Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Freedom of choice in California? Heading for the crapper. Dog ownership stripped down to conditional custody of sterile animals You're just there to pay the bills. Do ya feel lucky now, dude? Do ya? This ain't about "breeder's rights" in California. Hell, no. Lloyd Levine, the Democratic Assemblyman and animal extremist tool from Van Nuys, may be struggling to keep the spotlight focused on those nasty dog and cat "breeders" but he just took aim at the homes, and pets, of well over 15,000,000 dog owners and 13,000,000 cat owners in California. Levine thinks they aren't smart enough to make veterinary care decisions. So he wants the State of California to do it for them: surgical sterilization at 16 weeks of age.
So get ready to deal with it.
No exceptions for California pet owners. None. Zero. No way, no how.
What's that? You don't want your dog or cat to undergo surgery? You're worried about --
the cost?
the anesthesia?
the health impact of castration?
Maybe you like your dog or cat just fine "as is"?
You just want a little time to think it over?
You like to make your own decisions about the dogs and cats you live with?
You think 16 weeks is a tender age for major surgery?
Tough shit.
Lloyd Levine thinks he knows how to manage your pets better than you do.
Where's the money going to come from, Lloyd? Who's going to pay for all of this blood-letting, anyway? My vet charges $600 to spay a dog. So can I send Lloyd Levine the bill? Huh?
There are no funding provisions attached to Levine's AB 1634 . California pet owners are on their own. They have to either find the money to spay or neuter their dogs and cats, or face a $500 fine for each intact animal they're convicted of owning.
That leaves low-income dog and cat owners between a rock and hard place. Will economically stressed, fearful owners be forced to turn their pets in to shelters? Will they simply release them in public parks? Who's gonna pay the bill for sheltering (and probably killing) all of those pets that currently have homes? Any thoughts on that, Lloyd?
Let's run Lloyd Levine's numbers. Shall we?
Because this part is interesting.
Lloyd's Van Nuys neighborhood shows a median household income significantly below the California average. His assembly district also has a significant minority population.
Actually, let me rephrase that. "People like Lloyd" are in the minority in his Assembly district.
Levine claims he's been working on a mandatory spay-neuter proposal for ten years. But what makes me think he didn't have the residents of Assembly District 40 in mind when he sponsored this proposal?
Maybe its the way it discriminates against them.
Levine already announced his candidacy for the California Senate. He has his eye on SD 23, currently held by (also term-limited) Sheila Kuehl. Lloyd Levine thinks he might be movin' on up in the world, it seems.
Is Lloyd counting chickens before they hatch?
Levine sure as hell won't be the only one running for SD-23. Expect outgoing Members of the Assembly Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood), or even newly minted members Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) and Mike Feuer (D-West L.A.).
Could be. Outraged, pet loving Dems are already on the move. At least one local observer doesn't like his chances for Kuehl's seat at all.
The San Diego Union-Tribune, no friend to Lloyd Levine, editorialized in a piece titled "Drastic Overreach: Pet sterilization plan should be scrapped"--
"It's dismaying that Levine's bill passed the Assembly Business and Professions Committee thanks to unanimous support from the panel's Democrats. We hope that every Assembly Democrat takes an independent, fresh look at AB 1634 and not just go along with Levine because of that “D” after his name.
Pet overpopulation is a complex issue. Decisions on how to deal with it shouldn't be driven by partisanship. "
They're right.
Gross interference in the lives and civil liberties of law-abiding citizens is NOT a Democratic value.
Laws that disproportionately penalize the poor? NOT a Democratic value.
Furthering the agenda of special interests and extremists? So NOT a Democratic value.
Sticking it to 60+ percent of the voting population?
Geez, I hope someone somewhere at Democratic Party Central realizes how NOT a Democratic value that is.
Lloyd, baby. Wake up and smell the dog!

18 comments:

Diane said...

