor breeding practices.  That does not change the affect early altering will have on giant breeds.  That argument has no merit in this topic. 
Smiley


Quote
That "one study" was based on studies of over 1800 dogs. And seemed good enough for the guy you quoted. I guess he chose to interpret the study to fit his own agenda.

That "one study" concluded that early neutering was recommended, since the good outweighed the bad.

He referenced more than that one study.  What about the increased incidence of hypothyroidism and certain cancer studies?  The canine service study and their behavior problem study?  I am looking at the overall picture, not just one aspect of it. 

 The good outweighing the bad is a personal decision.  I don't find the risks that the study concluded outweigh the benefits, not when I could alter at a breed appropriate age and get the benefits of the dog being able to mature and then the benefits of altering.  Why do I have to say those risks are acceptable?  Why does my companion have to take that risk?  The government now wants to tell me that it is acceptable that my companion will suffer a problem from early altering?  If I am the one caring for them I will decide what is acceptable or not.

  This bill would shut down a lot of responsible breeders.  The one litter every year or 2.  The ones that breed for the betterment of their breed, and for health and temperament.  You know who will continue to breed though?  The backyard breeders.  They who just throw 2 dogs together and just sell the puppies later on.  No health checks, no breeding for temperament and probably no vet checks because they won't want to get fined.  Unhealthy and ill bred puppies are going to be what is out there.  The responsible breeders who decide to still give it a go will be faced with breeding stock shortages to chose from.  Out of state breeders won't be sending puppies to CA because they don't want them early altered.  The healthier lines will go extinct.  You can't tell at 4mos of age if a puppy will have health problems or temperament issues so they will take a chance and hope the pup or 2 they pick will be an asset to the breed. If not they will breed them anyways because what else are they going to do? 

  The smuggled puppies in from Mexico will rise because the demand will be even greater in CA.  Then those ill bred dogs will be used in back yard breeding, not to mention what the puppies have to live through if they make it across the border.  I bet the Mexican puppy mills make some of the state ones look like resorts.

  This bill will effect CA economy also.  They won't have some of the tourists because they won't be able to bring their dogs.  The dog shows are going to be pulled from CA, and that alone is a great amount of money.  Money that even part of it could be used to put into place affordable altering options for people.


Quote
A dog who isn't obedient and calm enough, is clearly a dog that is mistreated by its owner. An aggressive dog, attacking people, has not been properly trained.

   That is such bullshit.  So those canine service people weren't socializing and training the possible future service dogs properly?   They set out to make them dog aggressive or fearful?  I highly doubt that.

  To quote the ONE study that you are determined is the be all to end all:


  'Among male and female dogs with early-age gonadectomy, hip dysplasia, noise phobias, and sexual behaviors were increased'


 I suppose the noise phobias and sexual behaviors were a result of them not training the dogs properly.   Roll Eyes     And that hip dyslpasia increase, well that is no biggie, what's a couple grand to fix a dogs knee right? 


  Last I knew this was still America, and if people have the right to bear arms, then I have the right to have a healthy pet, and to decide what benefits outweigh the risks.   
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« Reply #102 on: June 26, 2007, 06:22:52 PM »


 The length of time it takes for a giant breed to mature has nothing to do with how it was bred or that it came from a poor lineage.  Because they are a giant breed it takes them longer to mature.   Small or toy breeds mature faster.  Every breed suffers from it's own particular breed "problems" which may be a result from poor breeding practices.  That does not change the affect early altering will have on giant breeds.  That argument has no merit in this topic. 
Smiley


He referenced more than that one study.  What about the increased incidence of hypothyroidism and certain cancer studies?  The canine service study and their behavior problem study?  I am looking at the overall picture, not just one aspect of it. 

 The good outweighing the bad is a personal decision.  I don't find the risks that the study concluded outweigh the benefits, not when I could alter at a breed appropriate age and get the benefits of the dog being able to mature and then the benefits of altering.  Why do I have to say those risks are acceptable?  Why does my companion have to take that risk?  The government now wants to tell me that it is acceptable that my companion will suffer a problem from early altering?  If I am the one caring for them I will decide what is acceptable or not.

  This bill would shut down a lot of responsible breeders.  The one litter every year or 2.  The ones that breed for the betterment of their breed, and for health and temperament.  You know who will continue to breed though?  The backyard breeders.  They who just throw 2 dogs together and just sell the puppies later on.  No health checks, no breeding for temperament and probably no vet checks because they won't want to get fined.  Unhealthy and ill bred puppies are going to be what is out there.  The responsible breeders who decide to still give it a go will be faced with breeding stock shortages to chose from.  Out of state breeders won't be sending puppies to CA because they don't want them early altered.  The healthier lines will go extinct.  You can't tell at 4mos of age if a puppy will have health problems or temperament issues so they will take a chance and hope the pup or 2 they pick will be an asset to the breed. If not they will breed them anyways because what else are they going to do? 

  The smuggled puppies in from Mexico will rise because the demand will be even greater in CA.  Then those ill bred dogs will be used in back yard breeding, not to mention what the puppies have to live through if they make it across the border.  I bet the Mexican puppy mills make some of the state ones look like resorts.

  This bill will effect CA economy also.  They won't have some of the tourists because they won't be able to bring their dogs.  The dog shows are going to be pulled from CA, and that alone is a great amount of money.  Money that even part of it could be used to put into place affordable altering options for people.


   That is such bullshit.  So those canine service people weren't socializing and training the possible future service dogs properly?   They set out to make them dog aggressive or fearful?  I highly doubt that.

  To quote the ONE study that you are determined is the be all to end all:


  'Among male and female dogs with early-age gonadectomy, hip dysplasia, noise phobias, and sexual behaviors were increased'


 I suppose the noise phobias and sexual behaviors were a result of them not training the dogs properly.   Roll Eyes     And that hip dyslpasia increase, well that is no biggie, what's a couple grand to fix a dogs knee right? 


  Last I knew this was still America, and if people have the right to bear arms, then I have the right to have a healthy pet, and to decide what benefits outweigh the risks.   


