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September 30, 2009 > Ohlone Humane Society: Stop this senseless killing!

Ohlone Humane Society: Stop this senseless killing!

By Nancy Lyon

The purpose of the Pet Responsibility Act (SB250) is to curtail the vast number of companion animals that are born in California and end up in the state's animal shelters where most of them are killed since adoption and rescue options simply cannot handle the growing overflow of incoming animals. The devastating statistics are that to date in 2009, over 360,000 dogs and cats have been euthanized in California at a cost of over $180,000,000.

To accomplish the goal of reducing these numbers the bill proposes that most dogs and free roaming cats over 6-months old be spayed or neutered. The many exceptions include dogs whose owners have purchased an unaltered dog license (including show and kennel dogs and in some instances cats), guide dogs, signal and service dogs, police and firefighter dogs, herding and livestock guarding dogs, hunting and field trial dogs, etc. Feral cat caretakers who monitor colonies off their property would be excluded from this law but people who feed feral cats on their own property would be required to either personally pay to alter the cats or participate in a "trap, spay-neuter, release" assistance program.

A penalty may be imposed upon an owner or custodian of an unlicensed, unaltered dog or free roaming cat for a violation of this bill only if the owner or custodian has concurrently violated one or more of the local jurisdictions existing requirements. Bill author and Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez stated "Opponents have falsely labeled this bill as mandatory spay and neuter. I look forward to sitting down with those members so the true intent of this bill can be made clear, and we can get to the business of improving life for our pets and saving taxpayers from the enormous expense of cleaning up after irresponsible folks who over-run our shelters with their cast-offs."

He added, "No responsible pet owner has to worry that the 'puppy police' will come knocking at their door. No one is going to force you to get your dog fixed if it gets out of the yard once. This bill is a tool for local animal control to use in dealing with irresponsible pet owners whose chronic disregard for the law is taking a financial and emotional toll on taxpayers, pet lovers and shelter workers."

The Assembly will reconsider SB 250 in January. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 21-16 but it has only 28 votes so far in the 80 member Assembly. Assembly Members can be found at

While we wait for the legislative process to hopefully understand the need to place greater responsibility on humans to spay/neuter companion animals so they do not contribute to the over-population and killing. Many wonderful, adoptable animals like these currently at the Tri-City Animal Shelter in Fremont that are running out of time because of over-crowding.

They are at risk but still have a bit of time. No one has yet come forward to bring them home, so think about adoption and not breeding... as soon as you have picked up your phone and called your member of the State Assembly and Assembly Appropriations Committee and ask that they support the passage of SB 250.

Again, the animals are counting on you! - SB 250 currently has only 28 votes in the 80 member Assembly. Assembly Members can be found at

Check the Social Compassion In Legislation website for further details and contact information

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