AKC News

Press Center
More Headlines

Featured Items

Update! Sacramento Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance Vote Tuesday

(Friday, August 11, 2006)
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will take a vote on the proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance at their next meeting, Tuesday, August 15th. Supervisors had previously discussed the issue at the August 1st meeting but did not have enough time to hear all the testimony. Concerned dog owners and fanciers are urgently needed to attend this meeting!

When: August 15th
Time: 3pm
Location: Sacramento County Administration Center, 700 H Street, Room 1450

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please click here to contact your supervisor in writing and inform them of your opposition.

For more information please contact the Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs (wayne.sheldon@comcast.net) or the AKC Canine Legislation Department (doglaw@akc.org).



[Thursday, June 22, 2006]

Sacramento County, CA Considers $150 Intact Animal Fee

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will meet July 18th to discuss a proposal to adopt a $150 intact animal fee. The proposed ordinance also sets up a reduced $50 intact animal permit for those who meet certain conditions, establishes a $10 fee to transfer an animal over the age of four months, and requires all dogs and cats to wear a suitable collar or harness with the license tag attached. Fanciers and concerned dog owners should contact their representative on the Board of Supervisors immediately to oppose this burdensome measure!

The following fees and requirements would be instituted:

  • A $15 license fee for sterilized dogs and cats
  • A $150 license fee for each intact animal
  • A $50 reduced intact animal fee for qualifying show animals
  • A $10 fee to transfer an animal four months or older

To qualify for the reduced $50 intact animal license, you must meet ALL of the criteria:

  • The dog or cat must be registered with the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, American Dog Breeders Association, International Cat Association, the Cat Fanciers or other valid registry as approved by the Department.
  • Participates in at least one event sanctioned by a national registry and approved by the Department within the previous 12 months or prove that the dog or cat has achieved a title from a purebred dog or cat registry. In the event that an owner can not show proof that the animal has been shown in the previous 12 months, the Department shall have the discretion to determine whether this subsection has been met.
  • The owner does not breed the animal. In order to breed the dog or cat, a $150 intact animal permit would need to be obtained.

Fanciers should not be fooled by these narrow exemptionsthis is a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance and will negatively impact all animal owners. Once restrictions like this are in place, it is easy to narrow them even further, possibly excluding the low priced license altogether. These high fees also make it cost prohibitive for many people to participate in the sport of purebred dogs and in the end punish responsible owners simply for choosing to keep their animal intact.

Exemptions are provided for dogs being used by law enforcement and for animals that are certified in writing by a veterinarian as not being suitable subjects for sterilization.

The new ordinance would also define a commercial establishment as “a place where commodities are exchanged, bought, or sold. This shall include but not be limited to pet stores or other commercial businesses selling animals.” It is unclear what ramifications this could have for responsible hobby breeders who sell puppies from their homes. Many communities have regulations prohibiting commercial activities in areas that are zoned residential. Therefore, if a hobby breeder selling a litter out of their home was considered to be a “commercial establishment,” this could be devastating to responsible breeders in Sacramento County.

When offering animals for sale the license number of the bitch or the license number of the animal (if over four months) must be posted in any advertisement. Commercial establishments are required to post the license number of the animal being bred, the source of origin (if outside the county) and the license number of the animal if it is over four months of age. Auctions and sales of animals in public places are prohibited. For the sale of an animal that was bred outside the county the seller must provide the county with a California health certificate. The sale of a puppy or kitten will not be considered complete unless the seller physically transfers custody to the new owner.

Another new provision will require veterinarians to provide to the county the name, address and phone of number of any owner whose dog or cat receives a rabies vaccination. They are further required to report the name, age, sex, reproductive status and breed/color or the animal as well as information about the vaccine itself. Veterinarians who fail to comply with these provisions will be fined between $50 and $250.

Residents who fail to license their pets will be assessed a fine of $300 per animal for a first offense and $500 per animal for subsequent offenses. Fines of $500 per animal for the first offense and $1000 per animal for subsequent offenses will be charged for an unlicensed animal that is bred. Violators, including those who fail to list a license number on an advertisement, will be fined $100 per animal for a first offense and $500 per animal for subsequent violations.

Enactment of this ordinance would be devastating to responsible hobby breeders in the county. If these proposed breeding regulations are enacted, small breeders may be forced out of existence, denying puppy purchasers a conscientious, knowledgeable source of purebred dogs. Additionally, hundreds of fanciers who show but do not breed their unaltered animals will be penalized and may be forced to discontinue their participation in the sport. Your immediate assistance is needed to fight this legislation!

What You Can Do:

  • Attend the July 18th Board of Supervisors meeting.

    3pm
    Sacramento County Administration Center
    700 H Street, Room 1450
  • Forward this alert to other dog owners and ask them to send letters. We need everyone’s help to defeat this restrictive legislation!
  • AKC urges dog owners to contact their county supervisor and express their opposition.

District 1 - Roger Dickinson
700 H Street, Suite 2450
Sacramento CA 95814
dickinsonr@saccounty.net
(916) 874-5485 (916) 874-7593 FAX

District 2 - Illa Collin
700 H Street, Suite 2450
Sacramento CA 95814
Collini@saccounty.net
(916) 874-5481 (916) 874-7593 FAX

District 3 - Susan Peters
700 H Street, Suite 2450
Sacramento CA 95814
susanpeters@saccounty.net
(916) 874-5471 (916) 874-7593 FAX

District 4 - Chair, Roberta MacGlashan
700 H Street, Suite 2450
Sacramento CA 95814
macglashanr@saccounty.net
(916) 874-5491 (916) 874-7593 FAX

District 5 - Vice Chair, Don Nottoli
700 H Street, Suite 2450
Sacramento CA 95814
nottolid@saccounty.net
(916) 874-5465 (916) 874-7593 FAX

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 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 more information, contact:

Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs
Joan Gibson Reid
jgrcorgis@aol.com

AKC’s Canine Legislation department
919-816-3720
doglaw@akc.org