Again, the study mentioned an increase in hip dysplasia. Still, the scientist concluded, that the benefits outweighed the risks, and even went so far as to RECOMMEND early gonadectomy.

So the increase can't been that great then.

And you're concerned about this would be a blow to the Cal tourist economy too...

What can I tell you, I doubt very much that people won't travel to California because of this. Hollywood, San Franscisco...

I think it's great that Cal will be free from rabies.

You raise one good point though: that the backyard breeders and the smuggled dogs could gain ground.

A good idea would be to include some kind of effort against backyard breeding in this bill.

-Hedge
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« Reply #103 on: June 26, 2007, 07:24:00 PM »

What is with you and that one study that you ignore all the other ones?   Huh

Quote
Again, the study mentioned an increase in hip dysplasia. Still, the scientist concluded, that the benefits outweighed the risks, and even went so far as to RECOMMEND early gonadectomy.

 That was that authors opinion, that those were acceptable risks.  I don't happen to think increased risks of hypothyroidism, cancers, hip dysplasia, noise phobias, and sexual behaviors are acceptable.  Not when I can alter at a breed appropriate age and not have to take on those risks and can still get the benefit that altering at an appropriate age can bring. 

  If you read the article that referenced ALL those studies you would see why that vet doesn't think early altering is worth the risk.  I happen to agree. There is no benefit to be gained.  None.   

  I should not be forced to take on additional risks.  Is the government going to pay the medical bills?   Are they going to get me another dog when it dies an early age from cancer?   No?  Then they can't tell me what risks I am going to take on.

  I don't really care about tourism or the economy in California.  It just is another part of the flaws and affect this bill would have if passed.

   If you could stop obsessing over that one study you'd see the whole picture. Roll Eyes

http://dogplay.com/Articles/MyArticles/counterpointAB1634.html

Arguing AB1634 - Counterpoint
One web site supporting AB 1634 lists arguments by opponents and attempts to counter them. This page responds to that attempt.
In many cases there is a significant difference between what the proponents believe the language does, and the effect of the actual language. Much of this comes from not being aware of the various dog breeds and registries, unfamiliarity with genetics and responsible breeding practices, lack of knowledge about the sources that supply law enforcement dogs, service dogs, ranch and farm dogs and finally a significant lack of factual information.

Claim: The State of California spends almost three billion dollars every decade to house and euthanize (kill) excess animals. Almost one billion animals pass through our animal shelters each decade.

Response: The "one billion animals" figure is just not credible. And if the proponents can't present credible figures how can the rest of their information be believed?

HSUS estimates that 6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters every year. That is for the entire United States, not just California. Just for the sake of looking at the numbers let's just accept them. Assuming that the numbers remain static from year to year that would be 60-80 million in a decade. Proponents of AB 1634 have inflated their figures by 920 million animals. HSUS figures aren't much more than a wild guess and give us very little indication as to the populations in California. No matter how generously one reads the statistics the claim of one billion animals passing through our shelters over a decade is not true.

Claim: These animals are generated by many factors, including pet owners who allow either accidental or intentional pregnancies. Most people who allow their pet to breed do not understand the enormous fiscal and emotional impact to California.

As a taxpayer, this fiscal burden sits directly on your shoulders. The California Healthy Pets Act is a simple, straightforward way to begin to reduce this enormous fiscal burden, and to reduce the number of animals entering into and being killed in our shelter system.

Response: There are certainly too many people breeding who do not place the pet responsibly. But it does not automatically follow that stopping casual breeding will lead to any significant reduction on the number of animals entering into and being killed in our shelter system.

What percentage of animals killed in shelters come directly from the breeder? What information has been collected to estimate the rate at which people will change the source of their dog from local "backyard breeder" to a commercial breeder or out-of-state backyard breeder? Today's easy ability to order dogs over the internet is a very different world from ten years ago. Will there actually be significant savings or will the animals killed just come from a different source? There are no facts to show that this bill will save either pets or money.

The facts show the opposite of what the proponents claim. Looked at in isolation it looks like the Santa Cruz ordinance "caused" a reduction in shelter intake and kill rate. But a comparision with other jurisdictions paints a different picture. And Santa Cruz costs went up. It saved neither money, nor lives.

Claim: If you currently breed, show and sell animals in California, you will be able to obtain an intact permit under AB1634 for a nominal fee, and continue breeding and selling animals as you do today. This fee is set by the local jurisdiction and is not "hundreds of dollars" as some breeder groups have been stating.

Response:

   1. AB1634 does not require a local jurisdiction to make intact permits available. If the local jurisdiction does not currently have such permitting they can simply decline or fail to act and no permit will be available.
   2. AB 1634 severely restricts those who are allowed intact permits. Many people who today can continue important lines will not qualify under the restrictive limits. The world of dogs is not only AKC vs badly bred. There are many good dogs that are not AKC dogs that cannot meet the requirements.
   3. AB1634 does not set or cap fees set by local jurisdiction. There is nothing in AB1634 that will ensure that fees are "nominal."

Claim: An animal may be safely altered at almost any age, and animals can start reproducing as early as 6 months of age. (3)

Response: The benefits and risks of early spay and neuter are certainly under dispute.

   1. The CVMA did not obtain support of its membership, and many of its member have objected to their position.
   2. None of the studies describing pre-puberty spay/neuter have involved working dogs, performance dogs or similar dogs. The studies have not involved dogs that are challenged physically.
   3. Agreeing that early spay and neuter is an acceptable procedure for the purposes of population control is not the same as deciding that it is a net health benefit to the individual animal. In terms of dealing with placement situations where there is little to no follow up it may be a net population benefit. However, where the animal is in responsible hands the evaluation of the risks and benefits of spay and neuter should be solely a decision of the pet owner.

Claim: If you feel that your animal is too young for spaying/neutering, the law provides for a delay, if approved in writing by a veterinarian. And, the bill provides an exemption if your vet feels that your animal is too unhealthy or old to be safely altered.

