Sunday, July 01, 2007

July 11 Hearing in Senate

The Business, Professions & Economic Development Senate committee has passed thru AB1634 to the Local Government Senate committee for a hearing on July 11. New letters in opposition are required (even if you've already written/communicated) by Monday, July 2nd. If this date has passed, please continue to fax, call or email your Senators, the Governor and your Assemblymembers as this bill may be tossed around for a while. This rescue website gives an intelligent opinion as to why this bill is a bad idea.

If you feel brave and have the patience, here is the link to the actual bill amended to 6/27/07. This version literally says anyone who purchases a "breeding permit" must give away any puppies/kittens FREE! I kid you not. In legalese, it states: "Offspring of the unaltered animal may not be sold and must be adopted without a fee" It is a tenant of rescue philosophy that pets should NEVER be given away for free. Why it's a very bad idea?

But perhaps that is why many are calling this the "Pet Extinction Act." That is what seems to be the purpose of those writing this ill-conceived bill. While claiming the purpose of this act is to reduce the numbers of animals euthanized, how will outlawing most breeding accomplish this? This website enumerates why people surrender pets to shelters. Concerning voluntary surrenders, AB 1634 makes no attempt to address this issue. No study I've seen makes any claim that accidental or unwanted litters make up any more than an infinitesimal part of shelter intakes. At the same time, it has been estimated that feral cats account for between 50 to 80 percent of shelter euthanasias, which many times are unadoptable due to their wild nature; and yet, this bill makes no provision at all for this serious problem. Nat'l Geographic documented the growing problem in this 2004 article: "U.S. Faces Growing Feral Cat Problem." This Best Friends Animal Society article on "Are Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws...The Answer?" concludes: "funds devoted to breed permitting programs and compliance enforcement may be better used for subsidized spay/neuter clinics. Laws that target every dog and cat owner and attempt to limit most if not all breeding seem to result in decreased compliance and expensive permitting programs that are difficult to administer. These laws do not, in any event, appear to achieve the critical goals of reducing shelter intake and euthanasia rates."