Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hollister considers MSN-hearing October 18

The Hollister (CA) city council is scheduled to vote on breed-specific MSN on Monday Oct 18. It will pass if the committee room isn't packed with opponents willing to speak against it, especially locals.

A majority of the city council wants all breed MSN. That's what they said at the last city council meeting. But they have to deal with the pending BSL/MSN first. Hollister City officials have already begun discussions with San Benito County officials on county wide MSN. Our best hope to stop all breed MSN from spreading there is to stop the ordinance on Monday.

For more info and talking points:



October 17, 2010
Hollister City Council
375 Fifth St.
Hollister, CA 95023

Dear Mayor and City Council Members,

The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, is an association of dog clubs and dog owners. We represent thousands of citizens. We are dedicated to promoting animal welfare, supporting responsible animal ownership, and protecting the rights of responsible dog owners.

The CFoDC is OPPOSED to the mandated sterilization of dogs. In every community where such measures have been tried, the result is more abandoned animals, higher shelter admissions, higher kill rates, lower compliance with licensing and rabies vaccination laws, and radically increased costs for animal control. People become afraid to get pet licenses because proof of sterilization is required. They are afraid to go to a veterinarian for rabies shots or medical care because veterinarians are required to report them. People are forced to relinquish their pets when they cannot afford fees, fines and penalties.

Sterilization surgery usually costs hundreds of dollars, meaning that this proposal will disproportionately affect senior citizens and low-income families. Especially in today's difficult economic times, it is unreasonable to place this burden on residents whose dogs have not created a problem for the community.

Draconian animal laws are a nightmare to enforce. They overburden already underfunded and understaffed animal control departments. Each community must hire more animal control officers to enforce them and to deal with the increased intakes that will result, so an enormous amount of additional money is spent. A more effective and practical use of such funds would be to provide low-cost or free spay/neuter services.

Contrary to popular folklore, sterilization of dogs does NOT reduce aggression. A recent study by the AKC Canine Health Foundation reported significantly more behavioral problems in spayed and neutered bitches and dogs. The most commonly observed behavioral problem in spayed females was fearful behavior and the most common problem in males was aggression.

Many owners of intact dogs are extremely responsible, yet mandatory sterilization proposals, such as the one before the board, may prevent these owners from freely interacting with, showing, breeding or performing pet therapy with their dogs. Shelter costs will also skyrocket under this ordinance as citizens abandon pets that have been targeted due to breed or due to costs of fees or sterilization surgery itself.

San Antonio, Texas just recently repealed its failed mandated sterilization law. Mandatory sterilization laws do not work. There is no need to reinvent a broken wheel. We urge you to reject this measure.

Sincerely yours,

California Federation of Dog Clubs

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