California Senate Bill 250, which would have required spay or neuter surgery for most of the state’s dogs and cats, failed passage in the State Assembly this week on a vote of 28-40. SB250 had moved to a third reading in mid-August after being shelved as inactive for almost a year.
The aim of the bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, was to help curb pet overpopulation. SB250 would have called on cat owners to spay or neuter their cats at 6 months of age if the cats were allowed to roam at large. The bill also would have required the sterilization of all dogs at 6 months old unless the owner got an unaltered-dog license.
In addition, SB250 would have required 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. The bill had a list of other requirements as well.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the American Kennel Club, both long-time opponents of the bill, sent out media alerts Wednesday lauding the outcome.
“PIJAC has consistently opposed state-enacted mandates for sterilization of pet animals,” PIJAC said in its alert. “The decision to sterilize is one that should be made on a case-by-case basis by pet owners after consultation with their veterinarian, and pet owners should not be subject to punitive fees to keep their pet intact. Pet overpopulation is a complex issue that cannot be solved with a one-size-fits-all mandate.”
The AKC also reaffirmed its stance.
“AKC thanks the many federations, clubs, fanciers and responsible dog owners who took the time to call and write their legislators throughout this process,” the AKC said in its alert.
To view the bill, click here.