Barbara J. Andrews / Editorial / July 2007
California’s AB 1634
requires all dogs and cats to be neutered by six months of age
unless owners obtain expensive veterinary exemptions, business
licenses (if properly zoned) or pay exorbitant fees to preserve
an intact dog or cat for exhibition.
Never bashful about
taking credit for success, the AKC states it was “at the
forefront in opposition” to the bill and
indeed, the website has been a comprehensive resource for combating
(UPDATE: AKC WITHDRAWS OPPOSITION, GOES "NEUTRAL" ON AB1634)
Despite the best efforts of the dog and cat
registries, it may be that the sponsor of the bill, Assemblyman
Lloyd Levine blew the bill himself. A report from Tina M.
Perriguey, Placer County Schutzhund Club says one of the staffers “mentioned that Levine had not informed
any of the Senators or their staff of his intention to pull the
bill. They heard of it from the news report. It was pretty clear
that this was considered disrespectful.”
She was referring to
Levine’s statement during a TV interview the previous day. Perriguey says
“About an hour into the Hearing, Vice-Chair
Senator Dave Cox said that he found it ‘interesting that we are
still debating this bill, since I heard on the news at 5:30 a.m.
that Mr. Levine had announced that he was withdrawing it’" Tina
says “he used polite tones, but there was definitely an
undertone of sarcasm, and he seemed to be alluding to a lack of
respect shown by Levine to the Senators. The Chair, Senator
Gloria Negrete-McLeod stated agreement, said she had heard the
same report. In other words, Levine got spanked.”
Fancier’s Assoc. (CFA) had a major hand in bringing about what
at worst may be only a delay and at best, a battle won. Mounting
a vigorous campaign through one of the bill’s major supporters,
the California Veterinary Medical Association, CFA announced
that CVMA is no longer a “Sponsor of the bill, nor a Supporter.”
Loss of the CVMA political support did not go unnoticed by the
The National Animal Interest Alliance's (NAIA) is one of the
oldest and best organized legislative action organizations. One
of AKC’s board members is the founder of NAIA but it was CFA
which praised NAIA’s “hard work to organize and promote the list
of opposed veterinarians on their website”. The California
Veterinarians Against AB1634 registered a letter of opposition
which was posted on the NAIA website.
According to attorney and Legislative Specialist Cindy Cooke, the
groups all worked hand in hand.
See "CA Goose Cooked",
Cindy lends her expertise to the United Kennel Club (UKC) which,
as one of the oldest registries in America, reaches a huge
population of hunters and “using dogs” owners who staunchly
support the UKC’s “total dog” concept.
such individual who attended the meetings is Irv Corbin, a
well-known CA sportsman.
See "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"
All animal owners are deeply grateful to Pet PAC. Irv quotes
insightful comments from Pet PAC’s Bill Hemby. Another prominent
although newer group is Concerned Dog Owners Of California. Both
have professional lobbyists although AKC does claim to be the
“first organization to hire a lobbyist to oppose the bill.”
The AKC Canine Legislation Department
achieved interviews on Fox and CNN as well as coverage in USA
Today. Many regret that it took so long to stall the bill,
because as one dog owner pointed out, “had media efforts and
costs been combined, voters in every state would know of the
imminent threat to their rights as dog and cat owners.” Dog food
companies run endearing commercials but given the serious impact
a bill such as CA 1634 would have on every segment of the pet
industry, many wonder why they failed to sponsor voter awareness
commercials. Most pet owners have no idea what’s headed their
way until, like citizens in Denver, their beloved dogs are
seized and impounded based on breed resemblance. In other
cities, fees and restrictions become so outrageous that families
suddenly find they can not afford to own a dog or cat.
The AKC vows to “keep clubs, delegates, breeders, exhibitors,
judges, handlers and owners of dogs informed of pending canine
legislation issues.” AKC requests non-tax deductible donations
for its Canine Legislation Department. There are however, many
local and national groups that keep the average PET OWNER
informed about intrusive legislation. Some of those may qualify
for tax-deductible donations.
Most national “humane” organizations do NOT oppose mandatory
spay-neuter or high owner-fees. In fact the reverse is true.
Some “animal rights” groups actually favor the extinction of all
ownership claiming it would eliminate cruelty and alluding to
the purported overpopulation of dogs and cats! Resolve these
questions when deciding who to support. Do you choose
organizations that support YOU or those that would legislatively
take away your inherent right to own or breed companion animals?
Does it operate under the guise of a sheltering organization but
maintain no shelter operation. Check it out before you make out
Above all, stay informed on local and state issues that affect
pet ownership. Assemblyman Levine may have been spanked but he’s
no fool and if as alleged, he has the three A’s behind him –
Animal Rights Agenda – he isn’t done with animal owners! CA
AB1634 is like the monster in a horror movie. It isn’t dead. It
will be back in the next scene.
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