California Spay/Neuter Bill Awakens After Being Inactive for a Year

Law would affect cats older than 6 months that are allowed to roam freely.

Posted: August 23, 2010, 3 a.m. EDT

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Cat outside
A proposed law would mandate that cats be neutered by 6 months of age, if they're allowed to roam free.

California Senate Bill 250, which would require spay or neuter surgery for most of the state’s dogs and cats, has moved to a third reading after being shelved as inactive for almost a year. The bill is now poised for a final vote, although a specific date had not been set at press time.

SB 250, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, failed a third reading in September 2009 and subsequently was moved to an inactive file to be considered at a later date. The new bill status was made last week.

The bill calls on 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.

SB 250 would also require anyone who sells or adopts out an intact dog, regardless of the dog’s age, to provide the licensing agency with the name and address of the new owner within 10 days. Any existing unaltered dog’s license number and microchip number for the dog must appear on the document transferring ownership of the dog to the new owner.

In previous media statements, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council has said that the bill is overbroad because it puts the issue of spay/neuter in the hands of local governments with free discretion to set licensing fees and penalties.

PIJAC reaffirmed its position last week with a media alert, calling the legislation “poorly crafted” and that it “imposes a one-size-fits-all ‘solution’ that penalizes responsible pet owners across the state.”

PIJAC is encouraging people to contact their state Senator and Assembly representative to “voice opposition to this radical proposal.” View the bill here.

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California Spay/Neuter Bill Awakens After Being Inactive for a Year

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Reader Comments

Anon    City, CA

8/24/2010 6:42:46 PM

I think this idea is a pretty good one. There are way too many cats and kittens that are "unwanted" and end up in shelters. This may help the over-population problem and contribute to a decrease in needless euthanasia of animals that find themselves in shelters.

Jerrie    SF, CA

8/24/2010 5:37:31 PM

Great! They need it.

rebecca    sterling heights, MI

8/24/2010 11:01:31 AM

I think the idea is great. Just like any bill that is proposed, many revisions need to be made to make sure it will benefit those involved and not take any rights away. People do have a right to breed their animals as long as they are doing it responsibly. Unfortunately way too many people don't understand responsible pet ownership, or are financially unable to be responsible in every aspect of keeping a pet. According to the American Humane Ass. 228 cats are euthanized each hour in shelters. This is due to overcrowding in shelters. With these horrifying numbers I don't think America can afford not to adapt some kind of spay/neuter law. Humans caused this problem and humans need to step-up to the plate to save these lives, not destroy them. I still believe that there is a place for breeding programs, but all life is precious and valuable and should not be exploited or abused by those who do not value it or are indifferent to it.

Pat    Omaha, NE

8/24/2010 6:55:32 AM

gees, good old government intruding again

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