Friday, March 16, 2012

San Diego Editorial on Chula Vista - "Four-legged rules do not come easily"

"Four-legged rules do not come easily"
San Diego Union-Tribune
March 16, 2012

    Chula Vista's 63,000 households own 47,000 dogs and 54,000 cats. Each family, it seems, is passionate about its pets. Just how passionate, the city found out in trying to revise a 1960s-era ordinance concerning stray animals, breeding, license fees and such.
    Some five months and 12 meetings later, a new ordinance was adopted Tuesday by the City Council. But not without sections watered down and with promises for regular future dialogue with stakeholders.
    Gone is a ban against large reptiles and a new definition of "breeder." Surviving are incentives for owners of impounded animals to have microchips implanted in the pets and to opt for lower-cost spaying and neutering. Updated license fees are coming.
    Irresponsible backyard breeding and unneutered animals on the loose cause a population explosion. Unwanted animals overwhelm shelters and result in sorrowful euthanizing. About 5,000 animals are impounded in Chula Vista each year and 2,700 are adopted out.
    Thanks to donations, Chula Vista's animal shelter is two weeks away from new and spacious condominiums for kittens awaiting adoption. But forgive Scott Tulloch, assistant city manager responsible for the shelter, if he isn't eager to talk definitions once the current round concludes.

Our response:
ZERO adoptable animals are killed in Chula Vista's shelter, and "backyard breeding" has little influence on your shelter population. The majority of intakes are feral cats and unweaned kittens, yet the city refuses to implement a trap-neuter-release program. Less than 5% of owned pets enter the animal shelter yearly. The US Border Patrol estimates 10,000 dogs per year are smuggled into San Diego County from Mexico. "Rescue" groups including Helen Woodward import dogs from southern states and even from as far away as Romania to meet the demand. Current leash and confinement laws should be enforced, instead of suggesting punitive measures that will cause higher shelter intakes, as has happened in all other localities where such methods have been tried. 

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." Plato 

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