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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

NO on AB1634 - Why It's Wrong

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No on California AB 1634
"California Healthy Pets Act"

Choosing a 'feel good' perky name for a bill perpetuates the GRAND deception

I've mentioned it before -- the so-called pet 'overpopulation' issue regarding euthanized animals in shelters is grossly exaggerated. AB1634 may have originally been well intentioned but at this point, it's quite clear to the majority scrutinizing the data, that the authors of the bill are using incomplete data and demonstrate little understanding or concept of the active dog community.

Over the past several decades, the numbers of impounds and euthanized animals have dropped at a steady rate, shown in the chart above. (more detail at DogGoneCalifornia)

Many people are essentially flaunting their ignorance in public forums by quoting various undifferentiated, incomplete and 'no context' numbers related to shelter statistics. Some use descriptive words such as "staggering", "out of control" for describing the isolated 'freeze frame' of time of which they hope to convince all, that there exists a critical "pet overpopulation".

I've seen different variations of the joke below around the 'net. This is the one I copied off of eBaum's World.

Flight Chatter

A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, "Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."

The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, "What would you like to talk about?"

"Oh, I don't know", said the stranger. "How about nuclear power?"

"OK". she said. "That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat grass, the same stuff. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?"

The stranger thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."

"Do you feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?

Staggering numbers, out of control?
In the case of California, euthanization numbers involve only about 2 percent of California's dog population and yet after decades of continuous progress, some will emotively and shrilly state that mandatory spay and neuter (MSN) is the solution.

As out of context with any timeline as they are, they may then go on to state that MSN has improved the statistics in different places.

And here is the problem...
  • They neglect to mention the fact that shelter statistics already had significant drops in the years previous to (whichever) ordinance.
  • They also neglect to state that the shelters in those areas with said ordinances are still killing animals that fit into the same profiles of impoundment that existed before the ordinance!
The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy website has a lot of research in more detail about pets in shelters, and its all available to public access. Here is info from one press release in 1998 of an early study on relinquishment of pets.
Every day in communities across the US a bond is broken. It’s the bond between people and their pets, resulting in millions of pets being surrendered to shelters each year. And little has been known about the reasons why until now.

In a recent study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) and published in the July issue of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS), researchers went into 12 selected animal shelters in the United States for one year to find out why.

The results of the study show that the top seven reasons for relinquishment for both dogs and cats are the same. "These commonalties suggest that there may be similar ways to address relinquishment in dogs and cats," says Pam Burney, NCPPSP president. "For people who work in a shelter all day, there isn't always time to look at these issues. We have impressions of what's happening, but now we have objective data that will help us develop specific programs to address the issues that have been identified."

STUDY FINDS THE TOP 10 REASONS FOR PET RELINQUISHMENT

Top 10 Reasons for Relinquishment*

Dogs:
1. Moving (7%)
2. Landlord not allowing pet (6%)
3. Too many animals in household (4%)
4. Cost of pet maintenance (5%)
5. Owner having personal problems (4%)
6. Inadequate facilities (4%)
7. No homes available for litter mates (3%)
--Breeding?
8. Having no time for pet (4%)
9. Pet illness(es) (4%)
10. Biting (3%)

Cats:
1. Moving (8%)
2. Landlord not allowing pet (6%)
3. Too many animals in household (11%)
4. Cost of pet maintenance (6%)
5. Owner having personal problems (4%)
6. Inadequate facilities (2%)
7. No homes available for litter mates (6%)
--Breeding?
8. Allergies in family (8%)
9. House soiling (5%)
10. Incompatibility with other pets (2%)

Specially trained researchers completed confidential individual interviews with pet owners who were relinquishing their dogs or cats to animal shelters. Pet owners were allowed to give up to five reasons for relinquishment. Interviewers did not, however, prioritize the responses. They simply recorded them in the order stated.

Characteristics of Pets Being Relinquished

In addition to the reasons for relinquishment, the study collected data on the pets being relinquished. According to the study: The majority of the surrendered dogs (47.7%) and cats (40.3%) were between 5 months and 3 years of age.

The majority of dogs (37.1 %) and cats (30.2) had been owned from 7 months to 1 year. Approximately half of the pets (42.8% of dogs; 50.8% of cats) surrendered were not neutered. Many of the pets relinquished (33% of dogs; 46.9% of cats) had not been to a veterinarian.

Animals acquired from friends were relinquished in higher numbers (31.4% of dogs; 33.2% of cats) than from any other source.

Close to equal numbers of male and female dogs and cats were surrendered.

Most dogs (96%) had not received any obedience training.

Characteristics of Pet Owners Surrendering Pets

During the confidential interviews, researchers also gathered data on the people surrendering the pets. "Owners represented a broad range of age, ethnicity, education, and income level, indicating continued efforts will need to reach wide and far into communities across the country," say Dr. Mo Salman, the article's senior author.


