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« Support two great causes at once | Main | Connecticut Bill prohibiting breed-specific laws moves forward »

May 09, 2013



You're already behind by another.


Waiting to see what the investigation comes up with. Getting the facts right is far more important the rushing to be first...which unfortunately, seems to the be media's primary initiative these days.


It's going to be awhile before the dust settles on that one, Brent. Antelope Valley is a mess. Stray dogs everywhere. Animal Control is wisely holding the dogs. There are way too many possibilities to start killing right away. They need to make sure that these are the dogs first. Antelope Valley has mandatory spay/neuter. It has NOT driven up their kill numbers (I know that No Kill is really good at trying to say that drives up numbers). No one is enforcing it and most people don't even know that it's a law. There is one group working really hard to make a difference out there with their spay mobile, but there's only so much they can do in that large area with so many pets that need it. We're not talking about a neighborhood like mine where pets are family members. We're talking about a community where they roam at large and it's not really a concern if they come back or not because it's less mouths to feed if they don't. Also worth noting the major dog fighting ring brought down out there last year. The poverty rate is crazy high (over 20%). We're going to see the same patterns regardless of breed in that attack (unsocialized dogs, allowed to roam, intact, possibly puppies, etc.).

Lis Carey

Jenn, if no one is enforcing the "mandatory" spay/neuter law, and hardly anyone even knows the law exists, in what way is Antelope Valley an example of what happens when you have (and enforce) mandatory spay/neuter? The effects of having (and actually trying to enforce) such a law have been uniformly negative, including increased kill rates.

OTOH, mobile spay/neuter clinics, making the service accessible to people, actually do boost spay/neuter rates and lower the numbers of unwanted litters, as well as many of the other effects promised by advocates of mandatory spay/neuter.



I'm not terribly familiar with the area, but it does seem to have a pretty big recipe for problems - -high poverty (21% -- and that's based on true poverty rate and not inclusive of the higher cost of living in California -- the adjusted poverty rate would be much higher than that even) and it sounds like stray, free-roaming dogs are often a problem. The guy that had his dogs taken has a history of problems with his dogs, and was growing marijuana, and yet, I'm not altogether convinced they have the right dogs and these were just complete free-roamers. It sounds like a mess waiting to happen. Tragically it did.

I've seen a mandatory spay/neuter law passed, and actually enforced here in my own community. I was horrible, and thousands of dogs lost their lives over it. If you're going to have the law, the best way to have it is for it to go unenforced and unnoticed IMO.


I should clarify that I'm NOT for mandatory spay/neuter (for many reasons that we don't need to get into). I'm just tired of people using L.A. as an example of higher kill rates because of it. The truth is that no one is enforcing it here and most of the people don't even know it was passed 5 years ago. I see L.A. used as an example by No Kill Advocates A LOT. It's simply not contributing to our numbers at all. The downturn in the economy, however, has been huge. People losing their houses and moving in with family, people losing jobs and not even being able to feed their own kids, etc.

While I get that it would be a reason for people to turn in their animals if Animal Control is going door to door, it's not the reality here. I just wanted to make that clear. Obviously, it hasn't helped with the "pit bull" population either (as that law was intended out there).

I do advocate more access to more affordable (and free) spay/neuter because I feel that's far more effective than any law could ever be. The law is a waste. But it also isn't costing any lives in the L.A. area. I'm sorry that it's actually being enforced door to door in others.

And you're very right - Antelope Valley has been a recipe for disaster for at least a decade. It's actually shocking that it took this long for a fatality. The authorities agree with you about the dogs. They aren't convinced that these are the right ones. There are plenty of free roaming dogs out there to choose from and not all of them are pits or pit mixes.


They did active enforcement of it here (MSN for pit bulls only) and led to about 2000 more dogs dying in our shelter over the next 3 years. It was horrible. The bottom line to me is that the availability and promotion of low cost options works to reduce population, with or without a law. And the law, without enough viable options, is a disaster.

Meanwhile, I'd suspect that most of them are not pits or pit mixes. Free-roaming dogs breed indiscriminately, so it is unlikely that any of them are purebred anything at this point.


No killers against mandatory spay/neuter. What a weird world we live in. Here is a key question for no killers when trying to achieve long term goals: "Will tomorrow ever come?"