I hope the word is getting out there. I am afraid PETA might roll right over us. Please come to see my blog at http://www.springerspaniel.blogspot.com/
I haven't had time but I wanted to do some research on how much $$ Lloyd has been taking from PETA et al. I saw one site which listed him getting ~$6000 in about 2003 from "animal rights" groups. Would he sell his soul for $6000? Before I read your post, I didn't know he was running for the Senate, which explains his show-boating with this bill. He gets airplay even if it fails. Keep the faith!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Lord Levine thinks that every Dem or Progessive is on board with that PETA/HSUS bullsh** - but he's got another thing coming. Time to get out the vote for dog-friendly candidates that respect the rights of dog owners. Time to dump Levine and anyone else that sucks PETA's **** in exchange for $$$. DEMS 4 PETS!

Laura said...

This AB 1634 is un-American. This bill reeks of fascism and control. We need to encourage pet owners to call their legislators and urge them to vote NO on AB 1634. This is not a Healthy Pets bill...it is a Pet Elimination bill.

pitbullEmily said...

I hate to say it, but "the State knows best" does seem to be a Democratic value when it comes to our dogs. Even though there is not a single fact that justifies this horrific abridgement of dogowner rights.. all the supporters can do is keep yelling "millions of dogs killed". Weirdly, the best facts against the bill are presented by AR group Best Friends lawyer who analyzed several mandatory s/n situations and found them ineffective. And the most ardent supporters are (presumably) liberal San Francisco pit bull rescuers. I think the world is spinning backwards...

Denise Newell said...

When the Animal Rights Nazis came for the Pit Bulls,
I remained silent;
I did not own a pit bull.

When they outlawed the hobby breeders,
I remained silent;
I was not a hobby breeder.

When they abolished dog shows and performance events,
I did not speak out;
I was not a dog exhibitor.

When they came for me and my pets,
there was no one left to speak out.

Denise Newell said...

When the Animal Rights Nazis came for the Pit Bulls,
I remained silent;
I did not own a pit bull.

When they outlawed the hobby breeders,
I remained silent;
I was not a hobby breeder.

When they abolished dog shows and performance events,
I did not speak out;
I was not a dog exhibitor.

When they came for me and my pets,
there was no one left to speak out.

pitbullEmily said...

let me just amend BDS's awesome slogan: "conditional custody of randomly bred sterile pets".. because this is also absolutely about eliminating the purebred dog/cat

Anonymous said...

What absolute nonsense. $600 to alter a dog? Get another vet. There are quality clinics that charge from $30 to $65, and if you can't afford to properly care for your pet, then maybe you shouldn't have one. It concerns you that you're being forced to pay for the care of your animal? What about the animals that the taxpayers are supporting in the shelters, which ultimately includes the cost of lethal injection, even though those taxpayers weren't the ones so negligent that they allowed these unwanted animals to be born? Why should I pay for your irresponsibility?

The bottom line is that this proposed law, like the seat belt law, tells the public what the right thing to do is. This is something that they should be doing anyway, for the health of their pets, and for public responsibility.

Now, the question is, do you have the ethics to allow this comment to be approved? Or, like with the ridiculous claim of $600, do you just intend to try to hoodwink the public?

Caveat said...

Great post, great blog.

The obvious endpoint of neutering all dogs is - you guessed it, no more dogs.

Things have gone way too far.

What I don't understand is why every dog owner in California and across the continent is not standing up and shouting "No Way" to all this AR/Fascist stuff.

I'll link to your post and add you to sidebar. I hope you will check out my blog, written from Ontario, or Ontaristan as we call it now.

BlueDogState said...

For "anonymous" and his/her "absolute nonsense" theory:

Don't look now, sweetie, but your absolute arrogance is showing.

"Get another vet"? First you insist its okay for the State of California to force me to risk my dog's health--if not life--with unnecessary surgery, and now you're whining because I would have a problem doing it on the cheap?

I'm irresponsible because I would balk at sending my beloved older dog to a $35 "quality clinic"?

YOU want to send YOUR dogs to such a place? Fine by me.

I would choose not to.

Ah. But that's right. Freedom of choice means nothing to you.

