Help Defend the Rights of California Pet Owners

Update: The Senate has postponed the hearing by a week to June 25, 2008.

Pet Pac Logo Defend California Pet Owner's Rights

Please sign the petition to oppose mandatory spay and neuter of all California pets
Senate hearing June 25, 2008

I apologize for this off-topic post. I don’t usually get my family, friends or acquaintances involved in politics or issues, however this is something that is very important to Madoline and me, and therefore we would like to ask for your help in defending our rights as pet owners.

Some legislators in the State of California are trying to pass a mandatory spay and neuter bill (AB 1634, deceivingly named the “Healthy Pets Act”) that would require every pet dog and cat to be sterilized. We are not against the practice of spaying and neutering in general. However, we feel that it is an indivdual, medical/veterinary decision that should be left to pet owners under advice of their personal veterinarians.

Just a few reasons to oppose AB 1634:

  • It will not solve the overpopulation problem which is caused by irresponsible pet owners who already don’t bother with licensing,leashing and anti-roaming laws. These same irresponsible owners who are the cause of the problem are not going to bother with complying with yet another law.
  • Studies have shown that sterilization, especially early sterilization which this law will require, is unhealthy for animals. Sterilized animals are at higher risk for:
    • Increased aggression
    • Abnormal and disproportionate bone growth (early spaying/neutering)
    • Increased susceptibility to infectious disease (early spaying/neutering)
    • Behavioral problems including fear, aggression, noise phobia, and undesirable sexual behaviors
    • Tripled risk of hypothyroidism
    • Increased risk of hemangiosarcoma (cardiac tumor)
    • Increased risk of bone cancer
    • Increased urinary ailments including calculi, urine scald, incontinence and obstruction
    • Doubled risk of urinary tract cancer
    • Doubled risk of diabetes
    • Increased risk of prostate cancer
    • Adverse reaction to vaccinations
    • Decreased activity and drive
    • Tripled risk of obesity which is already common problem associated with many health problems
    • Increased chance of “perpetual puppy syndrome” which causes undesirable urination
    • Inhibited social adjustment if neutered prior to complete cognitive development
    • Appreciable demeanor change due to hormone drop (similar to that of menopausal women)
    • Increased cognitive disorders
    • Increased and accelerated degenerative osetological disorders
    • Notable decrease in muscle mass
    • Increased/accelerated/progressive geriatric cognitive impairment
    • 2+ years shorter lifespan compared with unaltered littermates
  • This law would encourage disreputable breeding and puppy mills.
  • Please visit the Opposition to the CA Healthy Pet Act, AB 1634 site and Dog & Cat Owners Say No to AB 1634 petition for more reasons why AB 1634 is not the answer to the problem.

From MSNBC: Pet sterilization laws raise health concerns: Spayed or neutered dogs more at risk for cancers, other ills, research shows

On a personal note, our dogs Ludwig and Wolfgang are our only close family. They are purebread, ABCA (American Border Collie Association) registered dogs with excellent working dog bloodlines. They are licensed, live indoors, are never left home alone and never run loose. We bought a house 2 1/2 years ago for the sole purpose of being able to have pets because it is difficult renting with pets. We’re just finally getting settled in to our home and now face the possibility of having to relocate again, an expense we can’t really afford at this time, because we do not want to give up our right to make our own decisions in regards to our dogs’ health.

Again, we are not against the general practice of spaying and neutering. It can be a beneficial procedure for some pets and owners. But this extreme, blanket law would only serve to punish pets and responsible pet owners who are already living in compliance with the law. We just want to retain the right to make our own decisions for our pets.

Please help by signing the petition asking the California Senate to oppose AB 1634. If you can find the time, writing letters or faxes to members of the California Senate would be of great assistance. Please visit the PetPac Action Center for contact information for California legislators and other ways you can help.

The Senate will be holding a hearing regarding this bill on June 25, 2008, so your prompt action will be greatly appreciated.

We thank you in advance for your help.

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