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Pet Responsibility Act clears state Senate hurdle; bill would mandate spay/neuter for California dogs

State Sen. majority leader Dean Florez A day after it nearly went down in flames, Senate Bill 250 (also known as the Pet Responsibility Act) has been approved by the California state Senate on a 21-16 vote. 

The bill, introduced by state Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter), would require adult dogs in California to be spayed or neutered.  Free-roaming cats would also be required to be spayed or neutered, although the bill doesn't apply to cats kept strictly indoors.  Owners who wished to keep an unaltered dog would have to obtain a permit to do so.  (In a last-minute alteration to the bill, Florez amended its language to exempt working dogs and hunting dogs.)

The bill first went to the state Senate for a vote yesterday, where it failed 16-15.  Judie Mancuso, an animal activist who supports the bill, told the Bakersfield Californian that it failed to pass yesterday's vote because many state senators were absent.  Florez then issued a request for reconsideration, paving the way for the bill's passage today.  It must also pass in the Assembly before it can be enacted.

S.B. 250 was so numbered because, according to Florez, the state spends $250 million annually to house unwanted pets, many of which are eventually euthanized for lack of homes and space.  "I think we can all agree that the quarter of a billion dollars ... could be much better spent protecting health care for the elderly and education for our children," he said in a statement today, adding that responsible pet owners "should be united in support of our effort to cut down on the killing of pets in shelters, the financial strain current policy has on local governments and the emotional toll on shelter workers."

Supporters of the Pet Responsibility Act point to Santa Cruz's success when similar legislation was approved; they say euthanasia rates dropped by 60% after its passage.  L.A.'s spay-neuter law, which is more sweeping than the statewide law would be (it applies to all dogs and cats over 4 months of age, with certain exceptions), went into effect last October.

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Florez during a hearing last month. 

Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times

 
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God Yes! I support this bill. Government is responsible for
governing the strong and protecting the weak and By God pets and children fall into the latter. It's about time
the government protect pets from irresponsible adults.
These days there are far too many negligent pet owners.
Not everyone deserves to own a pet, But sadly many
who can not afford to provide their families take on
this responsibility. The Government needs to draw the line.
Our society would benefit from holding people more accountable for their actions. We have become too lax for too long. Note the Inland Empire has a particular problem with homeless pets , neglect and abuse.
They need assistance with reducing the number of homeless and mistreated pets.

Only in California!!! I think California would be much better served if the spay / neuter bill applied to all California politicians over the age of 21 instead of dogs who might not be able to help being stupid.

AVMA has a position statement AGAINST Mandatory Spay Neuter. http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/animal_welfare/population_control.asp
The success stories TOUTED are NOT such a success when you look at the details. Other counties have had equal results with education and programs to make low cost and free spay neuter available. People who can not AFFORD to spay and neuter their dogs and will simply have to say "that's not my dog" and turn them over to result in MORE euthanasia . Responsible owners ALREADY control their animals OR spay and neuter them. For more information go to http://www.americanssupportinganimalownership.com/
and http://www.thenokillnation.com/?cat=124

"Atlas Shrugged" - make criminals out of everyone! You never know when you can use that info against them!!!

This is becoming a police state. We have serious budget problems - we VOTED and said NO NEW TAXES. SO - what do our silly legislators do? Spend their time thinking of more taxes, more activities to make illegal, AND more ways to line their pockets and campaign funds! WOW!!! Elections, electorate - forget it! They think they're ENTITLED to their office and their salaries and are above the populace!
: (

It appears that Florez, like Mancuso, pulls numbers out of nether regions to support penalizing law-abiding citizens for not mutiliating their pets.

Sorry, but last session AB1634, of which SB250 is just another revision, went down in flames and it took its sponsor, Lloyd Lightbulb Levone with it. Florez wants to run for Lt. Governor now and this bill is one of many he has sponsored this session that is anti-animal, and we pet owners don't forget. He has kissed his electoral chances goodbye because he came down for the special interests and their blood money instead of representing his constituents. He should resign in disgrace immediately, but his ego won't let him.

Santa Cruz numbers are a fabrication.
The only data based on actual reported numbers and official county and state records can be found HERE:

http://saveourdogs.net/2009/05/05/santa-cruz-county-spare-california-this-msn-model-for-the-state/

Santa Cruz was out performed by it's non-MSN neighbors and Santa cruz saw a huge spike in COST.

You can have and hold your own opinions, but you cannot create your own FACTS

I'm in favor of spay/neuter across the board, but I would oppose any attempts to use this measure to harass caretakers of feral cat colonies - in fact I think more care should have been taken to ensure that this measure is NOT used to persecute such caretakers.

Although L.A. Animal Services officially supports the Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) strategy that has proven to be the only effective and humane way of dealing with feral cats, who generally are not suitable for adoption (and would be miserable if confined), in practice, especially under the egregious reign of recently resigned LAAS head Ed Boks, TNR has not been supported at all. Although proven successful TNR strategies include allowing colony caretakers easy access to humane live traps to capture cats for spay/neuter, as well as access to low-cost s/n surgeries, L.A. Animal Services has not worked with feral cat caretakers. It has been quite the contrary.

In fact, Boks found it politically expedient to focus on harassing and persecuting (if not successfully prosecuting) caretakers of stray and feral cats as a means of gaining publicity and avoiding dealing with real issues of animal cruelty such as dog- and cockfighting, puppy mills and puppy stores that support them, animal neglect and abandonment, etc.

