I honestly have no idea how this bill has made it this far....or how anyone who has looked at it at all objectively supports it.
But in California, SB 250 was heard today by the California Assembly Business and Professional Committee. The bill passed through the committee and will now go to the Assembly Appropriations committee. If this bill passes it would essentially require mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs and cats in the state of California....and will most likely cost hundreds of thousands of animals their lives.
Last year, the city of Los Angeles began enforcing its law mandating the spay/neuter of all pets.
In the first year of the ordinance, Los Angeles had a 24% increase in euthanasia for dogs and 35% for cats in their city shelter --reversing a six year long decline in shelter euthanasia. One of the many problems that was exposed by their ordinance was that there was less supply of low-cost spay/neuter options than there was demand -- a problem that caused the head of animal control, Ed Boks, to temporarily cease giving out low-cost vouchers because the city had exceeded its limit to what it could afford. Boks eventually resigned as the head of LA Animal Control.
So, the state of California is now looking at bringing this same "success" to the entire state of California? Never mind that because of the struggles in funding, Governor Schwarzenegger offered up a plan to decrease the amount of time animals needed to stay in shelters from a minimum of 5 days to a minimum of 3 days because of financial struggles faces by many city shelters. If many cities in the state are under such financial dire straights that they cannot even afford to keep animals for 5 days so they can find their original homes or new homes, how would we ever expect them to up their resources for low-cost spay/neuter programs that would help citizens comply with this new law?
We can't. And instead of just seeing what happened in Los Angeles, where thousands of animals were killed because of their new law, the state of California will be adding a huge multiplier and will literally see tens ofs thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, more pets killed if this ordinance passes.
There is a lot more information out there on this topic from people who have been following it a lot more closely than me. For starters, check out the Pet Conneciton -- who has covered the bill here and most recently here. And more here from Save our Dogs.
Because more and more places have enacted mandator spay/neuter legislation -- and we've seen the massive negative impact of such laws -- such legislation is now opposed by nearly every mainstream animal welfare organization -- including Alley Cat Allies, the AVMA, the ASPCA, and the No Kill Advocacy Center -- and this bill in particular is opposed by the California State Department of Finance.
The laws don't work. They don't save animal's lives. If only it were that easy.
But given the current financial situation in the state of California, the passing of this ordinance in committee today makes it all the more concerning.