What no killers propose in order to save more dogs now in the system or currently alive guarantees that more will be coming into the system. So, tomorrow never comes.

Utopians should be as far away from the levers of power as possible.

Lis Carey

Ah, it's our resident fact-free dogmatist.

No Kill advocates oppose mandatory spay/neuter because, wherever it has been tried (not merely passed and ignored, but actively enforced), it has increased both intake rates and kill rates. More dogs dead, not fewer. Also, of course, no measurable useful impact on spay/neuter rates. A failure all around.

What does increase spay/neuter rates and reduce both intake and kill rates, is ACCESSIBLE and AFFORDABLE voluntary spay/neuter services. Actual opportunities for people to get the pets who might otherwise reproduce spayed or neutered.

Not that you care, since your only interest is in killing pit bulls and anything you think looks like a pit bull.


Oh, just go away, you negative twit.


Well said Kate.

I'm letting this comment ride because it actually demonstrates something.

The book Redemption, was released in the fall of 2007. This would have been essentially the start of the "No Kill" movement.

While I think it might be easy to point fingers at where "no kill" has gone over the past 5 years, it cannot be disputed that in the past 5 1/2 years, more than 100 open intake shelters have achieved No Kill status based on the definition laid out in the book.

Meanwhile, how many shelters have achieved a 90% save rate based on Mandatory Spay/Neuter -- an idea that has been around for much longer than the No Kill movement. The answer is zero. None.

So which solution is the promising a "tomorrow that will never come" vs which one is delivering results today. Currently.

The answer is pretty obvious.

This was actually very insightful into the world of Dub -- who is basically living in the animal welfare world of 20 years ago and not realizing that like all 'industries', things have changed. Our knowledge about successful laws, mandatory spay/neuter, how we handle dangerous dogs, canine genetics and how we stop killing animals in shelters has all changed dramatically in the past decade, but Dub doesn't see it. (s)he's living stubbornly in the past, and basing opinion on knowledge that is more than a decade old and ignoring current data, science, information and case studies.

Dub, either move forward, or fall behind. There is no other solution. Sadly, you've chosen the latter, and Kate's advice is very much worth taking.


Mandatory spay/neuter is not needed in the areas in which open admission, no kill shelters can exist and currently do (that is unless accounting tricks or moving animals outside the area are used to achieve open admission, no kill on paper alone). You would also have to look at an entire area, not one shelter within it that is chosen as a showplace for the idea (and so unadoptable dogs are shunted away from it).

You know as well as I do that no large urban area (that is not highly economically prosperous and progressive like Seattle) has ever achieved open admission, no kill status. You know that somewhere like Los Angeles cannot become open admission, no kill in the foreseeable future.

I see no reason for small communities in Indiana or around Cornell U. to have mandatory spay/neuter because pet overpopulation is already not a problem.

This is simply a matter of fitting the solution to the problem.


You can tell a lot about a movement by how they handle criticism.


Dub, it's not the handling of educated discussion that's the problem. It's the problem of uneducated guessing that is the problem.

For the record, our own shelter in Kansas City, MO is very close to achieving the goal. KCMO is FAR from prosperous (22% live below poverty level), and is a very large community. Austin has 24% of the population living below the poverty line. In Reno, 21% live below the poverty line. The national average BTW is about 15%. All three shelters are operating as open admission shelters for their entire community.

These are all large cities, with higher-than-average poverty rates. It is happening. Meanwhile, people (like you) still try to not acknowledge it to be a fact, relay mis-information, pretend it can't happen (although it is) and trumpet "solutions" that haven't ever worked. It's pathetic to see people spread misinformation and ignore facts because it doesn't support their ideal. But it's been par for the course with you, now on more than one topic.


It's worth noting that I'm growing increasingly impatient with willful ignorance.


Did you really just say that Redemption in 2007 was the start of the no-kill movement? You must be new to animal welfare, you're off by about a decade.



You're right, I did misspeak. The ideals around no kill have been around much longer than 2007...but really didn't gain a lot of traction and momentum outside of certain pockets until 2007 because the "it's impossible" crowd was dominant, and most of the evidence was on their side. It didn't start gaining much momentum nationally until least here in the Midwest.

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