Friday, September 25, 2015

Carpinteria-MSN proposal

Dear AKC Delegates, Club Officers, Breeders and Legislative Liaisons,

Please pass this information on to your club members in the Santa Barbara and Ventura County, CA areas.

The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department has just become aware that the Carpinteria City Council will have a final vote on an ordinance Monday, September 28th that would establish mandatory spay/neuter of dogs and cats in the city unless the owner qualifies for an exemption. It also would require breeders to purchase a $100 breeding permit and submit to warrantless inspections of their private property.

As AKC and our local clubs were unaware of this proposal when it was first heard on September 21st, the measure initially passed on a 5-0 vote. It is imperative that responsible owners and breeders attend this meeting and oppose these burdensome and ineffective proposals.

Carpinteria City Council

Date: Monday, September 28, 2015

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: City Council Chambers at 5775 Carpinteria Avenue, Carpinteria, CA

The full draft of the ordinance can be seen online here , Item 9. Provisions include:

Section 6.04.590: Prohibition against Unaltered Dog or Cat; exemptions

Animals may only remain intact if one the following exemptions apply:

The dog or cat is a breed approved by and is registered with the American Kennel Club or a similar foreign registry recognized by the Code Compliance Division, whose program and practices are consistent with the humane treatment of animals, and the dog or cat is actively used to exhibit or compete and has competed in at least one legitimate exhibition or sporting competition hosted by, or under the approval of, the American Kennel Club or a similar foreign registry, within the last two years, or is being trained or groomed to exhibit or compete and is too young to have yet competed.
The AKC does not believe this is reasonable as there are many reasons including work commitments, illness, whelping of a litter and other circumstances which might prevent an owner from competing in a show every year.
The dog has earned, or if under three years old, is actively being trained and in the process of earning, an agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, hunting, working, or other title from a registry or association approved by the Code Compliance Division.
The dog is being, or has been, appropriately trained and is actively used in a manner that meets the definition of a guide, signal or service dog as set forth in Penal Code section 365.5, subdivisions (d), (e) and (f), or the dog is enrolled in a guide dog program administered by a person licensed under Business and Professions Code section 7200 et seq.
The dog is being, or has been, appropriately trained and is actively used by law enforcement agencies, the military, or search and rescue organizations, for law enforcement, military, or search and rescue activities.
The wording of this section fails to recognize that most search and rescue dogs are privately owned, trained and handled.
The owner of the dog or cat provides a letter to the Code Compliance Division from a licensed veterinarian certifying that the animal's health would be best served by spaying or neutering after a specified date; or that due to age, poor health, or illness of the animal, it is detrimental to the health of the animal to spay or neuter the animal; or that arrangements have been made to spay or neuter the dog or cat within 60 days after the compliance deadline and the dog or cat is spayed or neutered within that 60-day period. This letter shall include the veterinarian's license number and the date by which the animal may be safely spayed or neutered. The letter shall be updated periodically as necessary in the event the condition of the animal changes.
Veterinarians may be reluctant to provide these exemptions. 
The owner of the dog or cat is an AKC "Breeder of Merit."
While we appreciate the esteem accorded to the AKC Breeder of Merit program and are extremely proud of those who have achieved this honor, we do not feel that it is appropriate to use it in this legislation. The AKC Breeder of Merit program recognizes decades if not a lifetime of work in responsible dog breeding. To ensure future generations of well-bred dogs we need to protect the rights of new and younger breeders. AKC provides many resources to educate these new breeders about responsible breeding practices including a quarterly newsletter, workshops and access to the cutting edge canine health supported by our AKC Canine Health Foundation. Subjecting these breeders to costly permits, invasive warrantless searches and restrictions endangers the ability of residents to obtain well-bred dogs from local breeders in the future.
The dog or cat has a valid breeding permit issued to the owner by the Code Compliance Division.
The American Kennel Club opposes the spay/neuter laws and arbitrary breeder permits as ineffective because they fail to address the underlying issue of irresponsible ownership. California state law already provides for the sterilization of animals adopted from shelters and mandates that the license fee for intact animals be at least double that of sterilized animals. The mandatory sterilization requirements proposed in this ordinance will merely punish those who are responsible owners and breeders, and the irresponsible owners who are not complying with current laws are likely to continue their behavior. 

Many communities that have implemented mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) policies have found them to be ineffective and expensive. For example, after Dallas, Texas enacted MSN policies in 2008, it experienced a 22 percent increase in animal control costs and an overall decrease in licensing compliance. MSN laws often result in owners either ignore animal control laws entirely, or relinquishing their pets to the public shelter to be cared for at the taxpayers’ expense rather than pay for expensive sterilization surgery or breeder permits. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), some owners also opt to avoid rabies vaccinations and other general veterinary care in order to hide their lack of compliance with MSN laws. 

Section 6.04.620: Breeding Permit

The fee for this permit will be $100 and a separate permit is required for EACH animal to be bred.
These burdensome fees are not reasonable when there is no proof that responsible breeders are contributing to animal control problems in Carpinteria.
Limits residents who own female dogs to a single litter per household per year unless written permission is obtained from the animal control director.
This is a decision that should be made by the owner in consultation with his/her veterinarian. It is unclear what animal husbandry qualifications the Carpinteria Animal Control Director possesses that would render him/her better suited to make these decisions.
Requires breeders to submit to inspections of their property.
It seems ludicrous that law enforcement would need to obtain a warrant for someone suspected of a major felony but a person who breeds dogs does not deserve the same considerations or protections.
Requires breeders to provide their permit number to puppy purchasers and in advertisements.
Requires breeders to provide the department with contact information for puppy purchasers.
AKC Breeders of Merit are exempt.
Section 6.04.630: Prohibition on the Sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores

Prohibits the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in any pet store, retail establishment or commercial establishment, with the exception of animals obtained from an animal shelter or rescue group.
AKC Resources:

AKC Position Statement: Canine Population Issues 
AKC Position Statement: Spaying and Neutering 
Mandatory Spay-Neuter Issue Brief 
Issue Analysis: Why Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws are Ineffective 
What You Can Do:

Attend the Carpinteria City Council Meeting on Monday, September 28th at 5:30 PM and speak in opposition to this burdensome and ineffective measure.
If you are unable to attend this hearing, please contact the council members via phone call or email asking them to oppose this ordinance.
Carpinteria City Council

City Council – The city’s phone number is (805) 684-5405.

Mayor Gregg A. Carty 
Vice-Mayor, Fred Shaw 
Councilman Al Clark 
Councilman Wade Nomura 
Councilman J. Bradley Stein 


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