One would hope that with Boks gone, LAAS would re-focus its attention on such issues. But since Mayor Villaraigosa has made no secret of the fact that he considers animal issues to be of little importance, and thus is not making hiring a new General Manager for LAAS a priority, there is still major cause for concern. We have recently seen comments from an Officer Munez of the Animal Cruelty Task Force, a joint LAAS/LAPD task force, that "Our biggest problem is people with too many cats."

You don't have to be a member of the rescue/humane community to know that such a claim is absurd. Animals are being abused, neglected, fought and abandoned, and the ACTF thinks their most important priority is people who have more than the City-allowed three cats.

There have also been repeated allegations (which tend to be borne out by LAAS' actions) that local municipal animal regulation agencies, including LAAS and SPCALA, tend to focus on cat colony caretakers who own their own homes. Why would that be? Because the problem is frequently contained within a single property (which has also made it easy for the ACTF to bring reporters, photographers, and even CityTV cameras along for PR purposes); because, unlike gang members, cat caretakers tend not to be armed and dangerous; and because these caretakers, frequently seniors, have assets including their homes, that can be seized.

People who dedicate their lives to caring for and trying to control population growth of feral cat colonies have, under misguided LAAS and ACTF policies, even been harassed for simply providing fresh water for homeless cats on their own property, in effect coercing such animal lovers into allowing cats and kittens to die of dehydration or illnesses contracted through drinking contaminated water, or face prosecution. This is what we are paying the Animal Cruelty Task Force to do, unless we speak up.

I support SB 250, but I would call on Majority Leader Florez to state that this bill's intent would NOT be to harass people who are doing their best, with zero municipal support, and frequently in the face of repeated harassment, to care for and spay/neuter feral and stray cats.

I am furious that this bill is even going around the US what about all the puppy mills and illegal fighting "pitted" against each other to bet on. Oh no you pick on the inocent people like me who show and breed responsbley than those that are in it for the worng reasons. I urge you to stop this maddness and start paying attention to the areas where the dogs truly need your help.

I definitely support this bill! The companion animal overpopulation problem is at critical heights all over the country. Animal shelters are killing animals by the thousands. The general public has a responsibility here. To spay and neuter your companion animals is the number one factor in cutting the overpopulation problem.

Only when we have stricter law enforcement and better education regarding spaying and neutering are we going to see some changes. It is a shame to sentence an animal to death for no other reason than irresponsible human behavior.

This bill will only result in MORE taxes, MORE dogs and cats euthanized, MORE erosion of civil liberties, MORE importing of dogs from outside of California -- which means MORE puppy mill puppies and LESS puppies from responsible California breeders -- which also means LESS recourse for the buyers, and MORE health problems with pets -- which again means MORE euthanization. In addition there will be selective enforcement, which will result in violation of constitutional rights.

The underground breeders who are scared of SB 250 attack every poll to make it seem the public is against spay and neuter programs. In reality, a Zogby poll taken last year showed that over 80% of people actually support this exact type of legislation. Every time an article or poll comes out, a small number of backyard breeders send the link around to each other like maniacs (I know, I am on their list). Last year they hacked a Chicago poll to drive the "no" votes past 500,000 using an automated routine. Responsible breeders are not bad people... underground breeders who refuse to license or pay their taxes are. Please support good legislation like SB 250 to help reduce euthanasia. -Beth Fields

The ASPCA has said that mandatory spay/neuter laws don't work.

"the ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law."

http://www.aspca.org/about-us/policy-positions/mandatory-spay-neuter-laws.html

Anyone who spports SB250 is supporting killing more dogs and cats. The facts are clear and unequivocal. Don't let your prejudices and emotions blind you to the facts. Mandatory spay/neuter kills. SB250 the Pet Owner Punishment Act will kill more dogs and cats.

How is it that intelligent, reasonable people can be so easily blinded by the lies of the animal rights movement? The evidence is so clear and so available and yet completely ignored by our legislators.
Mandatory sterilization laws, without exception, have failed across the board. Costs have skyrocketed. With the financial problems facing this state, how responsible is it to pass a law proven to drain the coffers even further?
Licensing compliance drops, and with it a large amount of revenue, as breeders and owners are driven underground by a punitive, adversarial system which creates criminals out of innocent citizens. And those hurt worst of all are the ones these laws are supposed to protect, the animals themselves. In the year since L.A. passed its own MSN ordinance, euthanasias in the city have increased 30%, reversing many years of steady progress in reducing those numbers. In the parts of San Mateo County covered by an MSN ordinance, dog deaths increased by 126% and cats by 86%. On the other hand, both those numbers declined in the city of San Mateo, which did not have such an ordinance. There is not a single example of success for these measures ANYWHERE, but the examples of their huge failures are EVERYWHERE. So I ask again, what is wrong with the supposedly intelligent reasonable people we have elected to serve us? Why would you deliberately increase distrust between pet owners and their government rather than fostering the cooperative spirit essential for success?
Recent veterinary research has overturned previous assumptions about the long-term impact of sterilization, which, in addition to negative health consequences, is more likely to increase aggression than not. Even the AVMA has issued a position statement firmly opposed to mandatory spay/neuter laws. What right does the government have to mandate surgical procedures, especially in the face of such evidence from those who have actually earned the right to call themselves veterinarians?

These laws will drive many responsible breeders out of the practice, thereby reducing the supply of well-bred pets. The demand will still be met, by the flood of poorly bred animals currently being imported to the U.S. from third world countries. Are the cast off strays of those impoverished nations (who bring in parasites and diseases including RABIES) preferable to healthy, socialized, American bred dogs and cats? Are they more likely to be abandoned to shelters? What do you think?

