Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hump No More

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council approved a spay/neuter ordinance that requires pet owners to fix their animals, with seven categories of exemptions including licensed breeders; service, show and law-enforcement dogs; and animals with medical issues.

It's about time.

I'd like to note for the record that the only dissenting vote on the council was Bill Rosendahl (District 11 - Brentwood, Del Rey, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Palms, Playa del Rey, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, West L.A. and Westchester), who argued that four months is too young to fix an animal.

Oh, Bill. Didn't you do your research? Did you not talk to enough vets to realize that there are more arguments in favor of early spay/neuter than against? Didn't you walk through any one of L.A.'s many shelters and see how many unwanted, soon-to-be-euthanized puppies are dumped there every day? Weren't you smart enough to conclude that the positive aspects of such an ordinance far outweigh any negatives? Apparently not.

You're on my radar, Bill. Watch out.

side note: Where is the coverage on this ordinance in the L.A. Times??


shirley said...

i also thought spay/neuter was always the way to go and the earlier the better, as i had been informed by many public service announcements, etc. that it was safe and always in the best interest of animal population control and the health of the pet being altered.

then i started reading up on all the varied opinions on the issue and found out that there are many very responsible dog owners and vets who have legitimate arguments against the practice of early spay/neuter, especially for large breed dogs where some studies have started to show a possible increase in bone cancer cases for those early spay/neuters. many vets say that 6months is the right time, and others say that 1-2 years is best, when considering the future health of the dog.

so i began to realize that the issue is not so clear cut, and i can't support a measure that has good intentions but ends up being a very short-sighted and narrow definition of animal care and control. it reminds me very much of other overly exacting regulations like breed specific legislation and anything that can be likened to that can't have much merit.

and those arguments against supporting mandatory spay/neuter laws aside, what about individual rights? why is the government allowed to control reproductive possibilities in any way? perhaps they can fine overpopulations, or be tougher on "legal" breeders and all the useless kennel club registrations that don't ensure any proper care of animals. but making it illegal to choose how to handle the healthcare of an animal (if it is not an obvious case of abuse that is), well that's just crazytimes.

i'm sorry i am not taking the time to post links, i am in a bit of a rush, but if you're interested i can certainly send you those later. also - nice blog! thanks for doing what you can to help dogs in the l.a. area.

dogsitter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dogsitter said...

Thanks for your astute comments, Shirley! I'm always up for hearing differing opinions on this issue, as it is a problem not easily solved.

Trying to get a handle on all the variants of spay/neuter is tricky, and I found your comments on individual rights particularly interesting. You articulate the argument so well. I think you're right about the bill being short-sighted, and I think it offers a blanket solution for an issue that is not clear cut by any means. But in light of the huge problem that L.A. has with its homeless dog population (most of whom start off with owners and have the opportunity to be sterilized and therefore limit that population), I believe the bill was an emergency attempt to stem the tide. Its heart is in the right place, I think. And as I also believe that L.A. Animal Services and L.A. County Animal Control are not doing nearly enough to educate and encourage responsible dog ownership in the community, I hope that the bill will nudge these agencies into a more proactive position, which will hopefully lead to better, less narrowly defined solutions that effectively target the problem at its true source.

Let's hope. There are so many ifs and buts to the issue! I wish all pet owners had their animals' best interests at heart and there was no need for such legislation.

But thanks for your comments, and I would love to get those links you mentioned. The more information, the better!

shirley said...

hi there, i'm not sure if my comment was meant to be deleted, but i got your original comment in reply twice, it's all terribly confusing :)

but in case you never got these links you were interested in, i'll condense the long ass post i had before into the links below:
here 2

dogsitter said...

Sorry for the confusion, Shirley - I actually deleted my own reply because of a typo and rewrote it. That's why you received two seemingly identical responses. (I'm pretty anal retentive that way.)

But thanks for the links, and for taking the time to write that original response. Much appreciated.