Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ventura County votes on Mandatory S/N

According to the November 8's article pages 7 & 8, in the Simi Valley (CA)
Acorn authored by Rick Hazeltine (hazeltina@theacorn. com) the Ventura
County Supervisors voted 4-1 (with Supervisor Foy dissenting) to approve a
proposed amendment/ordinance mandating mandatory spay neuter of dogs and
cats in unincorporated areas of Ventura County. Per the article,
proponents consisting of mostly Animal Services personnel and private
animal rescue groups believe that this ordinance will be a key factor in
making Ventura a no-kill county, as County Supervisors have charged Animal
Services. "Although the ordinance doesn't cover individual cities,
proponents hope the ordinance will spur cities to adopt it. Animal
Services and Ventura County Health Care Agency officials said they plan to
take the ordinance to each of the city councils" , says Hazeltine in the
article. It contiues- "The amendment to the existing ordinance , approved
in a 4-1 vote with Supervisor Foy dissenting, is scheduled to receive final
adoption at the Board's Dec. 10 meeting and would take effect 30 days
later. The ordinance will require pet owners living in the unincorporated
areas of Ventura County to have their dogs and cats sterilized by 6 months
of age or 60 days after being notified by Animal Services. Notification
can begin when the animal is 4 months old. Exceptions are made for pet
owners who exhibit and show their animals; dogs working in law enforcement,
military and search and rescue, service and guide dogs; specified working
dogs; and those who have a statement from their veterinarian that the
procedure would be detrimental to the animal's health. Owners who wish to
breed their animals can do so after paying a $100 permit fee for the year
the dog or cat has a litter. Those pet owners found inviolation of the
spay/neuter ordinance will first receive written notice and low-cost
sterilization information. After 60 days, the owner could be issued a
citation with a penalty of $25 per day until the animal is altered.
Unpermitted breeders will be given written notice, and after 60 days could
be fined up to $500 per cat/dog. The ordiance also makes it unlawful for
dogs, cats or rabbits to be sold in any commercial pet store within the
unincorporated areas of the county. Animal Services personnel told the
Board that there are just two retail pet stores in the county that sell
dogs, and neither is in an unincorporated area.". .. The article continues
" Barry Fischer, cheif deputy director of the Ventura County Health Care
Agency, which oversees the Animal Control division, introduced the
amendment to the board. 'The ordinance is 30 years old' Fischer said.
'Obviously, we need to bring it up to speed'. A steady parade of people,
mostly representing animal rescue groups or other shelters spoke to the
board in favor of the amendment, but others were against it. Several dog
enthusiasts and breeders also spoke.Most didn't believe the ordinance would
work primarily because Animal Services doesn't have enough resourcesand
thought it would be a burden for responsible breeders. Others were
concerned with intrusion. Nancy Rapaport of Simi Valley, said that she was
not a breeder but if she wanted to become one, she would have to open her
home to inspection. She told the board she thought more public education
programs would be a better way to reduce overpopulation and that the
ordinance was 'unfair to responsible owneers' . Foy, whose district
includes Simi Valley, told the audience he struggled with his vote.
Untimately, Foy, a noted proponent of limited government, voted no. 'I
wish I could break it up into pieces that I could vote for', he said. Foy
said he he'd have preferred, instead, to add incentive to the ordinance by
significantly raising the the license fee for unaltered pets from $75,
$100, $150'. He said he'd rather citizens decide its 'my choice' rather
than 'government telling me what I need to do with my dog'. 'I can't
support (the amendment), Foy said. 'But I support (your effort to reduce
euthanization) ' Supervor Kathy Long, whose district includes Camarillo,
says Animal Services needs the ordinance to help it become a no-kill
shelter, a goal the board gave Animal Services in June 2012. Several
speakers noted that great progress had been made in the past year in
reducing the euthanasia rate but there needs to be even more help. 'We
can't adopt our way out of this', Long said. One breeder who spoke in
favor of the amendment was Donn Hollingsworth of Camarillo. Hollingsworth
is a long-time breeder of Samoyeds and is designated a Breeder of Merit by
the American Kennel Club, which sent a letter to the supervisors opposing
the ordinance. 'I feel this is an ordinance whose time has come',
Hollingsworth said. 'A year ago, if you used the words mandate and
spay/neuter together, my hair would catch on fire. 'I have read this
ordinance' , she said. 'It is needed' ", the article concluded.

I could not find this particular article on the Acorn's website, so I've
re-typed/quoted it due its various concerns. My apologies for any
re-typos. The Acorn had an associated article which URL I was able to get-

Simi Valley/Camarillo Acorn
http://www.thecamar illoacorn. com/news/ 2013-11-08/ Front_Page/ Supervisors_ vote_to_mandate_ spaying_neuterin g_of_p.html

The Ventura Star newspaper had an article also, that I couldn't read but
here's the URL if one is a subscriber.

Ventura County Star
http://www.vcstar. com/news/ 2013/nov/ 05/supervisors- approve-rule- to-spay-or- neuter-dogs/
(Subscription required to read)


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