The SB 250, the California senate bill has stepped forward again. This bill would require spaying and neutering for the majority of our state’s dogs and cats and thus would affect those of us in Los Angeles. The bill has been moved to a third calendar reading after being shelved in the assembly for almost a year.
SB 250 is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez and was moved forward yesterday with some minor amendments that are not yet in print. Senator Florez is pushing for an Assembly vote and some say as early as today or Friday.
The bill calls for cat owners to spay or neuter their cats at 6 months of age if the cats are allowed to roam at large. The bill also requires the sterilization of all dogs at 6 months old unless the owner gets an unaltered dog license. The bill also provides that an intact dog with a current intact license will not be required to sterilize on a first offense. On a second offense the dog would be required to be spayed or neutered. The question for many is what if the second offense is years apart from the first. This leads one to a bigger issue due to the fact there are no consistent rules for appeal.
Exemptions are made “to any owner or breeder of a dog used in the business of shepherding, herding or guarding livestock, or cultivating agricultural products, to any owner or breeder of a dog used for hunting or for the purposes of field trials, or to any owner or trainer of a guide dog, signal dog, service dog, peace officer’s dog or firefighter’s dog as defined, provided the dog is licensed, as specified, and the owner or breeder has purchased any required hunting license.” The question arises as to whether the bill addresses and excludes those people who raise our future service dogs and search and rescue dogs that work off lead to save peoples lives.
Many groups are concerned because not only does it put the burden of enforcement on already strapped financially local governments but it does not address the fact that it could cost the State of California, a state that is in a financial crisis and cannot balance their budget of millions of dollars.
Shelters are already overloaded with animals turned in due to foreclosures or people losing their jobs and not being able to afford their dogs. Will this potential bill increase the burden shelters already face.
With the economy in the state it is currently in, many people feel there are better places for our politicians to spend our precious tax dollars.
People are encouraged to contact your Assembly member and Senator over the next few days. Click here for to find the name and phone number of your representatives.