Response: This does not provide for the option of simply making the best health decision for a particular dog. The language of the bill does not use the term "unhealthy" it uses the term "unsafe". The May 31 version reads as follows:

    (c) If an owner of a cat or dog provides a letter from a California licensed veterinarian indicating that due to age, poor health, or illness, it is unsafe to spay or neuter the cat or dog and that arrangements have been made to spay or neuter the cat or dog within 75 days from the date the cat or dog reaches the age of four months, and the owner has his or her cat or dog spayed within that 75-day period, the owner shall not be in violation of this act

That language leaves it highly questionable whether the veterinarian can consider future health risks, or is restricted to immediate acute dangers resulting directly from the surgery itself. This language is not sufficient to encompass a decision based on long term health risks.

Claim: The California Healthy Pets Act does not prohibit or regulate dog shows in any way. In fact, there is a specific exemption for show dogs from both California and out-of-state in Section 122336.2.

Response: One of the problems with this bill is that it is so badly written that apparently even its proponents don't understand the difference between their intent, and the language. This is the only provision that applies to non-residents:

    Section 122336.2(e) Any owner of a cat or dog who is not a resident of California shall be exempted from the permit requirements set forth in this chapter if the owner provides proof, as determined by the local jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency, that the cat or dog is temporarily in California for training, showing, or any other legitimate reason.

Just how does one "prove" the reason for being in California? And why would anyone enter California subject to the whims of the local jurisdiction about whether the reason is "legitimate?" Is "just visiting" legitimate?

Claim: Some breeder groups are distributing information that is outdated and misleading, and some are even distributing medical information written by "medical" experts who are not even licensed veterinarians.

Response: Medical experts are not in agreement as to the benefits and risk of spay and neuter, especially early spay and neuter. The decision as to what health balances to make should be that of the animal owner. Plenty of veterinarians have expressed their opinion in opposition.

Claim: In the best case scenario, the excess animals entering our shelters will be significantly reduced, but not eliminated, under a universal spay & neuter law.

There simply is no realistic scenario that leads to a shortage of animals or difficulty in obtaining an animal from either a shelter or a breeder. Cities and states with universal spay & neuter laws have been able to reduce the number of excess animals, but there has never been an instance where the law resulted in a shortage of pets or difficulty in obtaining pets.

Response: Even if one reduces populations coming from one set of breeders that does not inevitably lead to the conclusion that the law will reduce shelter populations.

   1. People facing higher costs than they can afford dump their pet
   2. Irresponsible people get their pet from a different source and still dump it.

Even where shelter populations have been reduced during the period in which the law existed is not sufficient to demonstrate effectiveness. This is because other influences may be responsible for those reductions. To learn whether there is true effectiveness or simple correlation it is necessary to analyze statistical information in comparable situations. It is just as likely that drops in shelter populations have occurred not because mandatory spay and neuter but because of changes in the base culture and attitudes in the affected areas.

There are many factors that play a role in pet reliquishment and this bill address absolutely none of them

Claim: California has a history of enacting laws that reach into areas that some people consider personal freedom, when our fiscal health is grossly impacted or when public health and safety issues are at stake.

Response: This bill will increases costs, and it will increase threats to public health and safety by (a) increasing dumping on streets and rural areas and (b) discouraging rabies vaccination in an effort to avoid detection.

It impinges on personal freedom with absolutely no compensating public benefit. The actual effects will be quite different from what is envisioned, to the detriment all.

Claim: An enormous number of animals are generated each year from accidental pregnancies, many from responsible pet owners who thought there was no chance that their animal would become pregnant or contribute to a pregnancy.

Response: How many? How many animals are generated each year from accidental pregnancies? How many of those from responsible pet owner who thought there was no chance that their animal would become pregnant or contribute to a pregnancy? How was this information collected and quantified? What are the factors that affect these numbers - i.e. regional differences, breed differences, cultural differences etc. "Responsible" pet owners dont' dump litters in the pound even if they have an accidental pregancy. How many of the "breeder dumped" pets are licensed today? Well if they aren't licensing then what makes you think that they are suddenly going to obey a new law? The irresponsible pet owners who have "accidental" litters will still be irresponsible, still have accidental litters, and will dump them in parks and on roadsides.

Claim: This law has no provisions for reporting or tracking litters. If your purebred animal has an intact permit, you may breed them.

Response: It is false to state that "If your purebred animal has an intact permit, you may breed them." That is subject to local law. If the statement were true and actually pre-empted local jurisdiction breeding restrictions there might actually have been breeder support. But as it is the statement is simply misleading and incorrect.

Claim: Unaltered dogs are three-times more likely to attack humans and other animals. California suffers the nation’s highest occurrences of dog bites, animal attacks and attack-related fatalities in the nation and children are the most common victims. We can reasonably expect to see this number reduced as the number of roaming, unaltered dogs is reduced.

Response: The expectation of reduction of bites will only be realized if the statistical correlation between sexual status and aggressive behavior is also one of causation. But it is just as reasonable to suggest that this difference is explained by differences in owner responsibility behavior. Since the law takes the place of actually behaving responsibly it could just as easily be that the law will simply see a change in the ratios.

Local jurisdictions with high shelter rates have been pretty unsuccessful in enforcing local ordinances prohibiting free roaming dogs. If they actually did enforce those ordinainces there would be few "accidental" litters. Pediatric spay in particular has been shown in increase aggressive behavior in bitches. This law is unlikely to do much to reduce bites.

Claim: Most of our overburdened city and county animal services do not have the time or resources to develop appropriate local ordinances. Also, a uniform state law stops the undesirable "patchwork" effect of local laws.

Response: Well, this bill certainly doesn't solve that problem. This law is anything but uniform. And it certainly isn't appropriate in many regards. It leaves out the best and most effective evaluations of breeding quality simply because they don't involve titles or even competitions. The language regarding registries is so vague as to be useless. The bill specifically authorizes local jurisdictions to enact more restrictive provisions, thus creating that patchwork. It increases the patchwork effect by forcing jurisdictions that did not feel a need for any legislation into enacting legislation just to create a permitting system it previously had no need for, and to give meaning to all the vague terminology in the bill.

