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)


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

CFODC Ventura County letter

Ventura County Board of Supervisors
Ventura County Government Center
800 S. Victoria Ave. – 4th Floor
Ventura, CA 93009
Fax: 805-654-2226
November 5, 2013

Dear Ventura County Supervisor,

The California Federation of Dog Clubs is an association of thousands of dog owners across the State of California. Formed in 1990, the CFoDC works tirelessly to promote animal welfare, educate the public regarding responsible animal ownership, and protect the rights of responsible animal owners. We administer a disaster relief fund, conduct breed ID workshops for shelter personnel, provide educational information on responsible pet ownership. We also man a toll-free assistance line for animal owners who need advice regarding pet training and behavioral issues. We support animal legislation with positive benefits to society.

The CFODC is OPPOSED to the mandated sterilization of pets, regardless of exemptions. We are opposed to high fees and excessive restrictions for licensing and breeding permits. Some of the reasons for our opposition include:

  • The ASPCA, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Kennel Club and many other animal welfare groups are OPPOSED to mandatory sterilization because it creates more problems than it solves.
  • Coercive sterilization laws and excessive animal-related fees result in increased shelter intakes and deaths anywhere they are tried. Fewer people will reclaim their pets due to high costs. Los Angeles has seen a steep rise in shelter intakes since implementing its own mandatory spay/neuter law. So has Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Mandatory sterilization is costly to enforce.
  • Revenues will drop, as owners will increasingly avoid licensing and forced surgery on their pets. There will be even LESS money for the needed enforcement.
  • Oppressive forced sterilization laws have resulted in increased incidence of RABIES in some areas, as owners who avoid licensing may also fail to vaccinate for rabies. This creates a dire risk to human health. With recent instances of rabid wildlife in the Inland valley we should not do anything that would jeopardize public cooperation with rabies vaccination programs. Fort Worth TX repealed their law due to increased cases of rabies.
  • Dogs are being smuggled in by the thousands now, from Mexico and other countries, to meet the demand for pets. Mandatory sterilization creates a black market for dogs and puppies. Black market pets bring rabies and parasites along with them.
  • Feral cats comprise the majority of shelter intakes, and sterilization mandates do not help feral cats. The only result is that Good Samaritans who care for feral cats are punished. Existing leash and confinement laws should be enforced. Sterilization does NOT prevent roaming.
  • There is no evidence to support the assertion that shelter intakes are caused by animals bred locally. Most puppies are sold outside of the local area where they are born.
  • Mandated surgery disproportionately punishes low-income families.
We urge you to REJECT any mandatory sterilization ordinances and instead focus on measures proven to work over the past thirty years….aggressive public education campaigns, trap/neuter and release programs for feral cats, and low-cost voluntary sterilization clinics.

The CFoDC is also OPPOSED to bans on retail sales of pets, regardless of exemptions. Pet sales bans encourage the growth of a totally unregulated underground market. This ordinance would, in effect, trade a heavily regulated business for a largely unregulated industry, the pet rescue industry. A sales ban would only hurt legitimate businesses and responsible, regulated breeders and do nothing to improve animal welfare.

Sales bans create a shortage of desirable pets, a black market for dogs and cats, and a rise in imports from other countries. Many "rescue" groups are already importing dogs from overseas to meet the demand for pets. This is happening right now in southern California. A rescue group in LA imports dogs and sells them for hundreds of dollars each. Per the "Dogs Without Borders" website: "We currently rescue most dogs from local shelters and strays, but sometimes we rescue dogs from as far away as Taiwan!....Some of the dogs you see on our site are not here in the States."

There is ample evidence collected by the LA County Veterinary Public Health Dept, the US Customs and Border Patrol, and the Centers for Disease Control proving that a high and rising number of dogs
in the marketplace are being imported into the US for the rescue-shelter enterprise. More than 10,000 dogs enter the US from Mexico each and every year. Some dogs are imported for the rescue trade from as far away as Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

The practice of so-called "humane relocation" is not only outrageous, but is also very irresponsible on the part of the shelters/rescues that participate. There are diseases and parasites in other countries which are transmitted from dog-to-dog or from dogs to humans which put the safety of our citizens and our dog population at great risk. In late 2004, the first case of canine rabies in Los Angeles County in 30 years was confirmed. The dog had recently come in from Mexico. Rabies is a fatal disease that still claims over 50,000 human lives annually worldwide.

