Many people in our sport joined the ranks of dog and cat people across the country over the past few months to fight AB 1634. DR has devoted a fair amount of space to the subject; we don’t want to overdo it, but clearly it’s important that we follow not only this bill but others that threaten our sport. Although the bill was pulled on July 11, the fight isn’t over. There is more hard work ahead if we are to help find solutions to the problems that face shelters and animal control agencies across the nation. The good news is that, the more research I do, the more evident it becomes that over the past 20-plus years the actual number of animals impounded and euthanized in many metropolitan areas has in fact decreased, in spite of population increases in these areas. Something — education, new programs, greater availability of information — is contributing to this steady decline, although exactly what has yet to be determined.
Although our opponents continue to be demonized by many (justifiably in the case of PETA and the like, but not necessarily with all of our “opponents”) the fact is that unless and until we are ready to work with the opposition to collect factual, verifiable data that will identify exactly where large numbers of dogs and cats that end up in shelters come from, and how to reduce that number, one side or the other is going to lose. That leaves “us” a 50-50 chance, either way. We have to be responsible, open-minded and willing to listen and learn in order to make progress on this issue.
To the education end, we have fairly detailed coverage in this issue of the July 11 hearing before the California Senate Local Government Committee. Many fanciers have never attended a legislative hearing of any kind and for many the legislative process is foreign. The more we know the better prepared we’ll be in future; there’s a lot to learn from the details of that hearing.
On a lighter note, an often-asked question about spay/neuter laws is, how can they be enforced? Cartoonist Nachos Garcia illustrated what sometimes seems like the absurdity of this battle in a December edition of the El Paso Times, and Editor Charlie Edgren and Garcia graciously granted us permission to reprint the cartoon here.
In the past three issues of DR, ads for Ch. Geordan Tiger Lily named her the top-winning Irish Terrier of all time. Recently her owners informed us that this is incorrect. The error is DR’s, and we apologize to Carol Dowd, Ceil Ruggles, Dan and Georgiana Sackos, John Childers, Scott Sommer and all Irish Terrier people. We’re verifying which dog is the top-winning Irish of all time and will share that information next month.
I personally made a serious error in the DR Maltese Breed Feature in the August issue. In the sidebar on page 168 I reported that Ch. Sand Island Small Kraft Lite was the Top Toy in 1990, 1991 and 1992. The figures reported for 1990 and 1991 are correct; however, he was not among the Top 10 Toys in 1992 and the printed information for that year is in error. The Top Toy in 1992 was the Pekingese, Ch. Briarcourts Damien Gable, owned by Nancy Shapland and handled by David Fitzpatrick. I sincerely apologize to all concerned for the error.
Christi McDonald, Editor
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