- Pets are impounded which no one 'relinquished', those are not covered above

- It has been well documented that mandatory spay and neuter does not work -- it does not address the reasons that people relinquish pets. Punitive legislation doesn't help the animals and doesn't help this situation

And now, with above issues in mind, consider AB 1634 - a state mandate of pediatric hysterectomy and castration of ALL cats and dogs.

They are claiming exemptions... but hello people! Absolutely any reader of the bill will note that aside from commercial producers, there is absolutely NO one who is exempt. Everyone from police dog sources, farmers, disabled people covered by the ADA, the poor, and all the rest, every single one must jump through hoops to have what amounts to a pseudo "exemption" which only applies in their specific locale and as currently worded, all these exemptions expire in the year 2009.
Article 2.  General Provisions

122336.1. (a) A person shall not own or possess within the state
any cat or dog over the age of four months that has not been spayed
or neutered, unless that person possesses an intact permit, as
defined in subdivision (b) of Section 122336.
(b) Subject to subdivision (c), any person who violates
subdivision (a) shall, for each animal for which a violation has
occurred, be subject to a civil penalty of five hundred dollars
($500). This penalty shall be imposed in addition to any other civil
or criminal penalties imposed by the local jurisdiction.
(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, and the owner shall not be in
violation of this act.
(d) Any civil penalty imposed under subdivision (b) may be waived
by the local jurisdiction if the person in violation provides
verification that his or her cat or dog has been spayed or neutered.
(e) Any person who, on or after April 1, 2008, is in possession
of
any document issued by the local jurisdiction or its authorized
animal control agency that permits the owner to possess an
unaltered
cat or dog shall be deemed in compliance with this act until
the
document expires, or January 1, 2009,
which ever
whichever
occurs first.
Can't say much for the enormous lack of care that has gone into above.
And they think people are upset?!


Disabled persons that the American with Disabilities Act
has given rights of access via use of a service animal, includes the use of intact animals. Persons covered by ADA shall not be refused public access nor be challenged for documentation of their animals. Not every service dog user can qualify for a professionally trained service dog. Some organizations try to ensure highest rates of success by placing working dogs only with families without other pets (distractions) and there are other reasons why a Disabled American might choose to use an animal that they have raised and trained themselves or gotten from other sources. Disabled Americans that know how, are given rights by the ADA to train their own and they are not required to provide documentation of the animal's training, any more than they require a document to use a cane or a wheel chair. But now in California, if the bill passes, the intent of the bill will be that they too will now be forced to provide "documentation" in order to have an intact animal helping them. In violation of the Federal bill? NO problem.. that's what Levine, Boks, Mancuso and others demand. Furthermore, if Disabled Americans have intact dogs, like anyone else, they will be forced to perform in state mandated sport -- Why? -- because the bill's authors think that such "One Size Fits All" requirements are somehow going to reduce the number of animals euthanized in a shelter?

Exemption guidelines were clearly written without understanding of how various sectors of the dog community protects its animals, or how training and selection is performed. Nor do its authors seem to have the slightest an inkling of comprehension on how selection of future prospects for breeding done with an eye to preservation of ability, diversity and health.

State mandated experimentation on baby cats and dogs is endorsed by Humane Society of the United States, by Wayne Pacelle, by Lloyd Levine, Ed Boks, and Judie Mancuso. They don't want to call it that, but that is exactly what it is.

From a medical and science perspective, Professor James A. Serpell has written, " The legislation appears to be ill-considered and premature considering how little we know about the long-term impact of pediatric spay/neuter on the health and behavior of dogs and cats. At 4 months of age, dogs and cats are also too immature for us to be able to predict reliably their adult temperament and physical soundness. The legislation as written could therefore have a significantly adverse effect on our future ability to select the best animals for breeding purposes." Some of Dr. Serpell's work, charts and graphs can be seen here and here. The links also have information regarding studies performed by guide dog and service dog organizations, which determined that it was a bad idea to do early neutering.
from study

This text IS fuzzy... so download the file the follows if you want clarity.

from study

Above, a significant relationship between neutering and aggression was discovered, as far back as 1996.
Podberscek, A.L. & Serpell, J.A.
The English Cocker Spaniel: preliminary findings on aggressive behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 47: 75-89, 1996.
Download the study right here. (PDF images 718 KB )

A new database on shelter stats is being put together at the NAIA Shelter Project website. This will be a useful tool to compare data across different areas in the country and also

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/08/2007 10:21:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Linda sent us a woof // June 27, 2007

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1521064885918913891


I am a johnny come lately compared to you, but please see my video posted yesterday on google. Thanks
Ed Bourne   

Blogger Linda sent us a woof // June 27, 2007

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1521064885918913891
My video on google. You wil enjoy!
Linda   

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