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AKC Government Relations has just learned that the Colton City Council will consider an ordinance (p. 315-353) to require the sterilization of all dogs and cats within the city limits with only vague, limited exemptions and establish a limit of ten (10) dogs per single family dwelling unit.

It is vital that responsible dog owners and breeders contact their elected officials in opposition to this measure or attend this meeting and oppose this burdensome ordinance (scroll down for council contact information).

Colton City Council Meeting
Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Council Chamber, Colton City Hall
650 N. La Cadena Drive
Colton, CA 92324

The AKC joins other national animal welfare organizations including National Animal Interest Alliance, ASPCA, No Kill Advocacy Center, and the American College of Theriogenologists in opposing mandatory spay/neuter laws. This broad opposition exists because mandatory spay/neuter policies are ineffective at reducing shelter intakes or euthanasia.

Provisions of the Ordinance:

  • Prohibits ownership of any dog or cat within the city over the age of seven months that is not sterilized.
    • Exemptions are provided for those with certain medical conditions.
    • Allows residents to maintain an unaltered dog if they have an unaltered dog license, but the ordinance is vague as to who will be able to obtain those. The proposal lists circumstances in which an unaltered dog license may be denied or revoked, including any violation of the state law or municipal code related to the care and control of animals (Section 7.10.010 B). However, it is not clear how requests will be approved.
    • An exemption is provided for those who are defined as “recognized dog or cat breeders, as defined by City policy.” Breeders are defined as those who breed for pay or other compensation, make a dog or cat available for breeding purposes, or who sell or offer for sale any dog or cat. Breeders are required to have a city business license. This may prove problematic for hobby breeders in certain zoning designations. AKC is extremely concerned about the lack of detail as to who would qualify as “breeder” and what they would need to do to maintain that status. It is unreasonable to vote on an ordinance which does not provide this vital information to residents.
       
  • Adopts Riverside County’s breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter ordinance which requires the sterilization of any dog deemed to be a “pit bull,” defined as any “Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog, or any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding, any of these breeds so as to be identifiable as partially of one or more of these breeds.”
    • Allows the county animal control department’s Chief Veterinarian or designee to determine if the dog will be classified as a “pit bull” (As Colton is located in San Bernardino County, it is unclear how this provision would be exercised.) .
    • Requires that all dogs classified as “pit bulls” be sterilized by the age of four (4) months.
       
  • Prohibits the keeping of more than ten (10) dogs, cats or any combination of thereof in a single family dwelling unit. Animals under six (6) months of age shall not be included in this limit. The AKC opposes limit laws as they are ineffective, arbitrary, and do not address the underlying issue of responsible dog ownership. Limiting the number of animals a person may own will not automatically make them a better owner. Furthermore, both the dogs and Colton taxpayers lose, as owners may be forced to give up well-behaved pets to a local shelter in order to comply with the limit, and the dogs will be housed and/or euthanized at significant cost to the city.
     
  • Provides that ANY impoundment will lead to sterilization, even on a first offense when an owner has an intact animal license. This is unreasonable as a gate can be left open by a meter reader or gardener or a young puppy could escape a new environment (Section 7.10.010 E).

AKC Resources/Talking Points

The American Kennel Club opposes mandatory spay/neuter as ineffective because it fails to address the underlying issue of irresponsible ownership. California state law already provides for the sterilization of animals adopted from shelters and mandates that the license fee for intact animals be at least double that of sterilized animals. The mandatory sterilization requirements proposed in this ordinance will merely punish those who are responsible owners and breeders, while irresponsible owners who are not complying with current laws are likely to continue their behavior.  Visit the AKC Legislative Action Center  and click on “key issues” for talking points and background information on mandatory spay/neuter, breed-specific, and limit laws.

What You Can Do:

  • Contact the Colton City Council members and ask them to oppose this measure.
     
  • Attend the city council meeting and voice your opposition to a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance:
    Colton Mayor and City Council Members
    Email: citycounciloffice@ci.colton.ca.us
    Telephone: (909) 370-5060

    Mayor Richard DeLaRosa
    Councilmember David Toro
    Councilmember Summer Zamora Jorrin
    Councilmember Frank Navarro
    Councilmember Luis Gonzales
    Councilmember Deirdre Bennett
    Councilmember Issac Suchil

AKC Government Relations has just learned that the Colton City Council will consider an ordinance (p. 315-353) to require the sterilization of all dogs and cats within the city limits with only vague, limited exemptions and establish a limit of ten (10) dogs per single family dwelling unit.

It is vital that responsible dog owners and breeders contact their elected officials in opposition to this measure or attend this meeting and oppose this burdensome ordinance

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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