Thursday, March 22, 2012

Huntington Beach: Outlaw retail sale of pets

Council move targets animal sales

Ordinance would eliminate sale, resale of dogs and cats in the city, and would make it more dog- and animal-friendly, Carchio says.

March 21, 2012 | 3:56 p.m.
"The City Council voted Monday to draft an ordinance that would eliminate the commercial sale or resale of dogs and cats.
Councilman Joe Carchio, who introduced the item, asked the council to consider the ban to keep up with the city's reputation of being animal-friendly. The city has a dog beach and dog parks.
Carchio showed a video to illustrate the deplorable conditions of dogs in puppy mills, where some retail stores obtain the animals to sell."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

from AKC: Ventura County Cities to Consider Mandatory Spay/Neuter for “Pit bulls”


Dear AKC Delegates, Club Officers, Judges and Breeders,
Please pass this information on to any of your club members in the Ventura County area.
The Ventura County Animal Services Commission has proposed an ordinance to require the sterilization of all "pit bulls" over sixteen weeks of age unless the dog qualifies for a medical exemption, is registered with the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club or other national registry, or is a law enforcement dog. The draft ordinance defines "pit bulls" as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and any mixed breed dog containing these breeds. A first violation of this ordinance would result in a fine of up to $100 and additional violations could cost up to $500.
The proposal will go before each of the cities that contract with the county for animal services and once it has been approved by a majority, it will be taken up by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. Responsible dog owners and breeders are encouraged to contact their elected officials at the city and county level and ask them to oppose this discriminatory ordinance.
The AKC opposes the mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs as well as ordinances that are breed-specific. Many owners of these breeds are extremely responsible, yet breed-specific proposals may prevent these owners from freely interacting with, showing, breeding or performing pet therapy with their dogs.  Shelter costs could also increase under this ordinance as citizens abandon pets of the targeted breeds in order to avoid paying the substantial fines to reclaim an animal.  Lastly, breed-specific laws may not withstand legal challenges because proper identification of what dogs would be included is difficult or impossible, and may be deemed unconstitutionally vague. 
AKC appreciates the efforts of Ventura County Animal Services to address this issue. For the last year the department has offered free sterilization for any "pit bulls" that have been impounded and returned to their owners. The county also charges $125 for adoption, but lowers that fee to $62.50 for those who adopt dogs they have determined to be "pit bulls." Additionally, Valley Vet Nonprofit offers $10 spay/neuters that include pick-up and drop-off of the animals.
What You Can Do:
  • Responsible dog owners and breeders are encouraged to contact the members of your city council as well as the Ventura County Supervisors in opposition to this measure. A sample letter to personalize is attached. The cities of Ventura, Simi Valley and Oxnard are listed first as they are expected to take up this issue in March.
City of Ventura
501 Poli Street
Ventura, Ca 93002-0099
Councilmembers may be contacted via telephone at 805-654-7827 or by sending an email to .
Deputy Mayor Cheryl Heitmann
Councilmember Neal Andrews
Councilmember Brian Brennan
Councilmember James L. Monahan
Councilmember Carl E. Morehouse   
Councilmember Christy Weir
The City of Simi Valley
Simi Valley City Hall
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, CA 93063
Mayor Bob Huber
Mayor Pro Tem Barbra Williamson
Council Member Glenn T. Becerra
Council Member Steven T. Sojka
Council Member Mike Judge
City of Oxnard
305 W. Third Street
Oxnard, CA 93030
Mayor Dr. Thomas E. Holden
Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Irene G. Pinkard
Councilman Bryan A. MacDonald
Councilman Tim Flynn
Councilmember Carmen Ramirez
City of Moorpark
799 Moorpark Avenue
Moorpark, CA 93021
Councilmembers may be reached at 805.517.6222 or by e-mail as a group at .
Mayor Janice R. Parvin
Mayor Pro Tem David Pollack
Councilmember Roseann Mikos, PhD
Councilmember Keith F. Millhouse
Councilmember Mark Van Dam
City of Fillmore
Fillmore City Hall
250 Central Avenue
Fillmore, CA 93015
Mayor Gayle Washburn
Mayor Pro Tem Jamey Brooks
Council Member Eduardo Gonzalez
Council Member Steve Conaway
Council Member Brian Sipes
City of Port Hueneme
250 North Ventura Road
Port Hueneme, CA 93041
The full council can be emailed at
Mayor Douglas A. Breeze
Mayor Pro Tem Ellis Green
Council Member Norman E. Griffaw
Council Member Sylvia Munoz Schnopp
Council Member Jonathon Sharkey
City of Camarillo
601 Carmen Drive
Camarillo, CA 93010
The full council can be emailed at  
Mayor Jan McDonald
Vice Mayor Charlotte Craven
Councilmember Mike Morgan
Councilmember Don Waunch
Councilmember Kevin Kildee
City of Santa Paula
P.O. Box 569
Santa Paula, CA 93061
The full council can be emailed at
Mayor Fred W. Robinson
Vice Mayor Robert S. Gonzales
Councilmember Richard C. Cook
Councilmember Ralph J. Fernandez
Councilmember James Tovias
City of Ojai
Ojai City Hall
401 South Ventura Street
P.O. Box 1570
Ojai, CA 93024 
Mayor Betsy Clapp
Mayor Pro Tem Paul Blatz  
Council Member Sue Horgan  
Council Member Carol Smith
Council Member Carlon Strobel or
Ventura County Board of Supervisors
Ventura County Government Center
800 South Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA 93009
First District – Supervisor Steve Bennett
Second District – Supervisor Linda Parks
Third District – Supervisor Kathy Long
Fourth District - Supervisor Peter C. Foy
Fifth District - Supervisor John C. Zaragoza

