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I hope this bill passes!!

July 13th, 2007, 06:03 AM
And I hope this starts a new nationwide trend.

I wish they would do this here in Canada!! I hope everyone supports this bill!!

06-06) 17:01 PDT SACRAMENTO, (AP) --

An attempt to reduce the number of unwanted pets by requiring spaying or neutering of most dogs and cats fell short Wednesday in a first vote in the Assembly, despite arguments that state and local governments face staggering costs to deal with the animals.

The measure by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Sherman Oaks, picked up only 37 of the bare-majority 41 votes it needed to move to the Senate on an initial roll call.

But the bill's backers used a parliamentary procedure to delay announcing the vote and give themselves more time to try to round up support as the Assembly worked late into the day on other legislation.

Meanwhile, bills to set up a state-administered health care system for all Californians, create a commission to recommend criminal sentencing reforms and set up an inspection and recall program to combat E. coli contamination of leafy green vegetables passed the Senate as lawmakers worked to meet a Friday deadline for most bills to pass their first house.

Levine's bill would require most dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered by the time they were 4 months old, the age at which they begin to reach sexual maturity. Failure to have the procedure could result in a $500 fine for the animal's owner.

Levine said the bill, modeled after a 12-year-old Santa Cruz ordinance, was needed to ease a huge population of unwanted pets that is costing state and local governments $300 million a year.

"We have nearly a million dogs and cats a year going into shelters, and nearly 500,000 are euthanized," he said. "Local animal control is overwhelmed and inundated. They have a hard time attracting and maintaining personnel.

"This is a hugely serious problem at the local level, and we need to do something about it."

Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, gave a vivid, day-by-day account of what happens to animals that end up in shelters. Those that aren't claimed are killed, he said, and their bodies are either burned or more often rendered to make cosmetics, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals and other products.

Approving Levine's bill, he said, "is the responsible thing to do for half a million dogs and cats who are killed every year because there's no place for them."

But Assemblyman Michael Duvall, R-Yorba Linda, complained that the bill would force breeders and other pet owners to pay "extortion fees" to get exceptions under the bill. Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Granite Bay, said the Legislature should encourage pet owners to have their animals fixed instead of requiring the operations.

"What we need to focus on is education, not a mandate," he said.

Another opponent, Assemblyman Doug La Malfa, R-Willows, called the bill "micromanaging at its worst" and predicted it wouldn't significantly reduce the unwanted pet population.

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.

Levine also promised to amend the bill in the Senate to provide what his spokesman called a "Lady and the Tramp amendment." It would allow any dog or cat owner to buy a permit that would allow the animal to remain unfixed and have one litter a year. The permit would have to be renewed annually.

Spokesman Alex Traverso said the change would help lay to rest arguments that the bill would eliminate mixed breeds, "the lovable mutt."

Levine also said he would modify the bill's language to ensure that a pet owner cited for failure to have an animal spayed or neutered would not have to pay the $500 fine if he or she agreed to have the animal fixed.

July 13th, 2007, 09:18 AM
I think this bill is a great idea, because there are people who do realize their pets need to be spayed and neutered but don't have the money. I think if they offered a discounted type of program for residents more people would do this.

Many people think of it as blackmail but there are places that will offer this service at a fair price. I know here in Miami, one of the animal shelters in my area offers discounted prices for county residents, and sometimes you can even have it done free if your situation shows you don't make enough money.

I also agree that more people need to be educated about this. I think if more people knew the health benefits to their pets they would be more apt to do this as well.