Claim: The enormous amount of excess animals in our state ensures that there will always be a large supply of mutts, regardless of the success of this law. The goal is to reduce the number of animals entering and euthanized in our shelters, not to eliminate mutts or any specific breed.

Response: The goal is important. The question isn't whether the goal is worthy because it is more than worthy. The question is whether the selected means will be worth the burdens placed on the shoulders of all dog owners. At least where dogs are involved the twin pillars that support the problem are those who place animals, and those who obtain animals. Not one provision of this bill improves either placement or obtaining a pet.

Claim: We expect a 2 to 3 year lag before we see significant reductions and up to 10 years before the fuller effect of the law is seen.

Response: Based on? Available statistics show that in every case, including in Santa Cruz, the effect was to slow or reverse the current trend that is reducing shelter populations, It increases dumping and shelter killing.

Claim: This law does not mention any specific breeds and does not stop anyone from breeding their animal, provided that the animal is registered with a recognized organization outlined in the bill and has an intact permit.

If a city or county has a stricter law or one that is breed specific it will supersede this law.

Response: Right. This bill allows stricter laws. It does not identify or define what is required for "recognition" of a registry organization. There are no guidelines. There is no provision for time to petition a local agency if it does not recognize a particular registry. You have imported a kelpie registered in Australia from working lines with great potential. The dog is 6 months old. You won't even consider whether to breed until you see the quality of the dog. You won't put the dog on stock until it is at least a year old. What assurance is there that its registry will be recognized? And what does the person do about the fact that there is no pedigree registry in which the dog can compete? There are many competitive venues, just not ones that are also pedigree registries.

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« Reply #104 on: June 26, 2007, 07:45:32 PM »

AB 1634 will not work and will only cause more problems for the State of California.

Similar forced spay/neuter laws have failed and subsequently been repealed following sharp increases in shelter intakes, higher euthanasia rates, skyrocketing animal control costs, and unprecedented reductions in voluntary pet licensing and rabies vaccines.
Unintended consequences following enactment of forced spay/neuter laws:

SAN MATEO COUNTY, CA
Dog euthanasia   Up 200%
Cat euthanasia   Up 86%
Dog licensing   Down 35%

LOS ANGELES, CA
Animal Control expenses   Up 269%
Dog licensing   Down

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL
Animal Control expenses    Up 75%
Shelter intakes       Up
Euthanasia rates   Up

FORT WORTH, TX: Repealed
Licensing   Down
Rabies vaccinations   Down
Rabies cases in City   Up

AURORA, CO
Animal Control expenses    Up 75%
Shelter intakes     Up
Euthanasia rates   Up
Licensing    Down

CAMDEN COUNTY, NJ
Euthanasia rates   Up
Breeder permitting   Failed

KING COUNTY, WA
Animal control expenses   Up 75%
Licensing   Down

CAPITOLA, CA
Licensing   Down
Funding       Down

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD: Repealed
Licensing   Down 50%

AB 1634 undermines proven successful programs.

The number of dogs impounded in California has been falling dramatically for decades – down 86% over the past 30 years — because local agencies utilize programs that work: Pet owner education, enforcement of “at large” and leash laws, and subsidized free or low-cost spay/neuter services. NONE of these programs are state funded under AB 1634.
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« Reply #105 on: June 26, 2007, 07:46:39 PM »

Animal population issues must be resolved at a local level, not state level.

AB 1634 will blanket all 58 counties in California with a mandate to enact expensive enforcement and government permit bureaucracies – regardless of local needs, necessity or desire.

Arbitrary and expensive government permits will eliminate guide dogs, police K9s, and working dogs.

Exemptions under AB 1634 for mixed breed cats and dogs are illogical and impossible to meet. As a result, police dogs, search and rescue dogs, service dogs for the blind and disabled, and working stock dogs serving California’s $6 billion livestock industry will be wiped out in one generation.

AB 1634 is poorly designed, cannot be successfully enforced and will be extremely costly to administer.

AB 1634 will harm animals, punish millions of responsible pet owners, cost taxpayers billions, and increase the both the abandoned pet population and euthanasia rates across the state.


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« Reply #106 on: June 27, 2007, 02:48:55 AM »

Do you think we will see a drop of total dogs in California?

-Hedge
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« Reply #107 on: June 27, 2007, 05:56:26 AM »

Do you think we will see a drop of total dogs in California?

-Hedge


  Are you in PeTA's camp now with the goal of no animals being kept as pets, for work, or for food? In other words all animals are free and man doesn't use them for anything?

 As you can see by the graph I posted the population of California has increased, and the number of animals has dropped considerably over the years.  One other thing to consider when looking at shelter statistics is that shelters routinely send animals to other shelters in the same state or other states.  In some places the shelters are looking for dogs!  The question of "double counting" the same animal has come up.  Shelter A counts it in it's yearly total, and so does Shelter B that the animal was sent to.   Or the animal is returned to the shelter, it is counted again even though it is the same animal.  This could inflate the numbers. 

  What will increase will be backyard breeders, smuggled puppies from Mexico, unhealthy and ill bred dogs, shelter dumps because they can't afford to alter, and rabies because people will not be vaccinating because they do not wish to get caught. These ill bred and unhealthy dogs will be dumped at the shelters be cause they have medical problems and/or behavior problems from poor breeding.   What will decrease is licensing, rabies vaccinations, and people seeking help for their pets because they do not want to be caught and fined.   The counties that already tried mandatory s/n prove that this is what will happen.  And it ended up costing more money and shelter numbers and euthanasia rates did not drop!   What has been proven to work is education and low cost s/n programs.   Neither is part of this bill. 

  One thing that they just did here was that if animal control picks up your dog and it is not altered you can't get it back til it is altered unless you can prove it is a working or show dog or their is a valid reason that it can't have surgery.  They also have low cost s/n for any resident.  I would not even be aware of this except for the fact that one of my dogs got out and was picked up.  I think that is a very reasonable law.  But have I seen or heard about this or the low cost altering available?  No.  How many other people are unaware that this option is available to them?  How many people that would take advantage of that but are instead not altering because the vets quoted them over $300 to spay their female and they can't afford that right now so they will just keep an eye on her so she doesn't get pregnant? 

