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Riverside County, CA Announces Public Meetings Regarding Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Mandatory Microchipping

(Tuesday, July 18, 2006)

The Riverside County Department of Animal Services has announced the dates and times of four public meetings to discuss a proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance and an ordinance to require microchipping of all dogs and cats. 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.

The proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance will require that any dog or cat over the age of four months be spayed or neutered unless the owner can qualify for one of the limited exemptions. Exemptions are provided for law enforcements dogs, qualified service assistance dogs, dogs which are medically unsuitable for sterilization and “competition dogs.”

To qualify as a competition dog, the animal must be registered with AKC, UKC, ADBA or other valid registry as determined by the Department. Further, one of the following requirements must be met:

  • The dog has competed in one dog show or sporting competition sanctioned by a national registry approved by the Department within the last 365 days;
  • The dog has earned a conformation, obedience, agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, sporting, working or other title from a purebred registry listed above;
  • The owner is a member of a purebred breed club approved by the Department that maintains and enforces a code of ethics for animal breeding that includes restrictions from breeding individuals with genetic defaults and life threatening health problems that commonly threaten the breed;
  • Dogs which are trained and used as herding dogs, livestock guardians, hunting dogs or dogs designated as breeding stock by an appropriate agency or organization approved by the Department;
  • Dogs boarded in a licensed kennel, which boards and professionally trains such animals for use and resale.

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.

The mandatory microchipping ordinance will require each dog and cat over the age of four months to be implanted with a microchip. Owners must report that number to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, and register the microchip with the “national registry applicable to the chip.” Exemptions are only provided if there is a written note from a veterinarian stating that the animal will suffer serious bodily injury if it is microchipped. The note must also state the date by which it will be safe for the animal to be implanted with a microchip. 

As part of AKC’s ongoing efforts to promote responsible dog ownership, we encourage dog owners to properly identify their pets.  We believe, however, that the final decision about identification—whether by collar, tattoo or microchip—should be made by the owner, not the government. 

It is crucial that all fanciers and concerned dog owners work together to protect our rights as dog owners. The narrow exemptions provided in the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance are not sufficient to justify relinquishing the rights of responsible owners to breed dogs.

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. 

 

What You Can Do

  • Attend one or more public meetings.

    Monday, July 31, 2006, 7pm
    Murrieta City Hall/Council Chambers
    26442 Beckman Court
    Murrieta, CA 92562

    Saturday, August 12, 2006, 10am
    Coachella Valley Assoc. of Governments
    73-710 Fred Waring Drive, Ste. #115
    Palm Desert, CA  92260

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006, 7pm
    Noble Creek Community Center
    38900 Oak Valley Parkway
    Beaumont, CA 92223

    Saturday, August 26, 2006, 10am
    Riverside City Hall/Council Chambers
    3900 Main Street
    Riverside, CA 92522
  • 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
    /gis/gisbasicquery2.html
    .

    Supervisor Bob Buster - DISTRICT 1 (Chairman)
    County Administrative Center
    4080 Lemon Street, 5th Floor
    Riverside, California 92501
    (951) 955-1010
    district1@rcbos.org

    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
    district2@rcbos.org

    Supervisor Jeff Stone – DISTRICT 3
    County Administrative Center
    4080 Lemon Street - 5th Floor
    Riverside, California 92501
    (951) 955-1030
    district3@rcbos.org

    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
    district4@rcbos.org

    Supervisor Marion Ashley – DISTRICT 5
    County Administrative Center
    4080 Lemon Street - 5th Floor
    Riverside, California 92501
    (951) 955-1050
    district5@rcbos.org

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

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

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

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