Wednesday, April 25, 2012

AB 610 - letter to governor

The Honorable Jerry Brown
Governor, State of California
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 558-3160
April 25, 2012
Re: CA AB 610 (Solorio) Vehicles, specialized license plates. (as amended 3-21-2012) : OPPOSE. REQUEST FOR VETO.
Dear Governor Brown,
The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. The CFoDC conducts breed identification workshops for shelter workers, distributes a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provides a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. CFoDC supports animal legislation which positively benefits society.
We know of no other special license plate program granted such an extension; and there is no clear path for the collection or distribution of any funds generated by this program.
While the bill author claims that a state of 'urgency' exists, there is no evidence to support such an assertion. Spay-neuter drives in California over the past 40 years have resulted in sharp declines in shelter numbers. Intakes are down by over 80% since the 1970s. Over 78% of all owned dogs and over 88% of all owned cats are already spayed or neutered (Source: American Pet Products Association 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey). According to Dr. John Hamil, past president of the California Veterinary Medical Association, "If the animals in the shelter were due to 'overpopulation'; we would find desirable puppies available in shelters, there would be no market for internet and pet store puppies, there would be no need for shelters to import puppies and puppy smugglers and brokers would be out of business due to market saturation. There is, in fact, a shortage of healthy, well-bred and socialized puppies and kittens in California."
Many rescue groups right here in California import dogs from other states and even from other countries. The Helen Woodward Humane Society in San Diego imports dogs from Romania. "Dogs Without Borders" in Los Angeles imports dogs from Taiwan. The US Border Patrol estimates that over 10,000 dogs are smuggled into San Diego County each year from Mexico. Beagle rescue flew 41 dogs into Los Angeles from Spain last November. Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern California imports dogs from Taiwan on an ongoing basis. These are just a few of the more recent examples. Demand for dogs in our state far outstrips supply.
The claim of "urgency" is being falsely made for the sole purpose of raising funds for unspecified organizations.
CFoDC urges you to VETO CA AB 610.
Sincerely yours,
Geneva Coats, R.N.
California Federation of Dog Clubs

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