  You can see by the wording of this bill that it leaves a lot open to interpretation and is not clear on a number of things.  Why not enforce the existing laws, educate, and offer low cost s/n?   Each county can implement stricter laws if it needs too, such as number of dogs allowed in a household. 

  This bill punishes the responsible and rewards the irresponsible.  If people are willing now to buy a puppy off the street corner, what do you think will happen when responsible breeders are not allowed to breed and the availability of puppies goes down?  The number of backyard and smuggled puppies will increase.

  Fact - Numbers in shelters are down and have been going down.

  Fact -  Mandatory spay & neutering attempted has failed miserably and cost more money with no benefit.

  Fact - Education and low cost altering have proven to work


 
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« Reply #108 on: June 27, 2007, 06:00:51 AM »

Why Dogs are in Shelters

A study Exploring the Cat and Dog Surplus Problem (http://www.petpopulation.org/exploring.pdf) listed the top 10 reasons that dogs are relinquished to shelters as

   1. Moving
   2. Landlord issues
   3. Cost of pet maintenance
   4. No time for pet
   5. Inadequate facilities
   6. Too many pets in home
   7. Pet illness(es)
   8. Personal problems
   9. Biting
  10. No homes for littermates

Most of reasons that dogs are relinquished to shelters have nothing to do with spay/neuter.

AB 1634 is being sold as the solution to a pet overpopulation problem. Yet more spay/neuter cannot put a significant dent in that problem, because the problem is largely one of adult dogs being relinquished to shelters, not an excess of unwanted/unplanned litters that spay/neuter addresses. The real problem at California animal shelters is not due to an excess of irresponsible dog breeding. It is an undersupply of responsible dog ownership.

Most of those who back AB 1634 do so because of their legitimate concerns about dogs having to be killed in shelters. But AB 1634 won't help. It will actually make the real problem at shelters worse.

In animal shelters, what one finds are regional and local variations in the supply vs. demand balance for puppy adoptions. Some communities have an excess of unplanned puppies being born, some have a balance between supply and demand for adoption of puppies at shelters, and some have an inadequate supply of puppies at shelters to supply the local demand. Some shelters are importing puppies from other regions to supply their local demand for puppy adoptions. This is a big change from years ago, when there was an excess of puppies for adoption. Leash laws, voluntary spay/neuter, and owner education have been a huge success.

Again, the lingering problem with dogs in shelters in America is the adult dogs being brought there by people who, for various reasons, decide to get rid of their dog. We live in a throwaway society, where some will discard a dog in a shelter as readily as they throw away a broken toaster. This problem cannot be addressed by spay/neuter laws, or with any new laws.

What AB 1634 will do is reduce the number of responsible dog breeders. They are the ones who license their dogs in their county, socialize their puppies, vaccinate their puppies, research their puppy buyers carefully, do health checks on their breeding stock, and carefully select mates for their breeding dogs. Many of these people will not be able to afford "intact permits". In many cases they won't be eligible for them at any price under AB 1634.

Because there will be fewer responsible breeders in California, the supply of well-bred puppies will decrease. Since the demand will still be there, puppies imported from Mexico or from other states for sale at pet shops and sold over the Internet will fill the supply gap. These puppies will for the most part be from large-scale commercial breeders. With an increase of poorly-bred pets who suffer many more health and temperament defects, the problems with dog bite statistics in California will increase. Even more dogs will get dumped in California shelters. And even more dogs will have to be euthanized each year in California shelters. Just as we've seen where mandatory spay/neuter laws have been implemented elsewhere, AB 1634 can backfire, and make the shelter euthanasia problem it seeks to address worse.

If California's mandatory spay/neuter legislation passes it will decimate working dog breeding in the state. Tens of thousands of working dogs would be ineligible for an "intact permit" under the law, at any price. While the proposed legislation appears to have exemptions for a small subset of working dogs, in reality it does not, since a dog would have to be a working law enforcement dog, a working guide dog for the blind, a working signal dog for the deaf, or a working service dog for the disabled by 4 months of age in order to be eligible for an "intact permit". There is no such thing as 4 month old working dogs, so nearly all future working dogs would be required to be spay/neutered if this law passes before they grow up.
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« Reply #109 on: June 28, 2007, 01:21:05 PM »

Current Amendments, I have looked at all of it, but they have changed 4mos to 6, better but still not good for large and giant breeds. 


http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_1601-1650/ab_1634_bill_20070627_amended_sen_v93.pdf
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« Reply #110 on: June 28, 2007, 01:25:14 PM »

Do you think we will see a drop of total dogs in California?

-Hedge

Answer:  No

It's no different than the immigration laws.  Illegal immigration is on the rise even with laws being enforced & new ones on the horizon.

In the end....it just costs the tax payers more.
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« Reply #111 on: June 28, 2007, 05:16:50 PM »

Answer:  No

It's no different than the immigration laws.  Illegal immigration is on the rise even with laws being enforced & new ones on the horizon.

In the end....it just costs the tax payers more.

You live there, so I trust your opinion.

Thanks for the straight answer.

-Hedge
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« Reply #112 on: June 28, 2007, 06:27:51 PM »

You live there, so I trust your opinion.

Thanks for the straight answer.

-Hedge

It's just like saying we have a drinking & smoking age.....you're trying to tell me there's not a climb every year in these two categories?  Sure, there's been times with a decline, but it always comes back up like the price of gas.

I guess they need new laws instead of implementing & strictly enforcing the ones in place.

