Monday, April 16, 2007

A Call To Arms

So close, and yet so far away! Well, maybe not so far away, especially with some good old grassroots activism. The California Healthy Pets Act (AB 1634), the resolution that would require dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered, with certain exceptions (registered purebreds, certified guide or service dogs, those with health issues), needs eight L.A. City Council votes to be granted an official endorsement. It is being presented in front of the council tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.

To backtrack a little, here are some reasons why you should spay or neuter your dog:
A neutered dog is
  • Less likely to roam looking for a mate and get lost or injured
  • Less likely to bite a child
  • More likely to have a long and healthy life
  • Easier and gentler to train
  • Not going to mount children or other pets
  • Less likely to "mark" their territory with urine
  • Not going to produce puppies that add to the millions of unwanted pets already looking for homes
It seems like a no-brainer, but unspayed/unneutered dogs are a huge, huge problem in Los Angeles. Just take a stroll down the aisles of the South L.A. shelter, for example, and count how many of the unwanted dogs are unaltered - my guess would be close to 80%, many of them with litters of puppies.

Yesterday, I talked to a guy in his 20s who told me very passionately that there was no way he could possibly "take away his dog's manhood." Dude. What happens when your breeding experiment hits the skids and you have 8 puppies that nobody seems to want, each with costs of their own? Is your dog's manhood worth potentially thousands of dollars? Do you really want to have to give the offspring of your beloved dog to the pound?

According to the Rescue & Humane Alliance, the L.A. City Council vote for AB 1634 is "not a slam dunk" and needs a show of public support. If you've got some time tomorrow morning, and feel like helping the cause, show up at City Hall and make your opinion heard. It'll be your one minute of fame. Or, if public speaking isn't your thing, email your council member. It may not feel like a big statement of activism, but every voice counts.

You might write something like this:

Subject: Support for California Healthy Pets Act Endorsement
Dear Councilman/Councilwoman_____________:

As a Los Angeles resident and registered voter, I urge you to support resolution AB 1634, the California Healthy Pets Act (Levine). We need to send a strong message to Sacramento that Los Angeles supports this important legislation which will reduce the number of animals impounded in our city shelters, help us become a no-kill city, and save millions of dollars in animal care and control costs.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Address (or at least your city and zip code)

Copy, paste and send. It's so easy!

To find the name, phone number and email address of your L.A. City Council member, go to

Los Angeles City Hall
Ferraro Council Chambers 340

200 N. Spring St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

(Meeting starts at 10 a.m. and AB 1634 is #10 on the agenda - most likely in the first hour.)

All of this information came from a Craiglist post written by the Rescue and Humane Alliance of Los Angeles. You can read the original here.

California Healthy Pets Act

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