Caveat said...

I tend to ignore posts by the Anonymous on my blog except for one smartass who is always welcome. They like to rant but don't like to provide a name or contact...in this case, somebody's AR slip is showing. Time to lay off the Kool-Aid, kiddo.

Here in Ontario, I pay around $350 to get a dog neutered - this includes pre-op workup, excellent surgery, antibiotics post-op, followup, etc. A bitch would cost more, as the surgery is more invasive. I wouldn't send my dogs to an economy clinic because I believe in providing them with the best medical care available and can afford it. If I couldn't, of course I'd look for a subsidized clinic and hope for the best.

I do understand that people who can't afford regular vet care, high quality nutrition, proper gear and training, etc, are not generally the best candidates for dog ownership.

And yes, dogs are far too easy to acquire these days through pet shops, unregulated private 'rescues' and the 'net by those who aren't prepared to commit.

That said, there are homeless people with dogs who love them, care for them better than they care for themselves and therefore deserve the unique and mysterious companionship that our oldest, and only, friends provide.

There is no dog overpopulation problem. I call bullshit on that. The burden of proof is on the ones who say it's true and thus far, I've seen no proof that there are more unwanted dogs today than when I was a kid.

If anything, with high neutering, immunization and parasite control compliance as well as improved education about socialization and training, more dogs are living better today than they have at any time in history.

Things have definitely gone too far - the whole issue around so-called dangerous dogs, unwanted pups, the mythical 'pit bull', etc, etc has been deliberately overblown by those with an agenda which is far from benign.

The dog issue is a red herring to distract the complacent from that agenda, which is to remove civil rights in broad daylight while everyone is off on a wild 'pit bull' chase.

That's why the whole 'pit bull' meme is such a masterful piece of propaganda - since there is no such thing, it's impossible to find one and also impossible not to - every dog and no dog is a 'pit bull' at the same time.

The Emperor has no clothes and the crab can only walk sideways.

Time for everybody to take off the rose-coloured glasses and see the AR movement for what it is.

Anonymous & Informed said...

This law will help cripple the state of CA.

This law will shut down businesses and cause the balancing of the budget for this state to remain in the RED forever.

Is he so unaware of the money that purebred animals create in the state of CA

He obviously needs a rude awakening to the economy of this state.

Everyone who could vote for him for his move up the line in government should let him know that he would not be your choice

Tell him, if he really cares, that the group he is attacking are not the bad ones, if he wanted support to help with the shelter problems his best method would be to get the breeders on his side and this is not the way to do it

Mobile spay/neuter vehicles are part of the answer, going after irresponsible pet owners and supporting responsible breeders who are only doing what they love. He should be rewarding those of us who breed/spay/neuter and follow the Golden Rule.

Does he think being a breeder is a money making proposition, well it's not, it's sinking money into purchasing from those that sell animal food, vet care in the state of CA to care for our animals.

This Lloyd is an idiot, do we want another idiot running for Senate, give him a wake up call

Write the Governor and let him know that is bill will help KILL the economy of California, not help it in any way

Semavi Lady said...

Great post. Bravo!

Definitely creates problems for Americans with Disabilities as well. OH, but he's not hearing this. It's about all those "breeders". (ad hominem)

Linda, Adopt A Pet, Inc. said...

Anonymous & Informed says that the bill's author should get breeders on his side. How is that done? It is common for breeders to jump on the bandwagon against any law that is proposed because it will either cramp their style or it is seen as a slippery slope. Breeder's commonly cry "there must be a better way" and yet the breeders themselves never come up with a better way. This current proposal offers a chance for breeders to be responsible by competing with their dogs in events designed to help prove a dog's quality and worthiness to produce the next generation of dogs, versus those backyard breeders and puppymills that only have $$$$$$ in mind.

