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Monday, March 12, 2007

You May Soon Have No Right to Behave Freely and Responsibly

I'm trying to reach as many responsible dog/pet owners in California that I personally know via email -- and have also decided to blog this.

This draconian legislation is actually targeted to eventually be Nationwide!

As you may be aware, some poorly designed legislation which does not address the real problem at all is going to be targeting all of us. (California AB 1634, intended to combat the overpopulation of stray pets)

The Sacramento Bee article is here
and copied below
I am uncertain if people without a 'Bee' account, will be able to see the article - so I am posting it here as Fair Use.

Government mandated compulsory spay/neuter is bad news. And as many of us know, HSUS, PeTA and other Animal Rights groups continue to advertise that spaying and neutering makes for healthy, well behaved pets. "Stepford Wives" anyone?! The disposable animals issues being shifted as financial burden to those of us that already account for what we breed and place is beyond badly designed. Lumping all breeds into 'safe to early neuter' category is also unwise. Not all breeds mature at the same rate as a cat does. Even nonbreeding (pet quality) female dogs that have undersized or recessed vulvas need time to reach maturity before they are spayed. In our large breed, sometimes spaying or neutering after the first year and later would be best advised to allow normal maturity for bone. Sex hormones in ALL animals are involved in many elements of their healthy maturity. Turning them all into androgynous neuters to satisfy political whim is just plain stupid.

Haven't we generally embraced the fact that fair treatment of animals is through the idea that a society's care of animals is the best measurement of our true moral character. Why then do the groups purporting to stand for animal welfare RIGHTS treat them as generic and disposable political commodities?

If you are raising slow maturing, promising young dogs to see how they will turn out, and responsibly choose only the best dogs with which to go forward -- you already know that OFA evaluation of hips cannot even happen until the dog is 2 years old. This legislation ensures we will have to jump through hoops, owe the state more fees and penalties just to allow our dogs to grow up normally.

There is not a lot of dog knowledge in this sweeping legislation that treats every breed as if it were the same as a cat.

Levine's suggestion that mixed breeding is a solution (to anything) goes to show how little he knows about genetics and the source of many irresponsibly bred dogs. Mixed Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are not going to do their jobs as well, will be more unpredictable and more difficult to screen for health issues because we will know even less about their scrambled genetics.

There is just so much that is wrong with this legislation that will not address the perceived problems.

It will make breeding unaffordable for many of us who already screen our own people, our breeding stock, educate those who inquire. We really should not be penalized for the mistakes of those who are ignorant enough to choose and casually dispose of factory bred, casually bred or random bred pets whose breeders do not stand behind them.

The answer to the disposable pet population is not this legislation.

Animal Rights people, PeTA and HSUS are anti breeder.

See http://www.cahealthypets.com/
There are so many lumping generalities above that it is frightening.

The *deliberate* framing of this problem as a promotion and solution for "Healthy Pets" is grossly misleading and intended to draw kneejerk support from those who will support this law but are ignorant. PeTA and HSUS are associated with terrorist groups in our country. They are working to take away our right to be responsible for our own animals.



We have to fight this.
More info below-
Thanks for hearing me out.

----- Forwarded message from Vicky von Busse -----

From: "Vicky von Busse" <**null**@compusmart.ab.ca>
Subject: [rawbreeder] Fw: Please Respond Today Re - CA Anti Pet
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 12:06:49 -0600

Permission to crosspost to encourage all those it could/will affect to write in because if it comes into effect here, it will be easier for other places to follow suit.


Hot off the Sacramento Bee's press - Monday morning, March 12, 2007

This article needs to have Letters to the Editor written immediately. I cannot write another one as they only allow one in a particular time frame. Google Sacramento Bee and follow the rules for letters. You are allowed 200 words and if you use the format they have, it counts the words as you type along.

But, send your letters to the Letters to the Editor - not to Jim Saunders - or to both if you want to.

Also, remember Jim Saunders, the author, is one of the "good guys" - do not demean him. He's trying to cover both sides.

Please act on this now. If you get your letters in today, they might appear by the weekend.

Diane Young McCormack
Dachshund Club of America
Canine Legislation Committee, co-chair


Legislation aims to sterilize pets

By Jim Sanders - Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 12:00 am PDT Monday, March 12, 2007
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A1

California lawmakers soon will consider adopting a massive birth control plan for dogs and cats that seeks to reduce the burden on animal shelters by sterilizing millions of family pets.

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, through a program unprecedented in its size nationwide, hopes to curb the number of unwanted dogs and cats by making fewer capable of reproducing.

Levine's measure, Assembly Bill 1634, would require every dog and cat to be spayed or neutered except for breeding animals -- perhaps only purebreds --whose owners would pay for a city or county permit.

Levine, D-Van Nuys, said his goal is to crack down on irresponsible breeding practices that fill shelters each year with more than 550,000 dogs and cats, of which more than 300,000 are killed.

"If you agree that it's inhumane as a society to create disposable animals, animals that we know are just going to be dumped into shelters and ultimately euthanized, then we need to do something about it," he said.

Taxpayers are paying more than $250 million annually to house, care and euthanize sheltered dogs and cats, said Levine, citing figures provided by a coalition that includes shelter operators statewide.

"It's wrong to put all these animals in shelters and it's wrong to kill them," said Judie Mancuso, a coalition spokeswoman. "The only reason they were born is because of humans' negligence. ... They don't deserve to die because of it."

The coalition sponsoring AB 1634 includes the California Animal Control Directors' Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association and the State Humane Association of California.

