Thursday, May 03, 2007

More AR Follies

The California compulsory spay- neuter bill should be on everybody's radar. Blue Dog State puts it pungently, with some not- so- fantastic scenarios:

"Enforcement of the King of the Nanny-Staters Lloyd Levine's modest proposal to castrate every pet dog and cat in the state of California was left up to local enforcement personnel.

"Things might get a little out of hand.

"How is Levine planning to detect those unauthorized gonads, anyway?

"Let's have a visioning session on the enforcement of AB 1634. Shall we?

"Door to door searches. I hear animal control is already going door to door in El Paso, Texas, looking for un-microchipped pets.

"Are dog owners in La-La Land going to be okay with a knock on the door in the middle of the night? Or will that only be necessary in "certain areas" ? Not in Malibu. Not in Beverly Hills.

"But South Central L. A.? Oh, yeah.

"Diming dog owners. Will veterinarians, trainers and groomers eventually be required to drop a dime on their dog owning clients?

"Eyes in the sky. Maybe a little surveillance of known pet owner hangouts? Dog parks, feed stores, PetsMart, whatever?

"Report-a-testicle. How about a toll-free "here's your chance to even the score with your pain in the ass neighbor" telephone number?"

(Snip-- well, maybe not the most apropos word)

"One-size-fits-all "remedies" like mandatory castration at the age of 16 weeks, no exceptions, is as scary as it sounds."

And you want to ignore it because it is in California and "It can't happen here"? Here is what Dr. John B sent me on the Institute for Animal Rights Model Mandatory Spay Neuter Law.

"Lest there be any question about the constitutionality of
spay/neuter legislation in general, and the following statute in
particular, it can quickly be laid to rest. The Tenth Amendment to
the Constitution of the United States gives the states (and thus
political subdivisions like counties, cities, towns and villages) the
power to enact virtually any laws they wish that are reasonably
related to the public health, safety and welfare. On the other hand,
neither at the state nor federal level is there any constitutional
right to foster the breeding of countless numbers of unwanted dogs
and cats.

Thus, a potentially effective weapon in the War on Dog
and Cat overpopulation is the use of mandatory spay/neuter legislation.

Model Statute

WHEREAS, there have been, and there are, within this
jurisdiction a substantial number of unwanted cats and dogs lacking
permanent homes, many of whom are healthy animals; and

WHEREAS, these cats and dogs through no fault of their
own have an adverse impact on the public health, safety, welfare, and
environment; and

WHEREAS the impact of these animals includes, but is not
limited to, the transmission to disease, the injury of humans and
other animals, the creation of hazards to vehicular traffic, and the
drain of public finances; and

WHEREAS, many of these cats and dogs are euthanized by
shelters, humane societies, and other similar organizations; and

WHEREAS, euthanizing cats and dogs, except for bona fide
medical reasons, is inhumane and abhorrent to the residents of this
jurisdiction; and

WHEREAS, euthanizing cats and dogs, except for bona fide
medical reasons, is not an effective, economical, humane, or ethical,
solution to the problem of unwanted cats and dogs; and

WHEREAS, the most effective, economical, humane, and
ethical solution to the problem of unwanted cats and dogs is to
substantially reduce, or entirely eliminate, their birth; and

WHEREAS, by such reduction or elimination the [Council,
Board of Selectmen, etc.] of the [Town, City, County, etc.] of the
State of [name the state] seek to promote the health, welfare, safety
and environment, of its residents;

NOW, THEREFORE, be it ordained and enacted as follows:

Section 1. Prohibition

Subject to the express exceptions provided in Section 2
below, it shall be unlawful to harbor in this jurisdiction any
unspayed cat or dog over four months of age or any unneutered cat or
dog over four months of age. "Harbor" is defined to include legal
ownership, or the providing of regular care, or shelter, or
protection, or refuge, or nourishment, or medical treatment; provided
however that this section shall not apply to any person who provides
nourishment to a stray or feral cat or dog.

Section 2. Exception [The ONLY one-- SB]

(a) The prohibition set forth in Section 1 above shall
not apply if a veterinarian licensed in this jurisdiction shall
certify in writing, and under oath, that a specific cat or dog is
medically unfit to undergo the required spay or neuter procedure
because of a physical condition which would be substantially
aggravated by such procedure or would likely cause the animal's

1. The age of the animal shall not per se constitute
medical unfitness.

2. As soon as such condition ceases to exist, it shall
be the duty of the person who harbors such animal to promptly comply
with this ordinance.

3. Possession of the certification referred to in
Section 2, a, above, shall constitute a defense to liability under
this ordinance.