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 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breed-specific MSN letter for cities of Ventura, Oxnard, and Simi Valley

This is a letter faxed and mailed today to the cities who will decide about moving forward the breed-specific MSN proposal for Ventura County. I provided here both the letter along with contact information and faxes for your use. Feel free to use talking points from this letter in your communication with the legislators. Thank you for taking the time to contact these cities regarding this important issue. 
City of Oxnard                                  City of Simi Valley                City of Ventura
305 W. 3rd St.                                  2929 Tapo Canyon Rd.          501 Poli Street
Oxnard, CA 93030                            Simi Valley, CA. 93063         Ventura, CA 93002-0099
Fax: 805-385-7595                            Fax: 805-526-2489                Fax: 805-652-0865
Mayor: Dr. Thomas E. Holden            Mayor: Bob Huber                  Mayor: Mike Tracy
City council members:                      City Council Members:           City Council Members:
Dr. Irene G. Pinkard                         Barbra Williamson                  Cheryl Heitmann
Bryan A. MacDonald                        Glen T. Becerrra                     Neal Andrews
Tim Flynn                                        Steven T. Sojka                      Brian Brennan
Carmen Ramirez                              Mike Judge                            James Monahan
                                                                                                   Carl E. Morehouse
                                                                                                   Christy Weir
Dear Mayor and City Council Members,                                              
The California Federation of Dog Clubs urges you to reject any mandated spay-neuter proposal, particularly when attempting to single out a specific breed or breeds.
Everywhere such laws have been attempted, they have failed. Punitive and coercive laws are burdensome on the citizenry, particularly the elderly and low-income families, who often simply ignore the unreasonable spay-neuter mandate. Enforcement costs rise, and shelter intakes and deaths also subsequently rise when people cannot afford the fines and, in many cases, the cost of the sterilization procedure itself.
Legislation attempting to target specific breeds has been a documented failure with breed-specific laws also unable to withstand legal challenges. Baltimore, MD estimated in 2001 that it spent over $750,000 per year for their breed-specific law and they were still unable to effectively enforce it. They chose to repeal the law, as did Saginaw, Michigan and other locations. On February 21, 2012, Ohio Governor John Kasich officially signed Ohio HB 14 into law, which prohibits discrimination by breed. Dogs in Ohio will now be regarded by their behavior instead of their appearance. It is not possible to ID a supposed "pit bull". There are at least 25 breeds of dogs that are commonly mistaken for "pit bulls", including Rottweilers, Boxers, and even Labrador Retrievers.
Attempting to target a certain type of dog simply because it is popular and appealing makes no sense whatsoever. Responsible owners will be unfairly affected while the problem owners will be unlikely to comply with any new laws. Adding more punitive laws to the books will not reduce shelter intakes and deaths. Enforcement of existing leash and confinement laws should prevent the vast majority of shelter intakes, while cooperation with local breed rescue groups, providing low-cost spay-neuter services and marketing of shelter pets to the public at adoption events have all been successfully-used methods to achieve reductions in shelter death rates.
Mandatory sterilization and breed-specific laws are opposed by many mainstream animal welfare organizations,  
including the American Kennel Club, the National Animal Interest Alliance, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. These laws simply don't work.
Incidentally, there are studies that show that while de-sexing a dog may decrease dog-to-dog aggression, it increases the risk of aggression toward humans. The choice for spay-neuter should remain with the dog's owner, in consultation with their veterinarian.
CFoDC has produced a powerpoint breed ID program for shelter personnel. We would be happy to provide you with a complimentary presentation any time.
Geneva Coats, R.N.
California Federation of Dog Clubs