This will happen with dog registration & this mandatory spay/neuter.  The honset American citizen will pay for it...the illegal & neglegant activity will remain (or increase) because of the bill.
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« Reply #113 on: June 29, 2007, 05:55:29 AM »

It's no different than the immigration laws.  Illegal immigration is on the rise even with laws being enforced & new ones on the horizon.

they will just smuggle across a puppy or 2 with them to sell when they get here!
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« Reply #114 on: June 29, 2007, 06:52:31 AM »

CURRENT BILL STATUS


MEASURE   :  A.B. No. 1634
AUTHOR(S)   :  Levine (Principal coauthor: Senator Padilla) (Coauthors:
   Nava and Solorio).
TOPIC   :  California Healthy Pets Act.
HOUSE LOCATION   :  SEN
+LAST AMENDED DATE  :  06/27/2007


TYPE OF BILL : 
                Active
                Non-Urgency
                Non-Appropriations
                Majority Vote Required
                State-Mandated Local Program
                Fiscal
                Non-Tax Levy

LAST HIST. ACT. DATE:  06/28/2007
LAST HIST. ACTION   :  Withdrawn from committee.  Re-referred to Com. on
   L.GOV.

COMM. LOCATION   :  SEN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
HEARING DATE   :  07/09/2007

TITLE   :  An act to add Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 122336)
   to Part 6 of Division 105 of, and to repeal Section
   122336.21 the Health and Safety Code, relating to pets.



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« Reply #115 on: July 01, 2007, 01:41:25 PM »

They have made some amendments, a few worth noting:

(4) A person in possession of a cat or dog to be used for any of
the purposes set forth in the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C.
Sec. 2131 et seq.) shall be exempt from the provisions of Section
122336.1, provided the person is licensed by or registered with the
United States Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the provisions of
the Animal Welfare Act.

 

The Animal Welfare Act covers USDA licensed PUPPY MILLS.



 This means PUPPY MILLS are exempt.   PUPPY MILLS are going to ramp up production in CA if this passes!   PUPPY MILLS are a main contributor to shelter dogs.  They supply pets stores that don't give a shit who buys a dog or what happens to it, unlike responsible breeders.  Nor are PUPPY MILLS known for how they treat their breeding dogs and health checks, and how they "dispose" of them when they are of no use to them.   This is BAD BAD BAD news for pets.



122336.21. (a) The local jurisdiction or its authorized local
animal control agency may allow for issuance of an intact permit,
and imposition of an intact permit fee, for one male and one female
dog per household in order to allow the dogs to produce a single
litter of offspring.
In no event shall the intact permits issued for
this purpose have a duration in excess of one year. In addition,
the following conditions shall be met for purposes of obtaining
and retaining the permit:
(1) The animal has been examined by a licensed veterinarian
and is following the preventative health care program
recommended by the veterinarian.
(2) The owner has not been convicted of one or more violations
of the following offenses:
(A) Section 121705 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) Section 286.5 of the Penal Code.
(C) Section 596 of the Penal Code.
(D) Section 597 of the Penal Code.
(E) Section 597.5 of the Penal Code.
(F) Section 599aa of the Penal Code.
(G) Section 487e of the Penal Code.
(H) Section 487f of the Penal Code.
(I) Section 487g of the Penal Code.
(3) The owner has not been convicted of two or more violations
of any local ordinance involving the dog for whom the unaltered
animal certification is sought.
(4) The owner has not received an order from the local
jurisdiction or its authorized local animal control agency involving
the dog for whom the unaltered animal certification is sought.
(5) The dog for whom the unaltered animal certification is
sought has not been determined by local jurisdiction or its
authorized local animal control agency to be a “vicious animal.”
(6) The animal is properly housed and cared for as follows:
(A) The animal is provided sufficient quantity of good and
wholesome food and water.
(B) The animal is provided shelter that will allow the animal
to stand up, turn around, and lie down without lying in its feces,
and the area where the animal is kept is properly cleaned and
disinfected.
(C) The animal is fully contained on the owner’s property and
provided appropriate exercise.
(D) The animal owner otherwise complies with any applicable
state law concerning the care and housing of animals.
(7) The owner furnishes the director of animal control services
with a signed statement agreeing to the following conditions:
(A) Offspring of the unaltered animal may not be sold and may
be adopted without a fee only after they reach eight weeks of age.

(B) Records will be kept documenting how many offspring were
produced and who adopted them.
(8) The dog for whom the unaltered animal certification is
sought is currently licensed pursuant to local requirements.
(9) The owner has considered having the animal microchipped
for purposes of identification.
(b) The owner shall maintain records documenting how many
offspring were produced or adopted, or both, and shall provide
proof that the dog has been spayed or neutered after a single litter.
This information shall be made available to an animal control
agency upon request.
(c) The amount of the fee for an intact permit issued under this
section shall be determined by the local jurisdiction and shall not
exceed the cost of administering this section.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2012,
and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
is enacted before January 1, 2012, deletes or extends that date.

 
  I think the reasoning behind why you can't sell the one litter of puppies may be an attempt to discourage a person from breeding.  That does seem like a good deterrent, but will that discourage someone from breeding anyways but not getting health checks and vet care for the mother because they will "not be breaking even, let alone making any money"? Responsible breeders actually lose money on litters most times, let alone make any money. And if someone does indeed give the puppies away for free, it is a fact that people value something more if it costs them something.  Why put money into an animal that you haven't invested in? Are more animals going to be considered disposable?   Or will people be taking "free" puppies, then turning around and selling them.  Of course nothing prevents someone from taking money "under the table" or "giving" them to a friend and that person then sells them.

  They have made vet exceptions to the 4 months, you can extend that out to a year with a letter from a vet, that is a good improvement.

  But still, the way this bill is written makes me think that a bunch of idiots are just slapping it together with no real thought at all.   :-\

 It is not hard to see why PeTA and PUPPY MILLS are the major supporters of this bill.   Their agendas are very clear.
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« Reply #116 on: July 03, 2007, 05:34:58 AM »

How PUPPY MILL breeder dogs live their whole lives till they are of no use then they are usually killed.    More PUPPY MILLS will sprout in CA if this bill passes because they are EXEMPT!!!

   If for no other reason to say no to AB 1634!! 



