Monday, February 27, 2012

CHULA VISTA - Proposed Amendments to municipal Title 6 - Animals

The Chula Vista City Council will hold their first hearing Tuesday, February 28 on an ordinance which will essentially prohibit the breeding of animals in private homes and will require animals to be sterilized on a second impoundment. The ordinance also prohibits sales of dogs and cats in pet stores. There is language prohibiting the sales of animals in public (modeled after state SB 917). Concerned citizens are encouraged to attend the city council meeting or contact the council members and ask them not to move this ordinance forward.

Chula Vista City Council Meeting

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Time: 4pm (Agenda Item #13)

Location: City Council Chambers, City Hall-Building 100, 276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA

Chapter 6.22 of the proposed ordinance will require the mandatory sterilization of any animal the second time it is impounded. It allows the City Manager or his/her designee to waive this provision in extraordinary circumstances such as fire or earthquake. The two violations may occur years apart and not be a true reflection of a habitually irresponsible owner. If a dog gets loose one time as a 6-month old puppy and is then accidentally released by a gardener 5 years later, that does not signify a problem animal.

The proposed ordinance defines a "pet seller" as anyone who sells more than two cats or dogs in a twelve-month period. This definition is used by the State Board of Equalization in determining who is required to pay sales tax. The problem in the Chula Vista ordinance is that the city then uses that threshold to decide who is required to abide by kennel requirements. The provisions for kennels are such that a resident who bred a litter of puppies or kittens in their homes would likely be unable to comply.

For example, Sections 6.08.100 (L) and (M) will require that pet sellers have a facility whose interior walls are impervious to moisture and which are able to be readily sanitized. They are also required to have a drainage system to rapidly drain animal excreta. No home environment is likely to meet these criteria. The measure will also require pet sellers to pay for and undergo inspections, at least annually, by city staff. These provisions are completely unreasonable for a hobby breeder who produces a few litters in their home.

What You Can Do

Attend the Chula Vista City Council Meeting on Tuesday February, 28th and speak against the proposed ordinance.
Talking points:
  • Chula Vista intake and impound numbers are currently so low that shelter manager Ms. Anton admits that NO adoptable animal is ever euthanized.
  • Punitive legislation that increases fees and fines always results in higher intake numbers. Yet the stated goal of this ordinance is to reduce numbers of impounds and euthanaias
  • Punitive legislation that restricts breeding removes the best sources for healthy, well-bred puppies and kittens
  • Restrictive and punitive pet laws will increase the numbers of puppies smuggled into Chula Vista from Mexico (the city is just 11 miles from the Mexican border). According to the US Border Patrol, over 10,000 dogs and puppies are already being imported into San Diego County each year. Such puppies are bred under unregulated conditions that may well be substandard.
  • Chula Vista needs to implement a TNR program for feral cats. Currently they kill feral cats. 
  • The new regulation restricting public sales by some entities while it allowing others will eventually be challenged in court.
  • The rights of hobby breeders to pursue their hobby are being unreasonably restricted.
  • The rights of store owners to sell pets from well-regulated sources is being unreasonably infringed upon.
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Contact the Mayor and City Council members and ask them to oppose this ordinance as drafted.
Mayor and City Council Office
Phone: (619) 691-5044
Fax: (619) 476-5379
Mayor Cheryl Cox


Councilmember Rudy Ramirez


Email: rramirez@ci.chula-vista.ca.us

Councilmember Patricia Aguilar
(Contact via city fax)

Councilmember Pamela Bensoussan

Email: pbensoussan@chulavistaca.gov

Councilmember Steve Castenada

Email: scastaneda@chulavistaca.gov

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