And those animals currently in U.S. shelters? Are they purebred puppies and kittens? Not at all. They are mostly larger, adult, mixed breed dogs, brought in for reasons ranging from behavior problems to living situations to divorce consequences. Most notable is that the vast majority of these animals are ALREADY sterilized, and the rest are feral cats, which by definition, are not owned. Feral cat caregivers will be criminalized by this idiotic proposed law. Given those statistics, how will a blanket mandatory spay/neuter law have the slightest effect on shelter populations? If indeed, that is the purpose, although SB 250 seems to be merely a means of harassing responsible pet owners by forcing surgery on their innocent pets, as punishment for complaint driven “crimes” having nothing to do with procreation. It’s mean-spirited, malicious and divisive, and it KILLS.
That, of course, is the ultimate goal of the animal rights movement, which funds its lobbying efforts with donations from a misguided public that thinks Humane Society actually means the organization helps animals. It’s a matter of public record. HSUS does not own or operate a single shelter in this country, collected money under false pretenses during Hurricane Katrina, and continues to solicit donations with carefully managed media stunts designed to tear at the heart strings. They collected a ton from the Vicks fiasco, but never had the dogs in their custody, and indeed the HSUS urged the judge to KILL those dogs. Thankfully, they were eventually placed in loving homes. No thanks to the Animal Rights kooks.!!
We have watched our representatives look the other way and ignore the facts presented to them for the past couple of years, ever since AB 1634 first reared its ugly head. Will they continue to turn a blind eye to the reams of information provided?
Probably.

Laura F

please do some research and exercise critical thinking skills.

The euthanasia rate in America's shelters has DECLINED over 85% nation wide since it's high in 1970 when at least 20 million dogs and cats died in shelters.

Yes 3-4 million dogs and cats a year losing their lives in shelters id too many, but it is a heck of a lot less than 20 million.

Those declines have all had to do with education, outreach and greater availability and acceptance of voluntary spay and neuter services. NOT mandatory, punishing laws that have FAILED by virtue of INCREASING shelter numbers everywhere they have been implemented.

Want to slash shelter numbers literally overnight. T-N-R.
STOP impounding and killing feral cats. Trap Neuter release has been highly successful where it has had the support of local agencies. Feral cats and their kittens are un-owned and often make up 50% or more of all animals killed in shelters. You stop the killing of them by deciding to stop killing them.

Take a few minutes to read what Alley Cat Allies has to say on the subject http://capwiz.com/alleycat/issues/alert/?alertid=13457581

This bill will only cost California more $$. With the budget crisis and layoffs there is no way they could possibly enforce this! it will only hurt the responsible pet owners like myself and the others who have left comments. The legislators who write and support these bills are obviously very ignorant of what it takes to be responsible. We need to EDUCATE people on what it takes to be a responsible pet owner, and while S/N is a part of that there is far more involved than just S/N. This bill will pit neighbor against neighbor with frivilous complaints and tie up the alread short staffed AC officers.
As far as the feral cat colonies that someone spoke about, that is easily solved. Those are WILD animals. STOP FEEDING THEM!!!! Mother nature will take care of their numbers! Yes, animals will die, but the strongest will survive, creating a healthier colony of animals. Their #'s will rise and fall with the natural fluctuation of their food source (rodents). People need to stop being bleeding hearts and be smart and practical. Feeding those animals is only doing more harm.

NO, NO, and NO!

And I am not a breeder! Nor have I ever been. In fact, I have two neutered dogs and a neutered cat. Early spay and neuter is lazy and irresponsible. Quit punishing responsible people for the failings of the irresponsible! Keep your dog under your control, don't let it roam, don't breed it for any stupid reason, but don't cut off it's body parts, removing vital hormonal influence, without thinking about the consequences and discussing the advantages and disadvantages with your veterinarian (NOT your politician!)

My personal view, after much reading and yes, discussion with my vet, is to spay and neuter after the dog has stopped growing. This is to help prevent the very real increase in bone cancer in animals that have been neutered early. There is some evidence that spaying a female before her first heat helps prevent mammary tumors. There is very little evidence that male dogs benefit from being neutered.

Janice L. Weis: There is NOTHING responsible about breeding! Not when we kill healthy, life-loving animals all day, every day in every city.

If you oppose mandatory spay/neuter, I urge you to go to the pound and look into the eyes of those beautiful souls who are living their last days on Earth because of human irresponsibility. They will be killed on a cold cement floor or table way before their time and thrown onto a pile of their former cellmates in the freezer just because no one loved them enough to take them home. They deserve so much better than that! If you are responsible, you spay and neuter... period.

This is a case of the clueless against the compassion-fatigued. The so-called "fanciers" seem to love animals only for selfish reasons without giving a thought to those that are already on this Earth. Rescuers are exhausted and broke and deserve a break! Breeders, puppy millers- you are a HUGE part of the problem. Find another way to make $$, animals are not here for that purpose.

I think the most valuable aspect to this bill is simply awareness. Believe it or not, many people don't realize spay/neuter is the right thing to do.

This is the "Pet Responsibility Act". Just license your intact dog and follow the law, and this law won't affect you. I suppose all the steam and anger is coming from the backyard breeders who don't license, don't spay/neuter, and dump the puppies in shelters when they can't sell them or they are sick, so the rest of us have to pay for their "mistakes". For the rest of us responsible pet owners and breeders, we are glad to see that something is being done about the dirtbags that give us a bad name. It's just about 5% of the dog owners that contribute to 95% of the problem. This is a great law for recognizing that and targeting only the problem.