So, if you are a responsible breeder, either support this law in order to get rid of the irresponsible breeders that aren't as ethical as you are, plus the negligent public that allows their dogs to impregnate anything passing through their neighborhood -- or ban together with other responsible breeders and propose a law of your own. Ignoring the problem isn't going to make it go away. Dogs are dying for lack of homes. But that should be okay as long as it doesn't inconvenience breeders????

I also previously replied to BlueDogState, but I'm not sure that it went through. I posted as anonymous, and I am impressed that you actually let it be shown. I still say $600 is ludicrous, and I have NEVER short changed my own dogs or my rescue dogs. I've spent thousands on veterinary care for them, but if your vet is really charging that much, s/he's ripping off. S/he's also misleading you if s/he's not making it clear that you are risking your dog's future health by not preventing reproductive system cancers. Spay/neuter will do that.

After doing 20+ years of education, and watching my fellow rescuers do the same, while knowing that dogs are still dying for lack of homes, I know that the only way to have a chance of getting a handle on the problem is to let the public know what the right thing is to do - and if there continues to be no law, then they will not understand that they are being irresponsible.

Teri said...

I am watching from WA, knowing that all things CA head north. As an adult I have resuced/adopted 18 cats. They have all been spayed/neutered, microchipped, their health maintained. During this time we have had 2 male dogs, same health scenario. We now have an intact bitch who I have shown to her AKC championship and she competes in performance events as well.
Dogs must remain intact to compete in these activities. I am not likely to breed my girl because I am not sure I want to commit to being responsible for a litter for their lifetimes. She is only 2 and we simply can't determine if she belongs in the gene pool yet.
I belong to my local and national breed clubs as well as a performance club. These organizations are VERY active in rescue.
I have done the homework on this issue. I know that responsible breeders are NOT the source of the unwanted dogs and cats. Legislating ridiculously high "breeder's" fee/tax/penalty will not stop the people who are supplying the pet store up the street with designer puppies. Won't stop the breeders of fighting dogs. Won't stop the people a few counties away who recently had an outbreak of brucillosis in the 150+ puppy mill they run.
Who are the idiots who don't get it that if this truly plays out, spaying and neutering all companion animals, there WILL BE NO MORE PETS BORN??? Duh. You really couldn't go underground with it, either. How would I buy kitty litter? Pet food? I couldn't take my dog to the park to play. Oh, yeah. What about the multitude of businesses that will fold when there are no pets? Pet food maufacturers, pet stores, doggie daycares, dog walkers, veterinarians, groomers, etc, etc. In the dog show world, there are companies that administer the events, people who professionally handle others' dogs, vendors of the special gear we use. What about the research that proves the health benefit of pet companionship?
If I wasn't scared sh--less, this scenario would be comical.

pitbullEmily said...

the law will get rid of irresponsible breeders?
are you kidding?
any puppy miller can get a license... all this bill will enable THOSE breeders while making it nearly impossible for the average smalltime/hobbiest to breed at home

Lynn said...

PETA is not the biggest risk to pet owners at the moment; at the moment the risk is HSUS, which gave more in political contributions in the last election than Big Oil did.

HSUS has the big bucks, and has said outright that they will use the legislative process to meet their goals.

Their spokespeople wear suits and speak their lunacy like professionals, not radicals. Nobody checks their statements - though Wayne Pacelle did get taken down a peg the last time he opened his mouth; someone there KNEW his pronouncement was BS and they called him on it on the spot. This is a rarity, though. Pacelle is not seen as a radical by the general public.

It's not radical to demand that the entire globe adopt a vegan diet, is it?

When Pacelle took over at HSUS, he banned all animal products from the home office. Yes indeedy, no leather, wool, silk ... no mayo or tuna in the lunch bags.

PETA is an in-your-face activist organization that doesn't really go to the trouble to hide the fact, though they are happy to play fast and loose with the truth when it is convenient. HSUS is much more insidious and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

This bill will make it really hard to get a healthy pup from a responsible breeder who health tests, etc. This bill may end dog shows in CA (that is big revenue). It will certainly result in me leaving the state as I just do not feel its right for folks to make it a lway to do invasive surgury on a PUPPY.