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Crunch time for state pets bill

The California Healthy Pets Act is to be heard in the Local Government Committee on Thursday July 11th in Sacremento after yet another series of amendments have been added to the draught.

These will be the sixth set of amendments to the bill introducing the act since it was introduced on April 9th. The latest set of amendments were set by the State Senate on June 27th. If it is not adopted this time the bill will fail.

When the State Assembly in California passed spaying proposals in the California Healthy Pets Act last month ‘unbelieveable’ was the reaction from dog and cat enthusiasts and thousands of pet owners in California. Members of the California State Assembly voted 41-38 – a margin of just three votes - to outlaw the existence of mixed-breed dogs and cats in the Golden State.


Assembly Bill 1634, euphemistically called the California Healthy Pets Act, authored by Los Angeles Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, will allow only selected purebred dogs and cats to breed, if their owners pay for a special licence to allow them to do so. Pet owners who don’t sterilise their mixed breed pets by four months of age will face a $500 fine and possible criminal penalties.

AB 1634 will blanket all 58 counties in California with an expensive forced spay/neuter law that not all animal shelters want – or need. According to the State of California, dog impounds have fallen 86% over last 30 years. Puppies and kittens are already being transferred between counties to alleviate a shortage of adoptable pets: San Francisco and Marin Counties need to bringCrunch time for state pets bill pets in from other areas to be adopted locally. In San Diego County – which has no mandatory spay/neuter law – only one adoptable animal was euthanased in 2004-05.

Not only family pets, but police dogs, search and rescue dogs, service dogs for the blind and disabled, and working stock dogs serving California’s $6 billion livestock industry will be decimated under AB 1634.

The bill includes several exceptions, including for show animals, police dogs and guide dogs and for animals that are too old or ill to be spayed or neutered.

Whilst organisations such as the AKC and their feline equivalent the International Cat Association, as well as PetPAC have their own campaigns to oppose the Bill, a new campaign for all pet owners – not just residents of California or indeed America has been launched. The Biscuit Campaign will send a ‘dog biscuit’ bearing a message opposing AB1634 to the State Assembly for every one dollar donation it receives.

OUR DOGS will keep readers informed.