Another good reason not to spend my vacation dollars or any dollars in California. I would fear for my dogs lives if I crossed your border to attend a dog show or just came for a little R&R.

I wonder what happens when a dogshow is held and the entries are not wearing license tags...get real, some of the stuff in this bill is ridiclous.

Why not penalize the irresponsible dog owners, the puppy mills and the BYB...not use responsible ones.

What happened to our constitutional rights as Americans.

I fully support this bill. As for all those crying that we shouldn't punish the responsible people for the failings of others. If you're responsible, what do you care? It's the same there being a law that states that going over 65 mph in some areas is illegal. The drivers who drive within the limit could cry "don't punish us" but they don't because they realize the law isn't about them. To Breeders - there is no such thing as a "responsible" breeder when five million unwanted animals are euthanized in this country each year. Why not put your energy towards saving lives instead?

THE BOTTOM LINE: Not one Republican supported SB #250, to his credit, Sen. Correa [D-Santa Ana] did not, and stood apart from the UNION PACK of The Democratic Party.

Deploring "critical cuts in social programs" is blatant hypocrisy when LOCAL GOVERNMENTS will be able to EXTORT lMORE MONEY by REQUIRED LICENSES to PROTECT PETS from mutilation. These wackoes of "Animal Rights" include those identified by the FBI as terrorists, ALF, whose legal costs have been funded by PETA.

This has nothing to do with "animal welfare," or "protection;" pure and simple UNION JOB SLOTS. The AR fanatics saw the opportunity to hitch themelvee to that UNION AGENDA! BOTH the CA and American Veterinary Associations are opposed to mandatory procedures that are major surgery and with risks inclusive of DEATH.

Here's a very good editorial about why progressives should oppose mandatory spay neuter laws: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/6/2/738171/-There-is-nothing-progressive-about-mandatory-spay-neuter
Nathan Winograd, who was one of the ORIGINAL pioneers of No Kill sheltering--his work dates back to the 1990s--says this about SB 250: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=1165
Yes, there is a problem with shelter euthanasia, but SB 250 and laws like it are NOT the solution. The No Kill Equation and the Companion Animal Protection Act would be effective solutions. The No Kill Equation has worked in cities including San Francisco, Tompkins County, New York, and Reno. These efforts PREDATE AB 1634 and SB 250 by YEARS. Why do these bills' supporters ignore this valuable work, or denigrate Nathan? Their actions do not make any sense.
MSN laws do not address the why so many animals are euthanised: 1) institutionalized mandates to kill which date back to the 19th century and are practiced by PETA as well as animal shelters and are defended by HSUS and American Humane (PETA, HSUS, American Humane and many animal shelters in fact spurn and thwart efforts to establish true No KIll shelters; read Nathan's book Redemption 2) owner relinquishment of animals, mostly due to moving and landlord no pet policies, inability to train pets, or financial problems 3)the births of UNOWNED feral kittens. Imposing spaying and neutering upon the average citizen DOES NOTHING to stem the tide. A spayed and neutered pet could still be relinquished to a shelter by a clueless or hapless owner, and still be killed by a backwards, uncaring shelter. Spaying and neutering does not equal saving pets. Most pets in shelters are either ADULT dogs or feral cats, not puppies or kittens produced by owners.
Supporters of MSN act without facts. MSN is a politically correct and simplistic fixation that is ideological, knee jerk and lacks factual and scientific backing. That is why the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Illinois State Veterinary Association and the ASPCA oppose MSN.
MSN is a thinly disguised tool of animal rights extremists who are opposed to pet ownership. They have mainstreamed themselves and are expert at persuading journalists and politicians. Look at this webpage:
http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/?s=pets&x=13&y=8 Francione is an abolitionist who proposes that pet ownership should be stopped by stopping breeding. Wayne Pacelle and Ingrid Newkirk have also made public statements against pet ownership.
Open your eyes, readers, and don't take MSN supporters' arguments at face value. They are bogus.

California is going to he-- , Why would anyone in there right mind want to move to this state ,

This may be called the "Pet Responsibility Act", but it will still do nothing to target those who are truly irresponsible with their pets and who never pay attention to any animal laws anyway. We would be far better served if we stopped providing that outlet for true puppy mill breeders in which we allow them to sell their poorly bred, mistreated, undersocialized, and sick animals in pet stores. Ban the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores first, and this will reduce the number of "impulse buys" that then get dumped at the shelters when their cuteness has worn off or when their temperament and health problems have made it too dangerous or too expensive to keep them. It has never made sense to me why this simple step of banning pet store pups and kittens has not been taken. It has been taken in many other countries in Europe; why not here?