Monday, March 12, 2012

From AKC - Chula Vista update

  Ask Chula Vista Council to Oppose MSN TOMORROW (3/13)
  Mon, 12 Mar 2012 09:09:45 -0400
  AKC's Government Relations Department <>

March 12, 2012
Dear AKC Delegates, Club Officers, Judges and Breeders,
Please share this information with club members and concerned dog owners in the Chula Vista area.
The Chula Vista City Council will hold their second and final hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13th on an ordinance that will establish new kennel definitions and regulations and require animals to be sterilized on a second impoundment.
Attendees at the February 28th city council meeting understood that the kennel/cattery language would be removed and discussed by a stakeholder group prior to another vote. As this has not happened, the AKC believes the only prudent course of action is to defer this item until discussions can be held and a consensus can be reached by community members.
Responsible breeders and dog owners are encouraged to attend the city council meeting or contact the councilmembers and ask them to remove this ordinance from the agenda in order to convene a stakeholder group.
Chula Vista City Council Meeting
Date:  Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Time:  4pm (Agenda Item #3)
Location:  City Council Chambers, City Hall-Building 100, 276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA
Chapter 6.22 of the proposed ordinance would require the mandatory sterilization of any animal the second time it is impounded. 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 also continues to define a "pet seller" as anyone who sells more than two cats or dogs in a twelve-month period in the city. The term is only used in the definitions section and is never referenced again, making the purpose of this definition unclear, as well as how "pet sellers" may be impacted.
The measure also defines a kennel as a facility which maintains seven or more adult dogs (over four months of age) and establishes a variety of regulations to govern these facilities including requiring an annual inspection and payment of an undisclosed fee. 
What You Can Do
  • Attend the Chula Vista City Council Meeting on Tuesday March 13th and speak against the proposed ordinance.  Please ask that the item be removed from the agenda and that a stakeholder group be convened to discuss appropriate regulations for kennels and catteries.
  • 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:  Click here to email her using the city's web form
Councilmember Rudy Ramirez:
Councilmember Patricia Aguilar:  Click here to email her using the city's web form
Councilmember Pamela Bensoussan:
Councilmember Steve Castenada:
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide more information as it becomes available.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ventura County ALERT - breed-specific spay/neuter proposal

The cities of Ventura, Oxnard and Simi Valley, California are scheduled to address a proposed breed-specific mandatory spay and neuter ordinance for "pit bull" breeds by the end of March. In April, the commission will discuss the proposal again, and if a majority of cities in the county have approved it, the measure will go before the county board of supervisors.
Please contact the city council members of Ventura, Oxnard and Simi Valley to voice opposition to the ordinance.
  • Mandatory spay/neuter results in increased shelter intakes and deaths wherever it has been tried.
  • Existing leash and confinement laws should be enforced to effectively reduce shelter numbers.
  • Attempts to single out certain breeds are both impractical and unfair to responsible owners.
  • Breed-specific legislation has been successfully challenged and overturned in courts.
  • A mandatory spay and neuter law against "pit bulls" cannot be adequately enforced as "pit bull" is not a breed of dog.  Animal control officers would be charged with making subjective determinations as to a dog's breed thus opening municipalities to liability in the event of false identification. 
City of Ventura Mayor and City Council
City of Oxnard Mayor and City Council
City of Simi Valley Mayor and City Council

Thursday, March 8, 2012

LA county warning-Here come the pet police

So much for the lie of "complaint-driven" enforcement.


County pet police coming to San Gabriel Valley

March 05, 2012
County animal control officers are sweeping through parts of the San Gabriel Valley, checking to see that pets have been spayed or neutered and have current rabies vaccinations and licenses, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control. Officers will work the unincorporated areas near Pasadena, San Gabriel, Monrovia, and Arcadia to make sure residents are in compliance with pet licensing and rabies requirements as well as the mandatory spay/neuter and microchip ordinance. State law requires that all dogs and cats over the age of four months be vaccinated against rabies and be licensed.
Residents not in compliance face license fees and delinquency charges, including a $40 field enforcement fee. For more information, including contact information for low-cost options for vaccinations and spay-and-neuter surgeries, visit

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