The demand for shelter dogs drives the importation of dogs for the rescue market niche. Helen Woodward Humane Society imports dogs on a regular basis from other states and even from other countries as far away as Romania into San Diego County. Bans on animal sales exempting "rescues" would exacerbate the spread of disease.

Claims of high incidence of illness in pet store puppies are totally unsubstantiated. Pets bred under USDA rules and regulations receive regular veterinary care. There is evidence that the pet industry provides more veterinary care for puppies than the public at large. DVM/VPI Insurance Group, the largest provider of animal health insurance, testified during a hearing in California that "preconceived notions" concerning pet store puppies "could not have been more wrong." After insuring more than 89,000 pet store puppies and kittens and handling health claims from a pool of more than 500,000 insured animals, the insurance company reduced its premiums for pet store puppies and kittens substantially by as much as 22 percent compared to premiums charged for animals from other sources. Why? Pet store puppies receive more veterinary attention during the first 12 weeks of age than any other puppies and, as a result, have fewer claims.

California law provides consumer protection for pets purchased in pet stores; however, shelter and rescue animals are exempt from health, safety and disclosure requirements and from the consumer protection laws which are required of traditional pet stores and breeders under the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act and the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act. This proposed ordinance would eliminate consumer protection and would encourage the proliferation of unhealthy pets.

While many rescue groups do good work, none of them are regulated. Some animal rescue groups raise the animals that they sell under poor conditions, the very conditions this ordinance seeks to eliminate. Just last January, dogs purchased from a Simi Valley rescue/shelter operation came down with parvo within days of purchase. This operation, like most of its counterparts, offers no warranty nor is it required to by law. Veterinary bills for the purchasers of these rescued pets ran into the thousands of dollars. Consumers have no recourse when they purchase a rescued pet with health problems and resultant big veterinary bills.

A recent study revealed that less than 5% of dogs sourced from pet shops end up in an animal shelter. Commercial breeders are a legitimate source for healthy, well-bred animals. Shelter and rescued animals are a different matter, with unknown health, temperament, parasites and infectious diseases.

If implemented, this sales ban will not directly provide a home for even ONE shelter animal.

We urge you to reject the proposal for unincorporated Ventura County that would institute counterproductive mandatory sterilization, oppressive animal-related fees, and the prohibition of the retail sale of pets by replacing them with unregulated "rescue" animals.

Sincerely yours,

Geneva Coats, R.N.
California Federation of Dog Clubs


Cc: Steve Bennett, Linda Parks, Kathy Long, Peter Foy, John Zaragoza

Action required: spay/neuter hearing in Ventura Tuesday 11/5 at 10 a.m.

Subject: spay/neuter hearing in Ventura

applies to all dogs and cats over 4 months old unless exempted (exemptions are written proof from a veterinarian that surgery would be risky, registered show dogs, service dogs and dogs used by law enforcement agencies)

violations would be subject to a $25 per day fine.

breeders would be restricted to one litter per year and have to show proof of a breeding permit number in their marketing.

breeding violations would result in an infraction fine of up to $500 per dog or cat.

Officials are counting on veterinarians to help enforce the new rules through education and follow-up phone calls to owners who have not spayed or neutered their pets.

There is more....right now this is for the unincorporated areas of the county and they are hoping that if it passes, it will go county wide.

Public hearing scheduled Tuesday 11/5 at 10 a.m. in the hearing room of the Hall of Administration at the Ventura County Gov't Center, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura Ca.

Please crosspost

DOGS Alert CA AB 485-Pet Store Rescue Monopoly

CA AB 485 to be heard in Committee June 26 CA AB 485 heads to the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee to be ...