The root issue at hand here is not animal reproductive organs and the people who own the animals who still have them (as nature intended! Just because they have all the equipment doesn't mean they will actually use it for breeding! Within a pack, for example, only the alpha pair mates.). The root issue is a view of pets that treats them as disposable objects that you can simply buy on a whim at store (just like you would buy a pair of jeans or shoes) and get rid of when you have a problem with it or get tired of it. This is a view held by society at large--we are so wasteful in general! We need to get back to what it really means to not be wasteful in all aspects. Not wasteful with our money, with our food, with our possessions, with our fuel, OR with our pets (try telling our politicians to not be wasteful!!). With our animals, this means never breeding a dog "just because we want one just like him" and the next door neighbor happens to have an intact female of the same breed, or breeding simply "just because". A breeding should never take place without a legitimate purpose in mind (simply to make money is not a legitimate purpose, IMO.) . The breeding should serve to improve the breed as a whole by preserving and amplifying beneficial traits and reducing the negatives, and should provide intrinsically valuable, healthy, well-tempered companions and solid working dogs to people who actually need them and have carefully considered their decision and commitment in purchasing the animal. Continuing to allow the sale of puppies and kittens from a store instead of requiring people to turn to a good breeder --who SCREENS the prospective buyer and turns away those who are NOT fit to own an individual of that particular breed -- will continue to promote this wasteful attitude and the idea that selling pets is a business and nothing more (not to mention perpetuate health and temperament issues within the animals themselves). This will in turn continue to cause greater numbers of animals to be dumped at our crowded shelters.

SB 250 is not the answer to the problem. Banning the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores, however, would be a step in the right direction.

I think the money that would be spent trying to enforce this legislation would be far better utilized by providing low cost spay and neuter clinics for those who can't afford to neuter their pets. This is not legislation the people want, it's a law being shoved down our throats by special interests, and creates a huge obstacle for responsible breeders who breed dogs that do not end up in shelters!

Let me educate a few of you on what a responsible breeder is. A responsible breeder takes lifetime responsabilty for every dog he breeds. It is in his contract that if a buyer cannot keep the dog for any reason he will help you place the dog (or take it back) if for some reason you cannot keep the dog. So you will never find a dog from a responsible breeder in a pound or shelter.

Responsible breeders choose each dog's buyer as carefully as a responsible buyer would choose a breeder.

They'll ask for a history of your relationship with dogs and other pets; quiz you on your knowledge of the breed; even probe into your family's habits and schedule and visit your home to make sure it is appropriate for the breed your getting. Responsible breeders require you to sign a contract, stipulating how you will care for your dog.

A responsible breeder raises a limited number of dogs. He does not over-breed; he breeds a dam only when he is certain he has enough responsible people to buy the pups she will produce. And he breeds when the parents are two or older, after the most egregious genetic flaws would be evident.

A dedicated breeder also belongs to a local, state or national (or all) breed clubs. This allows the breeder to keep abreast of current information regarding their breed and to produce the best puppies possible.

A breeder goes to great lengths to find a mate for his sire or dam. That means that both dogs are of age; proven to be healthy, intelligent, easily socialized; and capable of filling the roles they're bred for, be it hunter, herder, protector or companion. Even if the resulting pups won't be raised for showing, some breeders travel great distances with their dogs to make the right match.

Once a female is impregnated, the breeder provides her with a healthy, calm environment; supports her through birthing and her puppy's early days. He socializes each puppy so they're used to humans and provides a stimulating environment for them. He interviews buyers and educates those he chooses to sell to and does not sell to just anyone who has the money.

Responsible breeders know about their breed. Responsible breeders screen for genetic diseases and maintain good veterinary and breeding records. Responsible breeders offer a written health guarantee with each puppy they sell. Responsible breeders are always available to offer help and advice to their new puppy owners. Responsible breeders always breed their dogs with the thought of improving their line. It's in the breeder's own best interests to make sure the dogs he breeds are healthy, well-socialized and the best of their type and NEVER END UP IN A POUND OR SHELTER.

That is the difference between a responsible breeder and a back yard breeder that just throughs two intact dogs in the back yard and sells puppys to anyone that has the money and doesn't care what happens to them after that.

I hope that this clarifies the differences between the two for some of you.

Erosion of civil right, infringes Constitutional rights and a host of other infringements.

Folks who use service dogs will find a shrinking pool of suitable dogs.

CA will loose millions of dollars because folks will not be able to hold shows in the state.

When are we going to realize that this bill will only punish the responsible? I am not a breeder, but I have therapy dogs and I am very respnsible. My dogs are spayed/neutered after receiving their championships. Since I obtain quality dogs for the therapy program, I have to show them first. They, of course cannot be altered during that time. There are many shelter dogs in our program, but I choose to select from good breeders because I can predict the temperament. Both types are great. This would be like prohibition......we know what happened there! Booze still existed.

AN ABOMINATION. a law forced upon the voting tax payers who elected the people who voted for it under the pressure and or goodies given to them by absolute CULTISTS who have a well orchestrated system of bilking the populace of charitable contributions, who enjoy tax free status while they pay their officials staggering salaries, who spend NO MONEY ON ACTUAL ANIMAL WELL BEING and who are masters at manipulation. The elected officials who went for this bollox have betrayed the citizens who put them in office, and THEY WILL NOT FORGET. People in the future will ask themselves, how did something so insane ever get made into law? and such laws being unreasonable and restrictive, have in the past, led to revolutions. They are never pretty. and as somebody said Those who do not know history are doomed to relive it. It cannot happen soon enough for me.

Unbelievable! California is going through one of the worst budget crisis' in the history of the state, no water, no money and yet, our elected officials think THIS is the most important thing they can spend their time voting on? Who is going to pay to enforce this law? We have no money, yet, the idiots in Sacramento blithly carry on like we don't have a budget crisis of massive proportion!

I really, really think it is time for us to clean house and senate (and maybe Gov) and vote these people out of office! They do not have a clue as to what is important to this stae, and indeed, this poll shows that 75% of the people once again, like with AB 1634, the vast majority of the people, who Sacramento is SUPPOSED to listen to, are against the bill! Yet, they ignore us once again.