But critics say AB 1634 would interfere with the rights of pet owners, be ignored by many of the worst offenders, be largely unenforceable, spark litigation if a young animal sensitive to anesthesia died in surgery and could pose a financial hardship to hobbyist breeders.

Glen Bui, of the American Canine Association, predicted the bill would exacerbate shelter problems because some pet owners would abandon their cats or dogs rather than pay to sterilize them.

"It's going to be a nightmare," he said.

Lesley Brabyn, a Mill Valley breeder of saluki dogs, said many hobbyists would quit because they could not afford permits. The breeders provide a valuable service, producing healthy animals, socializing them well, assisting buyers and often volunteering in rescue programs, she said.

"It's going to leave puppy mills to supply purebred dogs to the public," she said of AB 1634. "And it's going to open the market for smugglers."

Vickie Cleary, an Antelope resident and hobbyist whose Scottish terriers occasionally have a litter of puppies, said the bill is "one step closer to bureaucracy and government controlling our human rights."

Levine's bill, expected to be debated at a public hearing next month, would require that dogs and cats more than 4 months old be spayed or neutered.

The legislation provides exceptions for breeding animals that have permits, and for guide dogs, service dogs, signal dogs, police dogs or animals excused by a letter from a veterinarian because of illness, age or poor health.

Levine's bill would not spark a door-to-door search for violators. But when a roaming dog or cat is impounded, animal control officers could issue a citation requiring the owner to spay or neuter the animal within 30 days -- or face a $500 fine, Levine said.

Revenue would be used for outreach efforts and for programs that spay or neuter animals at little or no charge.

AB 1634 is meant to crack down on mongrel cats and dogs, which shelter officials claim make up about 70 percent of their population.

The bill, as currently written, allows cities and counties to issue breeding permits and set fees only for purebred animals. But Levine said he is considering amendments to allow issuance of some permits to mixed-breed owners.

Levine concedes that a program that embraces only breeding among purebred dogs and cats could perpetuate genetic deficiencies.

Citing one example, Levine said Dalmatians often are deaf. Mixed breeding, by expanding the gene pool, could reduce the likelihood of impairment.

"I think the world would be better off if we had mixed breeds or evolution," he said. "But I'm not going to win that fight. So what I'm trying to do is figure out how we address overpopulation in the shelters."

Pedestrians interviewed randomly Thursday in downtown Sacramento had mixed feelings.

Mary Powell, 72, likes the idea because "some of the cats are a nuisance."

But James Hunger, 74, said "the poor people who own these animals, they can't afford that."

"I think it's over the top," said Greg Taggart, 51, of Citrus Heights. But, "there are some people who own cats and dogs that ought to be spayed or neutered."

Prices vary for the surgery. A sampling of three Sacramento-area veterinarians found a low of $55 for a male cat and a high of $165 for a female dog over 50 pounds.

Each of the past 10 years, more than a half-million dogs and cats were handled by shelters statewide -- with a high of 862,652 in 1998, according to state statistics, which are considered low because not every agency reports each year.

California keeps no statistics on the number or percentage of pets that are spayed or neutered. State law requires the procedure for any dogs or cats adopted from an animal shelter, but not for pets recovered after impoundment.

"I don't believe you can legitimately argue that (overpopulation) is not a problem and should be ignored," said Levine, who does not currently own a cat or a dog.

But critics note that while California's population has risen in the past decade, the animal shelter population has fallen. Cats, not dogs, make up a disproportionate share of unwanted pets: 70 percent of sheltered cats were killed last year, compared with 40 percent of dogs, state statistics show.

Patti Strand, national director of the National Animal Interest Alliance, said AB 1634 would do little or nothing to reduce feral cat populations.

"They're wandering on their own, they have no owners," she said. "Who are you going to charge?"

About the writer:
a.. The Bee's Jim Sanders can be reached at (916) 326-5538 or jsanders@sacbee.com.

----- End forwarded message -----


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 3/12/2007 02:43:00 PM | Permanent link | (4) Comments

Blogger carina sent us a woof // March 17, 2007

YAY for you! I agree 100%, as do most educated pet owners. I hadn't even thought of the point that it may result in increased animals dumped in shelters because people don't want to pay the fees.
When I got Cooper (from a very knowlegable and wel respected Rottie person) she advised me to wait until 14 months minimum before neutering because of the greatly increased risk of osteo from early neutering. My contract did call for neutering by 24 months, though.
Love your Stepford Wife comment.
Is it OK to link to this? I was going to blog it (actually I did, last year but it needs to be said again) and you have done a great job.
You've probably seen this:

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // March 17, 2007

Thanks Carina, and links would be fine anyway. Yes, the canine athlete link is a good one. I have several more and should put the links up today!

Yay for Cooper. And he is a magnificent boy!   

Blogger Jill Bryant sent us a woof // March 22, 2007

I have started learning so much more about some of the problems with early spaying and neutering by trading email with a knowledgeable person in Europe where they do not do this as prevalently as we do. I now realize I'm lucky I found my pup when she was about one year because I probably would've sent her to be spayed much younger and had all kinds of trouble as a result...   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // March 22, 2007

Jill, thanks for your comment. I like your blog! Congratulations on Honey's CGC!

I love your profile response to the random question:
Q- Try writing your name with your other hand. Where was that person raised?

A-On the Yucatan Peninsula by missionaries.

That's a good one! :D   

Puppy Boone says: Let's chat!

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