Friday, December 18, 2015

Santa Paula MSN

The American Kennel Club Government Relations Department has just become aware that the Santa Paula City Council will have a final vote on an ordinance Monday, December 21st 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 breeding permit and pass a test on “humane breeding practices” designed and administered by the Animal Services Coordinator. The measure does not state how much breeding experience the Animal Services Coordinator would be required to have.
As AKC and our local clubs were unaware of this proposal when it was first heard on November 16, 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.
Santa Paula City Council
Date: Monday, December 21st, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: City Council Chambers at 970 Ventura Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060
The full draft of the ordinance can be seen online here. Provisions include:
Section 91.33: Mandatory Spaying and Neutering of Dogs and Cats.
Dogs and cats may only remain intact if one the following exemptions apply:
· Competition dogs used to show or breed that are of a breed recognized by and registered with approved breed registries such as the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club.
· The “guardian/custodian” is a member of an approved purebred dog breed club which enforces a code of ethics for dog breeding.
· The dog is used by a law enforcement agency for law enforcement purposes.
o 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 from a licensed veterinarian stating that the dog is unable to be spayed or neutered without a serious risk of bodily harm or death.
o Veterinarians may be reluctant to provide these exemptions.
Section 91.35 Dog and Cat Breeding – Permit Required – Fees.
· Any person, except for a person possessing a valid kennel license, who causes the breeding of a cat or dog, shall obtain a breeding permit from the Police Department and shall pay the fee for such permit. Breeding permits shall be valid for a term of one year from the date of issuance.
o Burdensome fees are not reasonable when there is no proof that responsible breeders are contributing to animal control problems in Santa Paula.
· Each permit shall authorize the whelping of no more than one litter per female dog or cat in any twelve month period and no more than one litter per domestic household in a twelve month period or the offering of a male dog or cat for stud service once in a twelve month period.
o There is no legitimate reason to limit responsible breeders in this manner. There are no health concerns related to allowing a male dog to be used for stud more than once a year and it is highly likely that a dog used for stud would be bred to a female in another jurisdiction, making the interest of animal control in the male’s jurisdiction tenuous at best.
· The person applying for the breeding permit shall demonstrate a basic understanding of humane breeding practices, administered in the form of a test, designed and administered by the Animal Services Coordinator. Should the applicant fail to pass the humane practices breeding test, he or she shall be denied the breeding permit and may not reapply for such a permit for a minimum of thirty days.
o What qualifications does the Animal Services Coordinator have to draft and administer such a test? Does the individual in this position have specific training in animal reproduction? Is this individual a veterinarian and member of the American College of Theriogenologists? The decision about whether to breed a dog should be made by the breeder in consultation with his or her veterinarian.
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.
AKC Resources:
What You Can Do:
· Attend the Santa Paula City Council Meeting on Monday, December 21st at 6:30 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.
Santa Paula City Council
Council members can be emailed at, or reached via phone at 805.525.4478 or fax 805.525.6278.
Mayor John Procter
Vice Mayor Martin F. Hernandez
Councilmember Jim Tovias
Councilmember Jenny Crosswhite
Councilmember Ginger Gherardi
For additional information, please contact the American Kennel Club Government Relations department at 919-816-3720 or 
Here is the letter sent from CFODC:
Santa Paula City Council
970 Ventura St.
Santa Paula, CA 93060
tel. 805-525-4478
fax. 805-525-6278

December 18, 2015

FOR INCLUSION IN OFFICIAL RECORD – City Council meeting of December 21, 2015

Dear Mayor Procter and City Council Members,

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, and provide educational information regarding responsible pet ownership. We also staff a toll-free assistance line for animal owners who need advice regarding pet training and behavioral issues. CFODC supports animal legislation with proven positive benefits to society.

We are concerned regarding the item on your agenda for Monday, December 21, 2015, which would require mandatory spay-neuter for the vast majority of pets in your city.

The CFODC is OPPOSED to the mandated sterilization of pets, regardless of exemptions. Some of the reasons for our opposition include:

  • Spay-neuter mandates do not solve any problems. In fact, such laws create MORE problems. The ASPCA, the No Kill Advocacy Center, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Kennel Club and many other animal welfare groups are OPPOSED to mandatory sterilization because such laws are INEFFECTIVE in reducing shelter impounds and killings. In its position paper on mandatory spay-neuter, the ASPCA states:

    The ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law.”

  • Feral cats comprise the majority of shelter intakes, and sterilization mandates do not help feral cats. Instead, Good Samaritans who care for feral cats are punished.

  • Fewer people will reclaim their pets from the shelter due to high costs and fees. Coercive sterilization laws and excessive animal-related fees result in increased shelter intakes and deaths everywhere they are tried.
  • Mandatory sterilization is costly to enforce.
  • Existing leash and confinement laws should be enforced. Sterilization does NOT prevent roaming.
  • 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.
  • 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. Fort Worth, Texas repealed their mandatory spay-neuter law due to a noted increase in rabies exposure cases. Rabies exposure is not just a serious risk to human life, but it is extremely expensive to deal with.
  • Mandatory sterilization creates a black market for dogs and puppies. Dogs are being smuggled in by the thousands now, from Mexico and other countries, to meet the demand for pets. Black market pets bring rabies and parasites along with them.
  • There is no evidence to believe that shelter intakes are caused by animals bred locally. Most puppies are sold outside of the area where they are born.
  • Mandated surgery disproportionately punishes low-income families and seniors.

We urge you to REJECT any mandatory sterilization requirements and instead focus on animal control measures proven over the past thirty years to actually work….aggressive public education campaigns, trap/neuter and release programs for feral cats, and low-cost voluntary sterilization clinics.

Sincerely yours,

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

CC: John Procter, Martin F. Hernandez, Jim Tovias, Jenny Crosswhite, Ginger Gherardi

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