Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Victory in Whittier!

After a lengthy public hearing, the Whittier City Council this evening unanimously rejected the mandatory spay/neuter (“MSN”) provisions of its proposed animal-control ordinance by adopting an amendment drafted by California Federation of Dog Clubs (“CFODC”).  The second reading of the amended ordinance will occur at the council’s meeting on September 8.
Like many other cities in Los Angeles County, Whittier contracts with the county’s Department of Animal Care and Control for animal-control services. The city also adopted the county’s animal-control ordinance nearly a decade ago, but chose to exclude the MSN provisions of the L. A. County code – provisions that would require all dogs in the city to be sterilized with few exceptions. Under the proposed update to the city’s animal-control ordinance considered this evening, the city would have adopted the MSN provisions of the county.
At the hearing, representatives from CFODC, members of the fancy, and several veterinary healthcare professionals countered the proposal by offering fact-based evidence that MSN laws fail to keep dogs out of shelters, drive people away from licensing their dogs, require harsh enforcement, increase the risk of rabies to the public, can hurt our dogs' health, and specifically in Whittier, would drop annual licensing revenue by over $80K -- and possibly much more if non-compliance matched other jurisdictions' rates.  Following the presentations, the council unanimously stated that the decision to sterilize a pet should be made by its owner in consultation a veterinarian, and not by government fiat.
This was truly a team effort.  CFODC would like to thank all of you who testified at the public hearing or contacted the members of the council.
Chuck Bridges
California Federation of Dog Clubs

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