Isn't one of the BIG reasons California is in this EXTREME budget crisis (and having to beg to the rest of the country to bail us out) is because the current elected officials have passed nothing but 'nanny state' bill after bill after blll with no thought behind how to pay for the implementation of said bills?

Dog shows bring 92 million dollars to California each year. With a budget in the red, why would the State want to end dogs shows by putting a price tag on dog show exhibitors ability to continue in their hobby? AKC will allow dog shows to move to other states and they will get this 92 million dollars....Great for Nevada and Oregon! Why are only working and hunting dogs exempt? Does Mr. Flores hunt? And are you planning on sterilizing dogs that come to California with their tourist owners? That will be as good for the tourism industry as closing most of your parks. Way to go California......deeper into the red!

I can see both sides of this argument. This law may not be a perfect solution, but it will help save the lives of animals.

I keep reading comments about how pet stores and breeders are responsible for the animals in shelters. Here is a statement on a 2 year study by an animal sanctuary and the link to the full article:
Michael Maddox, director of legislative affairs for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council in Washington, D.C., said requiring animals to be sterilized before sale isn’t reasonable or in the animal’s best interest. Nor does it address the underlying problem. The “overwhelming majority” of pets in shelters come from sources other than pet stores, Maddox said.
Officials should focus on finding the origin of the animals that rescue groups, shelters and animal control agencies come in contact with, said Harold Vosko, co-founder of Las Vegas-based Heaven Can Wait Animal Sanctuary. Without accurate information on the source of the crisis, addressing it is impossible, he said.
Statistics collected over the past two years at Heaven Can Wait showed more than 85 percent of the animals came from a neighbor or friend’s litter, Vosko said. Fewer than 5 percent were from pet stores and no more than 1 percent or 2 percent were from professional breeders.
http://www.lasvegassun.com:80/news/2009/apr/06/animal-breeders-activists-clash-over-bills/

I support the Pet Responsibility Act. There is a severe
animal overpopulation problem and this will help change that.

Wow - we can save a quarter billion dollars! Tell me exactly when do you think we will be able to close every animal shelter in the State, and fire all the animal control police? Gosh, no answer to that one?
Then, exactly how are you going to save a quarter billion dollars by hammering the 99% of the population that are responsible pet owners to relieve a problem created by the other 1%?
Oops, sorry, forgot, it's all for the good of the prolitariate. Isn't that correct, Commissar?

The sound bite makes it seem like this bill is pro-animal, but the truth of the matter is that many family pets will be surrendered and most likely euthanized if this bill passes. SB250 will be a death sentence for many family pets, not to mention increase expenses at the local shelters with the influx of animals.

Questions we should be asking:

Can these families afford the surgery?

Can the families afford the higher fee to keep their pet intact because they can't afford the surgery?

Can these families afford the fine if they are caught with an intact pet without the proper paperwork?

For many in these tough economic times, the answer is "NO." So, what happens next...they have to surrender the family pet to a shelter. How is that pro-animal? How does that save the State/County/City money with the increased burden of surrendered pets?

Not only does SB250 discriminate against financially challenged families, but it will increase the financial burden on the shelters.

If the State has funds mandated for this new law, it would be better spent on "free" spay and neuter. Not just a few vouchers that may not cover the entire cost of the surgery - if they are even available (many rescue groups complain that they can not get enough vouchers), and not some questionable clinic either. Something safe and free. The goal is to spay and neuter - and not turn families into criminals, or have their pets killed because they can't afford to keep them anymore if this bill is passed.

This will help with the huge issue of hundreds of thousands of homeless animals

This bill will only punish the responsible dog breeders and handlers who work long and hard to be certain that their animals are carefully breeded and monitored for generations. Got to www.akc.org to see how responsible dog owners really are and how tracking is done for generations of dog lines which would be impossible but not for these responsible owners and breeders.
We are in the midst of the worst financial crisis ever and yet we have the sponsors of this bill purporting to say it will be enforced (by which agency?) without any hard numbers as to the cost of the enforcement (how much more gets added to the City, County and State expenses--real money) with the savings being touted (with no real possible backup for their numbers) in a way to get attention. I would rather spend tax dollars on enforcing the criminal and safety codes as opposed to this diversion of tax dollars to a problem being incorrectly cast by the sponsors as being important and parmount to our other pressing needs. And please, don't say that this is to protect the animals as we all know that is not going to happen with this ill-considered, unenforceable bill.

This law does nothing to save animals. If anything, it has been proven time & again that mandated sexual castration laws cause an increase in the numbers of animals killed. People who are of the castrate everything mind bent need to consider this, when all animals are castrated, where will the next ones come from? It is the surest line to extinction. That is something that HSUS, et al have been espousing for years - the extinction of domestic animals. They are against people keeping animals as pets and companions.

I travel to CA several times a year, spending thousands of dollars. If this bill becomes law, CA can kiss those dollars good bye as I'll never set foot in that state again.

It is estimated that the Eukanuba National Championship show brings in many millions of dollars to CA as it draws dog show enthusiasts from all over the world. That is many millions of dollars that CA will lose due to this legislation. A normal weekend dogshow brings in anywhere from $300K to $1,000K for local economies - think restaurants, shops, hotels, etc. That's a lot of money for a cash strapped state like CA to lose.

In addition, how many taxpayers are going to be leaving your state because of this legislation? I would... in a heartbeat.