(b) The prohibition set forth in Section 1 above shall
not apply to the animals harbored by a pound, shelter, humane
society, or similar organization, whether public or private, whose
principal purpose is securing the adoption of dogs or cats provided
that such organization has a policy and rules requiring the spaying
and neutering of all dogs and cats placed for adoption by such

(c) The prohibition set forth in Section 1 above shall
not apply to any animal temporarily harbored within this jurisdiction
for less than fourteen days within any one calendar year. The burden
of proving such temporary harboring shall be upon the person
harboring the animal.

Section 3. Extension of time to spay or neuter.

Upon presentation of a written statement from a licensed
veterinarian, under oath, stating that the life or health of an
adopted animal may be jeopardized by spaying or neutering, the
releasing agency shall, in writing, grant a 30-day extension of the
period within which the spay or neuter procedure would otherwise be
required. Further extensions, or permanent exemption, may be granted
upon additional veterinary statements stating the necessity for such
extensions or exemption.

Section 4. Forfeiture.

Kittens and puppies born to cats and dogs not spayed or
neutered in violation of this statute shall be forfeited, and given
to the care of a local shelter for adoption in accordance with the
organization's usual policies and rules.

Section 5. Transition.

Persons harboring a dog or cat subject to this law on the
date it becomes effective shall have 120 days from such date to
comply herewith.

Section 6. Penalty.

Any person who violates the provisions of this act
commits [here, include appropriate punishment under the
jurisdiction's criminal laws].

Section 7. Repeal.

All other laws, or parts thereof, of this jurisdiction
which are inconsistent with the provisions of this law are hereby
repealed with regard to such inconsistency or inconsistencies only.

Section 8. Effective date.

This law shall take effect immediately upon being duly

Forfeiture and criminal penalties.

As the Spartans said about their weapons, "Molon labe".


Nightmare said...

AC went door to door when I lived in San Diego to check licenses. They do canvass in El Paso, along with that annoying woman who is always on the news, and her cronies, peering over people's fences and reporting them for real or imagined neglect. A pox on all the Tammy Grimes do gooders of the world. It's become a royal pain the ass to take a dog to the vet; we don't live in El Paso county but our vet is there, and they push chipping constantly.

That constitutional argument for MSN is bogus, btw. Public health and safety is quite adequately guarded by rabies vaccines and leash or containment laws, thanks very much. Typical AR reasoning. Why go with a simple, easily enforced law when you can have an expensive complicated one that will be impossible to enforce and make everyone miserable in the bargain?

They can take my last intact dog when they pry the leash from my cold dead fingers.

ardeth01 said...

Very amusing, but actually spay/neuter laws are quite necessary, considering the millions of homeless animals that have to be killed in shelters every year, and all those who die as strays on the street. I volunteered in my local shelter and personally observed the piles of "euthanized" dead cats and dogs that nobody wanted or someone had abandoned every time I went into the clinic.

Humans, being selfish animals, insist on their rights (including the "right" to breed their animals and thereby contribute to the needless, tragic deaths of all those adoptable dogs and cats), but they don't bother to consider the right of a healthy animal not to be killed.

Humans can be so irresponsible.

BTW, Tammy Grimes is a great lady. I dig her.

Anonymous said...

Well, I beg to differ. I happen to live in Sweden, where at least stray/homeless dogs are absolutely non-existant. Does Sweden have mandatory spay/neuter laws? NO! Does Swedish dog owners routinely spay or neuter their charges voluntarily then? NO! Adequate supervision over dogs and bitches in heat is usually enough to control any unwanted pregnancies, and even if they should occur there's always the option of using abortion pills or shots. MSN is NOT necessary to achieve the alleged goal of reducing dog over-population and/or unnecessary suffering, something which leaves me, a non-US citizen, wondering whether the real goal of American MSN proponents might just be something more sinister than mere animal welfare.

Dog attacks are similarly extremely rare. Are so called dangerous breeds banned in Sweden? Nope again.... Dangerous DOGS, no matter what breed or cross, are however. Which makes perfect sense, since virtually all dogs can potentially cause considerable damage to other animals, people or property as long as they've got a decent set of teeth. This, coupled with the fact that all Swedish dog owners by law have strict responsability for any damages there dogs might inflict, once again achieves your stated goal. Thus, there already are proven alternatives to MSN, which doesn't restrict fundamental civil liberties, creates new health issues, nor alienates responsible citizens by lending dictatorial powers to bureucrats or private organizations with questionable ethics and aims. For your information, I would like to point out that I have considerable experience from working as a vet nurse at a large facility who regularly recieves large numbers of dogs and cats, of which the absolute majority were neither homeless or neglected, but instead valued and happy four-legged companions. May it long stay that way.