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdcNl5FqcKY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3P0HXRmfKg

Charlize Theron for PeTA.   This video makes the conditions of the dogs in the above video look like they are living in luxury.    Despite my reservations with PeTA, they have exposed a number of things in the pet industry. 



 Louie, Getbigs June DOTM, was rescued from a pet store by JimmyTheFish who saw that he was sick and needed to get out of there.  Most PUPPY MILL puppies are sick.  Their parents are sick, how can they have healthy litters in these conditions?

  Don't buy from a petshop, adopt from a shelter or go to a reputable breeder.  And if you ever do see puppies in pet shops that are ill or not being taken care of REPORT THEM. 

   

  Louie's story has a happy ending thanks to JimmyTheFish who not only have given Louie a great life, but helped shut down that store so no other puppies would be treated like Louie was:


 
Louie is a Pomeranian and I rescued him from a pet store of all places, he had bad mange and was severely mistreated (people suck) I took him and told the pet store owner I was calling the TV stations, radio, you name it -- he was out of biz in less than a week.
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« Reply #117 on: July 11, 2007, 07:42:10 AM »

This has not be verified yet, but I just heard that Levine pulled this Bill!

         Cheesy
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« Reply #118 on: July 11, 2007, 12:03:00 PM »

The lawmaker who proposed a controversial bill that would require most California pets to be spayed or neutered is dropping his effort.

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine made the announcement about his proposed bill Wednesday morning.

Levine told NBC11 News that he is very saddened that the proposal did not have enough support. He said he will allow Wednesday’s scheduled testimony to continue in the state senate but that he will pull the proposal after that.

Spay Neuter Bill Dies In Committee

The proposal would have meant that the state legislation would require pets to be spayed or neutered at six months or pay a $500 fine. There are some exceptions to the rule that would exempt breeders.

Retired game show host Bob Barker was in Sacramento on Monday to support the bill.

Famous TV dog Lassie and John Pprovost, star of the series "Lassie," lobbied against the bill.

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« Reply #119 on: July 11, 2007, 12:05:40 PM »

Today's hearing is over.

The bill is NOT dead as was earlier reported by some news organizations...
It's been "passed over" until January. This has been the "strategy" all along to
keep it from being "killed". Every time Ass. Member LeVine knows he hasn't got the votes to pass it, he allows it to be "passed over" until such time as he
feels he has *done whatever* to secure the votes he needs.... He's in this fight
for the long haul, along with all of the AR "big guns" -- PETA, H$U$, etc.
They're just counting on the "little guy" opposition to tire out while they do their
politicking...... And they KNOW they far outweigh us in the wallet. This is typically
how all of the more local ordinances get passed "when nobody's looking".


He wants to bring it back in 2008, aimed at "irresponsible owners" 
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« Reply #120 on: July 11, 2007, 05:00:46 PM »

State bill to force dog and cat owners to spay or neuter their pets is put
on hold
By Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
12:08 PM PDT, July 11, 2007

SACRAMENTO -- A bill to require Californians to spay or neuter their pets or
face stiff fines was pulled today from consideration for this year by its
author after it ran into strong objections from members of a state Senate panel.

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) said he hoped to resurrect the idea in
January.

He said he would consider amending the legislation, as suggested by a member
of the Senate committee, to limit a proposed $500 fine to owners whose
unaltered dogs and cats were picked up by animal control officers while running
loose, or those discovered at homes during investigations into other violations.

"I think we can get to a solution," Levine told the Senate Local Government
Committee and an overflow crowd at a Capitol hearing room. "But the first
thing opponents must do is to acknowledge that there is a problem and work with
me to solve it."

Levine's legislation, Assembly Bill 1634, had cleared the Assembly with no
votes to spare on June 6, but ran into opposition in the Senate after some
10,000 pet owners, breeders, guide-dog owners and police officers objected that
it would infringe on their rights.

An equal number of pet owners and animal control experts had lobbied for the
bill, making it one of the most hotly contested pieces of legislation this
year.

Backers said the mandate for dogs and cats to be spayed and neutered at six
months is justified because 454,000 unclaimed cats and dogs are put to death
each year in California shelters at a cost of about $300 million.

Despite previous amendments to exempt work dogs, show dogs and breeder dogs,
it appeared the five-member committee was not prepared to move the measure
to the full Senate.

Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino), the committee chairwoman, told Levine
that her family had cared for stray dogs and cats for years and had always
acted responsibly and had them spayed or neutered.

"I don't think I appreciate being charged with something that I already do
naturally," she said.

Sen. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), another member of the panel, said his
family has had hunting dogs for years. He said the proposal to require dogs
to be spayed or neutered at six months would interfere with the breeding of
hunting dogs, which are often not selected until they are more than 18 months
old.

"There needs to be something in the bill for those working dogs," he said.

Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) suggested an amendment limiting the fine
and spay-and-neuter requirement to those animals picked up by shelter
workers.

"One of the fear factors around this bill, and there are a lot of them, is
that it's too broad, that responsible owners would be subject to having to
take action on their pets, that it's not fair," Kehoe told Levine.

The assemblyman offered to accept the amendment if the panel would vote the
bill out of committee, but there did not appear to be the votes.

"If you are talking about taking amendments this morning on the fly, that's
not acceptable," said Sen. Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks).

As a result, Levine asked that the bill be shelved until January.

"We'll take our time," Levine told reporters afterward. "We've got six
months to work to educate the committee and work on the amendment.

"The amendment would have just said if you are in violation of other animal
laws, then you have to spay or neuter your animal. It would not have
penalized otherwise law-abiding citizens," he said.

But opponents, who have formed a group called PetPac, will continue to
organize in preparation for any attempt next year to resurrect the legislation.

"We're very pleased" that the bill was withdrawn, said Bill Henby, chairman
of PetPac.

"We will regroup and continue to grow our coalition so that by the time this
comes back in January, we hope to be representing over a million dog and cat
owners."

When asked about the proposed amendment that would narrow the legislation,
Henby said, "We are still concerned."

Levine said he ended this year's fight for the bill with a bitter taste in
his mouth.