Thank you "responsible breeder"! There ISa difference between responsible and irresponsible breeding just like everything else. I would also like to state that if you breed corectly and responsibley YOU RARELY IF EVER MAKE MONEY!!!!!! 99% of the time you operate in the red!! I had to go after a buyer several years ago for basically lying to me and I found out he was abusing and neglecting the dog. I had to hire an atty. to file in superior court to the tune of about $6000. This on a dog that was sold on a NEUTER contract. When I got him back he was not yet neutered and I had to have it done before placing him in a new awesome home. I will NEVER recoup that money...EVER!!! For all of you out there who think we breeders make a lot of money, we do NOT!!!!! I will never recoup from any litter the amount of time and money I put into my breeding stock in training, shows, helath screenings, quality food, vet bills etc etc. What is more important to me is that I produce stable, quality animals and the extended "family" I now have through the people who now own (responsibly) the pups I have produced. In a perfect world if ONLY responsible breeders were breeding animal shelters and rescue groups would be all but empty. But sadly we will never have a perfect world.

Judy is right; we attend 15 to 20 dog shows per year and will not travel to states that have passed this same law. In an average dog show weekend we spend $400.00 to $700.00 in food and lodging, fuel ect. At some of these shows there are thousands of entries (do the math). Not a good economic move for any state.

SHAMESHAMESHAME ON THE BREEDING COMMUNITY- masquerading as concerned tax payers and jamming this comment forum with erroneous messages by sending out directions to "clear your cookies" and keep posting.....
Our innocent companion animals deserve far more than these nasty spam attacks on the people who actual care enough to make quality of life a legitimate issue for our pets.
Stop the killing that is fueled by the breed-and-show community:
VOTE YES FOR SPAY/NEUTER !!

The bill won't save animal lives OR money.

think I'm an angry backyard breeder? ( 22 years of rescue actually!) ten how bout the ASPCA's very careful considered rejection of heavy handed mandatory laws?


