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Riverside County, CA Holds Public Meetings Regarding Mandatory Spay/Neuter Proposal

(Tuesday, June 06, 2006)

The Riverside County Department of Animal Services has announced they are cancelling the remaining three meetings on the proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance until a draft can be finalized by county counsel. AKC thanks the many fanciers and concerned dog owners who attended the meeting on Saturday and we will post further information as soon as it is available.

[Monday, June 05, 2006]

The Riverside County Department of Animal Services has announced that it will hold four public meetings to discuss a proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. The ordinance is expected to go before the Board of Supervisors in July. It is vital that fanciers, breeders and concerned dog owners attend these meetings and educate the community about the benefits and importance of responsible breeders.

Although a draft is not yet available, the Animal Services Department has provided limited details. According to the county web site, exemptions will be granted for the following animals:

  • Service animals i.e. guide dogs, police dogs
  • Working dogs, for example herding dogs
  • Registered breed stock, AKC, Cat Fanciers Association etc.
  • Sporting or show dogs and cats
  • Animals boarding and training at licensed facilities.

The ordinance will define the terms "owner", "custodian", "competition dog", and "animals which are incapable of breeding." AKC has concerns about the use of the term "custodian," as it appears to be similar to the term "guardian." The AKC believes that the term guardian may in fact reduce the legal status and value of dogs as property and thereby restrict the rights of owners, veterinarians, and government agencies to protect and care for dogs. The American Kennel Club supports the use of the term "owner" rather than "guardian" when referring to the keeping of dogs.

The proposed ordinance will not raise license fees. Current license fees for altered dogs are as follows: $8 for one year, $15 for two years and $19 for a three year license. A one year license for an unaltered dog is $50, a two year license is $100 and a three year license is $150.

What You Can Do

  • Attend one or more public meetings.

    Saturday, June 3, 2006 – 10am
    Riverside County Administrative Center,
    4080 Lemon Street, Riverside

    Wednesday, June 7, 2006 – 6pm
    Noble Creek Community Center (revised location)
    38-900 Oak Valley Pkwy, Beaumont

    Thursday, June 8, 2006 – 7pm
    Murrietta City Council Chambers
    26442 Beckman Court, Murrieta

    Saturday, June 10, 2006 – 10am
    Coachella Valley Association of Governments
    73-710 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 200, Palm Desert
  • Write a letter to your representative on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

    To find out who represents you on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors please click here http://www.tlma.co.riverside.ca.us

    Supervisor Bob Buster - DISTRICT 1 (Chairman)
    County Administrative Center
    4080 Lemon Street, 5th Floor
    Riverside, California 92501
    (951) 955-1010

    Lake Elsinore Office
    2499 East Lakeshore Drive
    Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
    (951) 245-3330

    Supervisor John F. Tavaglione – DISTRICT 2 (Vice-Chairman)
    County Administrative Center
    4080 Lemon Street - 5th Floor
    Riverside, California 92501
    (951) 955-1020

    Supervisor Jeff Stone – DISTRICT 3
    County Administrative Center
    4080 Lemon Street - 5th Floor
    Riverside, California 92501
    (951) 955-1030

    Supervisor Roy Wilson – DISTRICT 4
    County Administrative Center
    4080 Lemon Street - 5th Floor
    Riverside, California 92501
    (951) 955-1040

    District Office
    73-710 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 222
    Palm Desert, CA 92260
    (760) 863-8211

    Supervisor Marion Ashley – DISTRICT 5
    County Administrative Center
    4080 Lemon Street - 5th Floor
    Riverside, California 92501
    (951) 955-1050

    District Office:
    14375 Nason St. Suite 207
    Moreno Valley, CA 92555

    Desert/Pass Office:
    50290 Main St.
    Cabazon, CA 92230

Points to Consider:

  • Mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of the issue—irresponsible ownership. Mandatory spay/neuter laws are extremely difficult to enforce and can be evaded by irresponsible animal owners by not licensing their pets. More regulations increase the workload of already financially strained animal control offices, making it even more difficult for them to perform their duties.
  • Spay/neuter requirements target all owners regardless of their actions and would restrict the many responsible breeders who raise and breed purebred dogs for their enjoyment of the sport. These breeders make a serious commitment to their animals, not to make a profit, but instead with the intention of promoting the sport of purebred dogs and improving the individual breeds.
  • Strongly enforced animal control laws (such as leash laws), and increased public education efforts are better ways to address the issue of irresponsible dog ownership. A public education campaign would help teach community residents about how to properly care for their pets, as well as the need to be a responsible pet owner.

For further information please contact the AKC's Canine Legislation Department at 919-816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

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