"I've been personally attacked and vilified," he said. "I am very upset. I
will stipulate that my opponents love their animals. We have different
approaches to how to solve the problem. But I don't like the fact that it's gotten
personal."

patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com
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« Reply #121 on: July 12, 2007, 06:56:54 AM »

> Permission to cross post from a friend in English Cockers:
>
> I think it is very obvious to all of us that yes, Levine will be
> back and PETA and HSUS and the many other backers of this bill.
> What we need to do now is be pro-active in this fight for our
> rights to own, breed, and do what we think is in the best interest
> of our animals.
>
> First, each and every one of us should register to vote no matter
> what state you live in. I personally would love to see voter
> registration tables at our dog shows around the country where we
> can take to as many dog lovers as possible, both exhibitors and
> spectators. This would start sending the message to legislatures
> that we are serious about our rights and we are not going to go away.
>
> We need to ask questions of those running for office or coming up
> for reelection, "How would you vote on a mandatory spay neuter
> law?" "Do you think keeping domestic pets is wrong?" "Are you for
> legislation that will allow animal control to go on people's
> property without a warrant and confiscate there property, based on
> an unsubstantiated claim by someone who legally cannot be held
> responsible, then allow the group who would be receiving the fines
> to be judge and jury?"
>
> We need to campaign for those who are with us and against those who
> aren't. At the very least, we need to get out and vote ourselves.
>
> We need to put pressure on the dog and cat food companies, pet
> store and other suppliers of animal products to support voluntary
> responsible pet ownership, not right-wing anti-pet organizations.
> It shouldn't take much to convince them that no pets means no
> business.
>
> We need to continue supporting PetPac and other political action
> committees that support reasonible legislation.
>
> And we need to work with local animal control and shelters to find
> a workable solution to the problem that doesn't require mandatory,
> punitive legislation to responsible owners. One of the things that
> really bothered me about this whole bill process was what came
> across to me as visible contempt from the animal control and
> shelter workers towards all pet owners. I realize they usually only
> see the seamier side of the fence, but the attitude that all owners
> of un-spayed or neuter pets allowed their animals to run free and
> breed indiscriminately on purpose really put me off. It scares the
> daylights out of me to think what the consequences would be if my
> guys ever got out accidentally and were picked up.
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« Reply #122 on: July 13, 2007, 03:36:25 AM »

I'm sure the Bill will work out fine eventually.

-Hedge
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« Reply #123 on: July 13, 2007, 04:04:48 AM »

I'm sure the Bill will work out fine eventually.

-Hedge

Thanks Hedgie for weighing in again.  You put so much time and research that you base your opinions on that it is good to hear what you think.     Roll Eyes


  No bill needs to pass, better s/n programs and education needs to be put into place and the EXISTING LAWS ENFORCED.


   What the attempting of this bill did that was good was get people thinking and more aware of the situation and the FACTS (and by facts I don't mean the skewed statistics that Levine and the others were trying to pass off).  This bill brought to light WHAT HAS WORKED in other places and brought to light that MANDATORY S/N HASN'T WORKED.  More people are hopefully aware of PUPPY MILLS and the horrors that go on at them and that this bill EXEMPTED PUPPY MILLS. So PUPPY MILLS could go on churning out puppies with no restrictions.  PUPPY MILLS contribute more than RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS to the shelter numbers.  PUPPY MILLS SHOULD BE BANNED and see how that affects shelters.

   The government plays a role in PUPPY MILLS and they chose to look the other way.

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« Reply #124 on: July 17, 2007, 07:23:23 AM »

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070716/news_mz1ed16top.html

UNION-TRIBUNE EDITORIAL
A deserved demise

Mandatory pet-sterilization bill went too far

July 16, 2007

Given the passions raised by the issue, members of the state Senate Local
Government Committee are certain to be inundated with nasty phone calls,
e-mails and letters in coming days over the panel's decision to effectively
kill a mandatory pet spay-neuter law this year in the Legislature. But we
believe lawmakers made the right call.

There is no question California has far too many unwanted dogs and cats -
and far too many irresponsible pet owners who fail to prevent their animals
from breeding and having unwanted offspring. It is appalling on several
levels that state shelters euthanize as many as a half-million animals a
year at a cost of $250 million. But legislation proposed by Assemblyman
Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, simply went too far.

Levine wanted all dogs and cats to be sterilized before they are 6 months
old, with a handful of exceptions, in particular for breeders of certain
specialized dogs. Pet owners caught with an unsterilized dog or cat older
than six months would have to comply within 30 days or pay a $500 fine.

But while Levine did weaken his measure in several ways, he never understood
why its mandatory nature was an affront to millions of responsible
California pet owners - or appreciated that it almost certainly would have
been ignored by the irresponsible pet owners it targeted.

These are large, basic problems. So while we welcome Levine saying he will
attempt to revise his measure so it can win broader support in 2008, we are
unsure if he will be successful.

A promising - and far less controversial - approach is to increase subsidies
for spaying and neutering programs. Another idea is to offer tax credits to
pet owners who can prove their pets are sterilized and tax breaks to
veterinarians who provide low-cost spaying and neutering.

The fact is - contrary to the rhetoric of many of Levine's supporters - the
problem is not getting worse. State animal shelters have reported a decline
in the number of unwanted pets over the past decade, thanks to effective
local initiatives. That holds for San Diego County, too.

"Our animal intakes in the last six to seven years are gradually going down.
I believe it's because we have such a strong spay and neuter program in the
community," Dawn Danielson, director of the County of San Diego Department
of Animal Services, told the Union-Tribune in February. She gives much of
the credit to the Spay Neuter Action Project, a nonprofit group that offers
inexpensive sterilization services to low-income pet owners.

This shows local initiatives can work. With a little state funding and/or
some tax breaks, the Legislature could quickly prompt their adoption and
expansion. We hope to see legislation along these lines, and soon. If Levine
cannot bring himself to abandon his mandatory scheme, then someone else -
perhaps Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, who has worked on pet bills -
needs to step in. The mass euthanization of cats and dogs in California is
both costly and heartbreaking. It must be addressed.
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