AB1634- A Point Missed by a Mile
AB1634 is sitting and festering until January, where it will re-emerge into the same committee that sidelined it. At that time, when the bill is re-heard by the Senate Local Governments Committee, It will undoubtedly be re-written, and hardly recognizeable as the original bill. But , there is no doubt it will be as destructive and insidious as the original, still aiming directly at the people who have been working so hard to solve problems that now, generally, do not exist, except in small pockets of special circumstances.
Among the dog fanciers, and those who opposed the bill, one finds statements of extraordinary clarity. I am posting below a description of one family’s treatment of their dogs, as described by a competent observer and dog fancier. The dog fancier part is important, as the treatment of these dogs offended the observer, as it would offend all of us. To Laura Finco, we thank you for this exemplary observation and analysis, in the shadow of the possible passage of Ab1634. No one has offered a better reason to not pass that awful legislation. See below:
I know that I should be feeling a bit relieved since AB 1634 truly is “dead” for 2007 in spite of the supporters claim that all is good and fine and that they will be back stronger in 2008. But I am angry.
In listening to the Levine interview after the hearing, it angers me that he still insists in villianizing the animal fancy because we chose to go out in forceful opposition to him and this bill. He says that we refuse to recognize there is a problem. What he fails to consider is what we have been telling him all along: whether or not an animal has gonads has nothing to do with why animals end up in the shelter. Cutting off the source of pets is not going to stop people from getting pets. Nor is the statewide sterilization of all domestic cats and dogs going to keep irresponsible owners from adopting a cute puppy or kitten and later abandoning it.
This is why I am even more angry today than before: I have a neighbor who seven years ago went to the shelter because her children wanted a puppy. They adopted a young pit bull mix. The dog spent 100% of its time in the backyard and when the cuteness wore off, it got very little attention from anyone. Then they adopted another puppy a few years later– a small jack russell mix. The JRT and pit didn’t get along and one day, the smaller dog mysteriously disappeared. Three months ago, the family decided to move to a condo. They couldn’t take the pit with them (BSL restrictions) so they left him in their backyard. They were coming over every few days to feed and water him but with no one around, he got frustrated and began chewing his way out of the fence. Animal control picked him up several times. The fines were getting doubled each time so on the last call (this time from another neighbor who had noticed that the dog was wrapped up in a tether the family hooked the dog to), they decided not to go to the shelter and pick him up again. I had contacted Pit Rescue for the family, but they couldn’t take him because he was too old to be placed or adopted. Wednesday, July 11th was his last day.
Here is my message to Levine about his keeping up the fight for AB 1634:
Tell me that this family would not have adopted a dog if AB 1634 was enacted.
Tell me that by requiring me to castrate all of my dogs, that it would have prevented this family from getting a pit bull mix and then abandoning it.
Tell me that by requiring me to purchase a permit, have my civil liberties violated and risk the future of my passion that this family would have been more responsible with their decisions about their dog.
Because dang– if any of these sacrifices would have kept this family from getting and then abandoning their dog I would be in favor of AB 1634. But until someone can guarantee me that my sacrifices will keep all the idiots in the world away from owning an animal, then I will continue to fight legislation that does not address the problem but wants to “solve” it on paper off my back!
Nothing in AB 1634 or what even Kehoe was presenting to Levine at the hearing will prevent people from going to shelters or pet adoption days or on the internet, getting puppies and kittens, dogs and cats, and then having some life change or event happen and either abandoning their pet or worse. Even stopping all backyard breeding, oops litters, or restricting the number of litters an animal can have will not stop people from getting pets if they want them.
Levine– you want me to acknowledge there is a problem? Then you need to be willing to accept that the sterilization of my dogs would not have stopped my neighbor from being an irresponsible pet owner.
Laura Finco is on the Board of Directors of Concerned Dog Owners of California. We thank her for this clarity of thought. I hope all you readers will share it with whomever will give it attention, Laura gives her her permission to do so.
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