Whoops, here ASPCA's take


http://www.aspca.org/about-us/policy-positions/mandatory-spay-neuter-laws.html

Position Statement on Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws

Background
Nationwide, per capita shelter intake and euthanasia have been in a steady decline for the past several decades and research indicates that the main reason for this decline is the increasing incidence of spayed and neutered animals in the pet population (Zawistowski et al., 1998; Irwin, 2001; Clancy & Rowan, 2003). In fact, the veterinary community recently formally acknowledged the importance of safe, efficient, accessible sterilization programs as the “best antidote to the mass euthanasia of cats and dogs resulting from overpopulation” (Looney et al., 2008). There is, however, variation in the trend in shelter intake and euthanasia decline across communities as well as a difference between that for dogs and cats. As a result, many communities are currently searching for methods to reach the segments of the animal-owning population that are still contributing disproportionately to companion animal overpopulation. Attempts to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia through the passage of legislation mandating the spaying and neutering of companion animals has recently garnered much attention and debate.
To the knowledge of the ASPCA, the only method of population control that has demonstrated long-term efficacy in significantly reducing the number of animals entering animal shelters is the voluntary sterilization of owned pets (Clancy & Rowan 2003; FIREPAW, 2004; Secovich, 2003). There is also evidence that sterilizing very specific, at-risk sub-populations of companion animals such as feral cats and animals in shelters can also contribute to reductions in overpopulation (Zawistowski et al., 1998; Clancy & Rowan 2003; Levy et al., 2003; Lord et al., 2006; Natoli et al., 2006). In contrast, the ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law.
Caution must therefore be applied when interpreting existing claims regarding the effects of local mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) laws. First, because nationwide per capita shelter intake and euthanasia generally are in decline due to voluntary spaying and neutering, it is impossible to determine the effect of an MSN law without comparing a community’s trends in shelter intake and euthanasia for several years before and after the law was enacted to trends in adjacent, similar communities without MSN legislation. Furthermore, to discern with confidence the effects of any spay/neuter program on the animal population, which naturally fluctuates somewhat from year to year, population trends must be examined over a period sufficiently long to absorb those natural fluctuations; claims based on one or two years of data can be misleading.
In addition, it is imprudent to generalize about the effects of MSN laws. One reason is that the definition of “mandatory” varies greatly across communities. In some localities, a citation may be issued for any animal over the age of 4 months seen unaltered, while in other communities a citation results only when another animal control offence has been committed or if more than one unspayed female animal lives in the household. Another complication is that it can be extremely difficult for even a veterinary professional to visually determine if an animal, particularly a female, has been sterilized; it would be virtually impossible for an animal control officer to make those determinations in the field. For these reasons, and due to variation across communities in law enforcement funding and personnel support, actual enforcement of MSN laws varies widely, making comparisons between MSN laws or predictions about their impact very difficult.
Another reason for caution when interpreting the effects of MSN legislation is that shelter intake and euthanasia statistics are often presented as a total of dogs and cats. In some communities, the number of dogs entering and being euthanized in shelters is dropping significantly while the number of cats is declining more slowly or even increasing. Therefore it is critical to examine population and shelter statistics for dogs and cats separately, so that reductions in dog intake and euthanasia do not mask increases in cat intake and euthanasia. This issue is particularly critical in the analysis of the effect of MSN laws, since feral and unowned stray cats continue to represent a substantial proportion of the shelter population and euthanasia. This major contributing factor is not addressed by MSN laws that, by nature, target owned animals.
Even when an MSN law seems to have a positive effect on one aspect of animal welfare, it may have a negative effect on another. For instance, in at least one community that enacted an MSN law, fewer pets were subsequently licensed, likely due to owners’ reluctance to pay either the high fee for keeping an unaltered animal or the fee to have the pet altered (Office of Legislative Oversight, 1997).
The ASPCA is also concerned that some communities may rely primarily or exclusively on MSN legislation to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia even though the animal shelter population is actually very heterogeneous, with no single cause or source (National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, 2001). Many social, cultural and economic factors as well as animal health and behavioral issues contribute to shelter intake; therefore no single program or law can be relied on to solve the problem.
Furthermore, one of the main barriers to spaying and neutering of pets is accessibility of services, which is not addressed simply by making spaying and neutering mandatory. Cost is one of the primary barriers to spay/neuter surgery in many communities (Patronek et al., 1997; Ralston Purina, 2000; Frank, 2001). In fact, low household income and poverty are statistically associated with having a sexually intact cat (Patronek et al, 1997), with relinquishment of pets to shelters (Patronek et al., 1996), and with shelter intake (Frank, 2003). As a result, the proportion of pets from poor communities who are being euthanized in shelters remains high; shelter euthanasia rates in the poorest counties in states including California and New Jersey are several times higher than those in the most affluent counties (Handy, 2002; Marsh, 2008). Each community is unique, however, in terms of the particular sources and causes of companion animal overpopulation and the primary barriers that exist to having pets altered. No one-size-fits-all solution is therefore possible. In examining communities around the country that are having significant success in reducing companion animal overpopulation, it appears that the common denominator is a multifaceted, targeted community program that:
Is based on careful research to determine which segments of the animal population are actually significantly contributing to shelter intake and euthanasia and then targets efforts to those segments of the population;
Focuses on the particular barriers to spay/neuter that are predominant and strives to overcome them;
Is well-supported and well-funded; and
Has an efficient voluntary spay/neuter infrastructure in place to service the populations it targets.
ASPCA Position
Based on currently available scientific information, the ASPCA strongly supports spay/neuter as an effective means to reduce companion animal overpopulation. In particular, the ASPCA supports voluntary, affordable spay/neuter programs for owned pets, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs for feral cats and the mandatory sterilization of shelter animals and of certain individual, owned animals based on their or their owners’ behavior (such as animals deemed dangerous under local ordinances or those repeatedly caught at-large). In order to assure the efficacy of any spay/neuter program designed to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia, the ASPCA believes that each community must conduct credible research into the particular causes of relinquishment and abandonment and the sources of animals in its shelters, including the barriers to spay/neuter services that are faced by those populations contributing disproportionately to the problem. Each community must address these issues with a tailored, multifaceted approach as described below:
The community should have in place an adequately funded, readily accessible, safe, efficient, affordable spay/neuter program.
Community research should identify the particular segments of the population that are contributing disproportionately to shelter intake and euthanasia, and the community should produce programs that are targeted to those populations.
The community should strive to maximize the accessibility of spay/neuter services and provide compelling incentives to have the surgery performed.
The spay/neuter program should be developed with the guidance of veterinary professionals who are committed to delivering high quality spay/neuter services to all patients (Looney et al., 2008).
The program must adequately address the contribution that feral and stray animals make to overpopulation.
The program must be adequately supported in terms of financing, staffing and infrastructure.
The efficacy of all aspects of the program must be monitored and revisions made as necessary to achieve its goals.
In summary, the ASPCA recognizes that sterilization is currently the best method to reduce companion animal overpopulation, and therefore to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia. The most important step a humane community can take to decrease companion animal overpopulation is to make a safe, effective, voluntary spay/neuter program available and readily accessible to the community, with programs and incentives targeted to the populations known to be contributing disproportionately to shelter intake and euthanasia.

This is one of the most irresponsible bills any institution ever wasted their time on.

If they think about this for a minute, it is NOT about irresponsible dogs or cats - it is about irresponsible owners!

Educate the pet owners as most good breeders do. Might think about similar education for young people doing similar irresponsible things - educate the parents and the children will learn. But there you would rather hand out contraceptives rather than spay or neuter them !

This is bill is ridiculous. Those who voted for it should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves. They should have waited for a better Bill.

This is ridiculous. Responsible breeders ARE NOT to blame for pitbull attacks and fighting dogs! Snap out of it people theres way too much government in our everyday lives! They sure as heck do not need to be involved in pets now.

how many homeless dogs do you think there will be IF this law was inacted? More than double! In 10-12 years how many people will own a dog in California? very few. This bill will cause the end of dogs,dog related businesses and activities! If you have to have a special license for breeding,who do you think bares the final cost of buying a pet, only the rich. middle class probably wouldnt be able to afford a dog.

This is just another ploy by PETA and HSUS to keep people from owning pets. It will cost money that no one has, particularly, state and local governments. It will be a nightmare to enforce. Wake up California, this is just another Democratic effort to saddle citizens with something they don't want. Makes this Democrat want to change parties. Do you hear that Dean Florez???

This bill really has nothing to do with "saving the lives of poor animals in shelters" as it is touted and has everything to do with government over-regulation and PUNISHMENT. In addition, if you read this bill carefully, you'll see that it gives LOCAL ANIMAL CONTROL the authority to determine our fate, and the fate of our pets and competition animals. So much is way too subjective. We all know what idiot nut jobs they dig up to work for local animal control...most of them have absolutely no idea about professional breeding and showing and quality bred animals...a scary thought! I'll put my 20 years of experience as a professional breeder, trainer, and handler against some local animal control wanna-be-real police officer any day.

 
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