Thursday, June 25, 2009

SB250 Assigned to Committee - CALL TO ACTION

Please see and for more information. We need everyone to act on this today and in the upcoming couple of days before the June 30th Business and Professions Committee meeting.

Cross posted with permission:

SB 250 has been assigned to the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. The hearing is set for TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2009, at 9:30 am in Room 447. Please try to attend. In the least, get a letter out to the Business and Professions Committee and your individual Assemblymember. To find your Assembly member go to the letter can be simple.

When writing the letters, please put: RE: OPPOSE SB 250 as Proposed to be Amended
Letters need to be in as soon as possible in order to be listed in the analysis. We are assuming a 48 hour turn around so setting Thursday as a deadline is not unreasonable. Even if you do not feel you can get letters faxed by the end of this week, fax them during the weekend.
WE NEED INDIVIDUALS, CLUBS, AND ORGANIZATIONS TO GET LETTERS OF OPPOSITION INTO THE COMMITTEE ANALYSIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Unfortunately, vocal opposition to SB 250 was much lower as it worked its way through the senate. And while many of those in opposition vented about the cons of this bill, few actively opposed it with letters and phone calls. Sacramento did not feel the same uproar as with AB 1634 so they NEED TO HEAR OUR VOICES NOW!

Contact information and talking points are included in this e-blast. Sample letters will be up on the SB 250 website ( soon. The AKC website in their legislative alerts also has sample letters.

Although the bill has nothing to do with any business related circumstances and there are absolutely no professions connections, Senator Florez was able to pull for this bill to be heard in this committee rather than the Local Government committee. Since Florez changed the cost factor of this extremely expensive bill from state reimbursement to local governments having to cover all of the costs (i.e.; through higher fees and additional fees for revocation and license denials), he knew that he would a hard time passing it in the Assembly Local Government committee.

Ironically, Florez has proudly proclaimed "THIS IS NOT AB 1634" but when it served him to get SB 250 into the committee that first heard and passed AB 1634, he used it to his advantage. Another indication that he will do anything to get this bill passed without concern for content or consequences.

Concerns about SB 250-- what you need to know:

1. Under current law, it is not illegal to own or care for an intact animal. SB 250 will make the simple ownership of an intact dog or carrying for an intact cat illegal. It will be a crime-- the only way to avoid prosecution of this new crime is to license your intact dog. If you care for intact feral cat(s) for more than 30 days, you are considered its owner and are liable.

2. If you do not license your intact dog or are found in violation of ANY law or ordinance related to animals, the penalty is loss of your intact licenses and FORCED STERILIZATION OF YOUR INTACT PETS. If you give someone a dog (your sister, father, anyone--even a donation to a service dog agency) without the appropriate paperwork, licensure, and notification you are violating SB 250. If you don't pay or make a mistake paying sales tax on a dog, this is in violation of a law relative to the sale of dogs. If you are out training and your licensed dog is not wearing its tags or a collar, you are in violation. And the penalty for any of these infractions and many more, is mandatory spay/neuter.

3. From what we can gather, the promised amendments might include a possibly broader exemption for working dogs (and maybe something more for hunting dogs) and possibly a "freebie" on the first at-large infraction. Hence, mandatory sterilization would not happen until the second time a dog is caught roaming. However, the language about violations regarding the care and concern of animals is still ONE STRIKE AND YOU ARE OUT FOREVER penalty.
CDOC and others are opposed to the use of mandatory spay/neuter as policy or penalty. In every jurisdiction that has enacted mandatory spay/neuter policy or used it as penalty, there has been significant increases in operational costs and expenses, increases in impounds and surrenders, and unfortunately, increases in the euthanasia rate. Although Santa Cruz, the model used for SB 250 did experience an eventual decline, it was noticeably below the euthanasia rates of neighboring cities and counties that did not have MSN (

Talking Points:
1. The use of mandatory spay/neuter as policy or penalty does not work. There is no example where MSN has been a positive solution resulting in a more rapid rate of decline in the impounds and euthanasia rates than neighboring communities without MSN. In fact, in EVERY municipality including Santa Cruz, there was a noticeable increase in impounds and euthanasia after MSN was enacted.

2. SB 250 is expensive. It was placed in the Senate Appropriations suspense file because the cost of this bill was prohibitive. The only way it was removed was the promise to pass the expense onto the local governments. Whether the State pays for the expense or local governments need to cover the expense, California cannot afford SB 250. With a $24 billion deficit, California cannot fund critical programs such as public safety, education, transportation, and health care. Cities are shutting down fire departments and schools. Adding another extremely expensive task onto local governments is irresponsible and wrong.

3. Using a major surgical procedure as penalty interferes with the licensed practice of veterinary medicine. The American Veterinary Medical Association has made a statement against the use of mandatory spay/neuter. Medical procedures should not be undertaken as punishment.

Letters should be addressed to author:

Senator Dean Florez
State Capitol, Room 313
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 327-5989 (fax)

Business and Professions Committee
Mary Hayashi, Chairman
P.O. Box 942849
Room 3013
Sacramento , CA 94249-0018
(916)319-2118 (fax)

Bill Emmerson, Vice-Chairman
P.O. Box 942849
Room 4158
Sacramento , CA 94249-0063
(916) 319-2163 (fax)

Connie Conway
P.O. Box 942849
Room 2174
Sacramento , CA 94249-0034
(916)919-2134 (fax)

Mike Eng
P.O. Box 942849
Room 4140
Sacramento , CA 94249-0049
(916)319-2149 (fax)

Edward Hernandez
P.O. Box 942849
Room 4112
Sacramento , CA 94249-0057
(916)319-2157 (fax)

Pedro Nava
P.O. Box 942849
Room 2148
Sacramento , CA 94249-0035
(916)319-2135 (fax)

Roger Niello
P.O. Box 942849
Room 6027
Sacramento , CA 94249-0005
(916)319-2105 (fax)

John Perez
P.O. Box 942849
Room 4162
Sacramento , CA 94249-0080
(916) 319-2181 (fax)

Cameron Smyth
P.O. Box 942849
Room 4098
Sacramento , CA 94249-0038
(916)319-2138 (fax)

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