California Assembly Passes Spay/Neuter Bill

Spay/neuter legislation would make sterilization mandatory for all California pets more than four months old.

Posted: June 9, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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California’s State Assembly narrowly passed the controversial Healthy Pets Act (AB 1634) on Wednesday, which would set statewide spay and neuter laws for most cats and dogs more than four months old.

The 41-38 vote moved the legislation to the state’s Senate, where the bill has been assigned to a committee.

The bill has sparked considerable controversy in the state, ranging from its merits as a way to control pet populations to more philosophical debates regarding the role of government itself.

Lloyd Levine, the bill’s author, says one million unwanted and abandoned cats and dogs are born in California each year, and organizations spend $250 million annually to care or euthanize these animals. About 500,000 are euthanized annually, says Levine.

Supporters of the legislation argue the population problem is caused by “irresponsible breeders” and that breeders with business licenses would be able to get “intact animal” permits. Breed groups, however, contend many responsible, hobby breeders are too small to require business licenses.

If passed, the legislation would place enforcement responsibility on local jurisdictions but does not provide state funds to do so. The legislation assumes that costs borne by local agencies to enforce the regulation would be supported by annual permits and civil penalties, and that enforcement activities would be conducted in the course of the agencies’ other duties and based on complaints.

Critics contend that those funds would be insufficient to cover the program’s costs and that local jurisdictions would be forced to pay the difference. In addition, some pet owners could skip the licensing process and provisions such as rabies vaccinations, rather than spay or neuter their pets, critics of the legislation contend.

Although the legislation exempts cats and dogs from other states traveling to California for a variety of reasons, including dog and cat shows, the American Kennel Club says passage of the legislation would send the message that AKC events are not welcome in California and could hurt the state’s economy.

Also, the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is currently scheduled for Dec. 1-2 in Long Beach, Calif. About 300,000 competitors, many from outside the state, participated in AKC events, including all-breed dog shows, agility events and field trials, in California in 2006.

The Senate has until Sept. 14, 2007, to pass the bill for it to be enacted in 2008.

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susan   zephyrhills, FL

11/18/2010 12:13:11 PM

To anyone who objects to this bill: Stop projecting your own, very humanoid urge to reproduce onto an animal who lives only in the moment. They do not care if they have
offspring!

Part of why we love them is because of that very fact - That they do not complicate life with the desires we do. To neuter an animal is to provide it with a more peaceful and less complicated existance free from urges that, for the most part, go
unmet...

Anyone who disagrees should simply have to find a pus-encrusted, one month old kitten in their yard dying a long and painful death based solely on the fact that their owners feel their cats need to be happy in order to
multiply.

A neutered animal can be just as happy, actually much more so, than an unneutered one!

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Pericles   carlsbad, CA

6/17/2009 6:38:46 PM

spaying and neutering is extremely wrong and in just. How would you like
it?
Our pets don't have a say in what is going on. We are taking away their right to reproduce. Anybody, have you ever looked at your pet
before
the operation ? they are totally oblivious. They TRUST us. All
spay/neuter
fans should give up to the opposition. You Are All morally
wrong!!!!
Way to go AKC. Big fan. All Spay/neuter vets should be shamed to the
point
of an outcast. My email is scorpious1112@yahoo.com .

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Tracy   Twentynine Palms, CA

10/26/2008 11:31:49 AM

There are many PEOPLE that over breed and can't afford the kids they have so we the tax payers pay for them so that means we should spay/neuter them also. I would move out of California before I let someone tell me I had to spay or neuter my pets. This world is becoming nothing but laws and sooner or later we won't be able to decide anything for our self!

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Shawn   Los Angeles, CA

8/18/2008 11:36:23 AM

When did this state turn into Nazi Germany? You are punishing responsible pet parents and responsible breeders for the acts of others. A responsible breeder works to better the breed where the hobby breeder, that you will not be regulating, doesn’t care. The same is true of responsible pet and show animal parents; they will always insure that there animals are healthy and happy. If you truly want to curb the number of animals that end up in shelters, require that all cats and dogs be chipped. That way you would know exactly who the culprits’ are – fine them, don’t punish the rest of us. You could also keep additional animals out of the shelters if you allowed those people that are responsible about their animals to have more than the current pet limitations permit.

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