Dear AKC Delegates, Club Officers, Breeders and Judges,
Please pass this information on to your club members in the Pasadena (Greater Los Angeles) area.
AKC Government Relations has learned that the Pasadena City Council will conduct a public hearing on a proposal to require the sterilization of all dogs and cats within the city limits. Limited exemptions will be provided for animals with medical conditions, those actively involved in showing or in clubs and those with titles, and animals acting as service dogs. AKC encourages responsible dog owners and breeders to attend this meeting and oppose this burdensome ordinance.
Pasadena City Council Meeting
Date: Monday July 14, 2014
Time: 7:30 PM (NOTE TIME CHANGE)
Location: Council Chamber, Pasadena City Hall
100 North Garfield Avenue Room S249
Pasadena, CA 91109
According to the staff report, 87% of licensed dogs are sterilized. Is there any proof that the remaining 13% are causing problems in the community? Only 4% of dogs were euthanized due to lack of space in fiscal year 2014. Given the expense and burden of enforcing a mandatory spay/neuter law, resources could be more effectively targeted to finding homes for that 4%. While it appears that Pasadena does offer some reduced cost spay/neuter services, it is unclear if there is a program to assist residents who may not have transportation to get their animal to the veterinarian for surgery.
No national animal welfare organizations support mandatory spay/neuter and in fact it is opposed by AKC, ASPCA, No Kill Advocacy Center, and the American College of Theriogenologists. This opposition exists because mandatory spay/neuter policies are ineffective at reducing shelter intakes or euthanasia.
The staff report indicates that the city is seeking to employ sterilization as a method to reduce dog bites. The literature on a relationship between dog bites and sterilization is mixed at best. A more effective option is to prevent situations that lead to dog through the use of a public education program. AKC has developed a video and workbook series, the Dog Listener, which teaches children about canine behavior, what to do when confronted with a strange or aggressive dog, and how to behave around dogs.
The American Kennel Club opposes mandatory spay/neuter as ineffective because it fails 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 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.
What You Can Do
Attend the public hearing and voice your opposition to a breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter ordinance.
Contact the Pasadena City Council members and ask them to oppose this measure.
Pasadena City Council Members
Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, District 1
Councilmember Margaret McAustin, District 2
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember John Kennedy, District 3
Councilmember Gene Masuda, District 4
Councilmember Victor Gordo Esq., District 5
Councilmember Steve Madison, District 6
Councilmember Terry Tornek, District 7