Thursday, July 17, 2014

American Pomeranian Club and City of Angels Pomeranian Club OPPOSED to mandatory sterilization proposal

American Pomeranian Club
City of Angels Pomeranian Club
Pasadena City Council
100 North Garfield Ave.
Room S249
Pasadena, CA 91101

July 11, 2014
Request to be included in the official record for City Council meeting of July 14, 2014.
Dear Mayor Bogaard, Vice Mayor Robinson, and City Council Members,
The City of Angels Pomeranian Club and the American Pomeranian Club urge you to reject the ill-conceived spay-neuter proposal on the agenda for July 14, 2014. We read through the Agenda Report from the Director of Public Works. This report is full of fabrications and outright lies.
The report claims that a law is needed to force people to alter their pets, yet on page three of this very same report, there is a graph that demonstrates that 87% of the owned, licensed dogs in the city of Pasadena are ALREADY ALTERED. And, it would seem obvious to a kindergartener that feral cats do not have owners, don't read city ordinances, and won't turn themselves in for sterilization surgery. Citizens who care for feral cats do not consider themselves owners of such cats and in most cases will not make the effort to sterilize them.
OK, fair enough, you want to force that other 13% of dog owners to spay and neuter their pets. The reasons why seem to include:
  • reducing "overpopulation"
There is absolutely NO evidence that "overpopulation" of pets is a significant factor in the City of Pasadena. The latest report just released from 2012 claims on page 15 that "Our adoption placement rate is 98% for cats (excluding feral cats) and 96.2% for dogs". It seems there is NO EXCESS of adoptable pets in the City of Pasadena. You are at No-Kill rates currently 
  • reducing the numbers of stray and roaming dogs
The best tools for reducing stray and roaming dogs are known as "doors" "fences" and "leashes". The evidence is poor at best that any other factor other than enforcement of existing leash laws affects the numbers of stray and roaming dogs. Intact and neutered dogs will both roam when they are not physically prevented from doing so. Dogs that are allowed to roam have bigger problems than an unplanned litter...such as being hit by a car, poisoned or killed by coyotes. Enforcement of confinement laws is the answer.
  • reducing numbers of dog bites
Dog bites are the result of owners who fail to properly restrain or socialize their dogs.The studies do not support the assertion that neutered dogs are less likely to bite. In fact, there are several studies that demonstrate that neutering may decrease dog to dog aggression but that neutering will actually INCREASE dog to human aggression. This also holds true for spayed females. Spaying increases aggression in female dogs. See attached/linked veterinarian-authored paper with references.
Who would know best about how to reduce danger from aggression, The Association of Animal Behavior Professionals, that's who. They specifically recommend AGAINST early spay/neuter and stress that sterilization needs to be accompanied by training.
  • "Veterinary science has demonstrated the safety and positive health benefits of spaying and neutering which is especially true if the animal is sterilized before maturity."
FALSE and the OPPOSITE of what modern science has demonstrated. Altering increases the risk for a host of health problems and the risk is higher the younger the age that the pet is altered! The short list of health problems that are increased when the animal is altered includes: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, bone cancer, hemangiosarcioma, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, reduced lifespan, lymphoma, noise phobias and aggression, incontinence in females, pancreatitis and adverse reaction to vaccination. See attached/linked veterinarian-authored paper with references for further information.
  • "One un-spayed female cat and her offspring can be responsible for the birth of 73,000 kittens in six years' time"
This is utter baloney. If this were true we would have literally TRILLIONS of cats in the USA today. A study of feral cats (who are the ones most likely to reproduce) found that in 12 years, one stray unspayed female with all her unspayed female offspring can be expected to produce 3200 kittens if there is no human intervention. This does not, however, factor in the high mortality rate of the kittens and trap/neuter/release programs. It also assumes that all offspring survive, when in reality, their average lifespan is just two to three years. If you don't live, you can't reproduce. Jerry Folland, a mathematician with MIT, was quoted in an article saying he calculates that the actual number may be much lower, with less than 100 cats surviving after seven years.
  • "American Veterinary Medical Association supports spay and neuter"
 This claim from page 7 of your report is midleading because AVMA specifically OPPOSES mandatory sterilization of owned pets. "The AVMA does not support regulations or legislation mandating spay/neuter of privately owned, non-shelter dogs and cats. Mandatory sterilization laws are also opposed by ASPCA, AKC, No Kill Advocacy Center, and the American College of Theriogenologists.
We urge you to reject reports founded on untruths and exaggerations. Mandatory spay and neuter laws result in increased costs, increased animal intakes and deaths, increased risk of rabies exposures and a distrust of local government by the citizens. Such punitive laws are not only unnecessary, they are bad for pets and bad for the community.

Sincerely yours,

Geneva Coats
Legislative Liaison
American Pomeranian Club
City of Angels Pomeranian Club

CC: Bill Bogaard, Jaque Robinson, Margaret McAustin, John J. Kennedy, Gene Masuda, Victor Gordo, Steve Madison, Terry Tornek

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