Legislative Committee Report - CA AB1634
California Assembly Bill 1634 – “California Healthy Pets Act”
California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine introduced AB 1634 on Friday, February 23rd, 2007. This legislation was originally proposed to require all cats and dogs over the age of four months be spayed or neutered unless the owner acquired an intact animal permit. Failure to comply with the provision of the bill carries a civil penalty of $500 for each animal for which a violation occurs. The text of the bill can be read here.
This bill has since been amended and claims that purebred dog breeders are exempt from the proposal. However, the bill will require breeders pay an undetermined annual fee for every intact dog they possess. It will also make it difficult for those coming from out of state, as the owner will have to prove that the cat or dog is temporarily in California for training, showing or any other legitimate reason as determined by the local jurisdiction.
A stated goal of supporters for AB 1634 is to reduce the number of dogs and cats in California shelters. While this goal is well intentioned, mandatory spay/neuter laws are not an effective way to solve animal control problems, as the heart of the issue is irresponsible ownership. They are also unfair to responsible dog owners and breeders who should be allowed to use their own discretion in determining whether to alter their animals – spay/neuter requirements target all owners regardless of their actions. Learn additional reasons why AB 1634 is not a solution.
It’s easy to understand why this issue is of concern if you are a Newfoundland owner/breeder in California. But this is of concern to all of us as mandatory spay/neuter legislation is picking up steam across the country and if we can stop this legislation in California, it could have an impact with other states’ legislators. In 2006, only 3 states were reviewing some form of mandatory spay/neuter legislation (California, Texas and Virginia). In just the first 2 months of 2007, 4 states – not including California – were already reviewing similar types of restrictions: Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, and Washington. If this legislation passes in California, it will surely appear in many other states as legislators are being heavily lobbied that these types of laws will improve shelter overpopulation and reduce high euthanasia rates (which is not the case). They need to hear about better solutions such as strongly enforced animal control laws (such as leash laws), and increased public education efforts including the need to be a responsible pet owner.
What you can do:
This bill has already passed the Assembly, and will first be heard by the Senate Committee on Local Government on July 11th, so time is critical as letters must be received by the committee by July 3rd to ensure that your opposition is noted for the official bill analysis.
If you live in California, please contact your State Senator and ask them to oppose AB 1634. Click here for a sample letter. To find out who represents you in the California State Legislature, please click here. If you live outside the state, click here for a sample letter to the Senate Committee on Local Government you can personalize to send and help make a difference. If the bill were to pass the Senate, it will go to the Governor’s office for signature, so click here for a sample letter to Governor Schwarzenegger to ask him to veto if the bill comes across his desk. Opposition to this bill has already caused amendments be made to the bill – continued strong opposition can stop it!
In-State Resident Sample Letter
Out Of State Resident Sample Letter
Sample Letter to Govenor Schwarzenegger