LOS ANGELES, March 16 /PRNewswire/ — The Cat Fanciers’ Association and the California Federation of Dog Clubs are going on record opposing the proposed Los Angeles City ordinance that would mandate neutering or spaying of all puppies and kittens over 4 months of age. They challenge proponents to show a sustained record of success in any of the few cities that have passed a similar ordinance. The proposal is scheduled for vote Wednesday, March 22.
“Despite their claims, we have proof that these types of ordinances are dismal failures,” according to Joan Miller, Legislative Director of CFA. “The most recent jurisdictions to abolish their failed ordinances are Camden, New Jersey and Montgomery County, Maryland. They have failed because they are unnecessarily intrusive, are costly to implement, and impossible to enforce.”
In a growing controversy, these Los Angeles animal welfare advocates are expressing outrage that the city is being asked to pass an ordinance that is “highly discriminatory against pet owners on fixed or low income, and a potential disaster to the animals themselves,” says Mary Di Blasi, of CFDC.
“The high fees and fines are guaranteed to send many more animals to the euthanasia room, as their owners can not afford to reclaim them. Another consequence will put more stray animals on the street as owners, facing high fines and criminal prosecution for not licensing their animals, simply turn their pets loose on the streets of LA.”
Both CFA and CFDC are confident that if the Los Angeles City Council looks past the emotional rhetoric of some ordinance supporters, they will realize that the majority of the city’s animal problems will be addressed by the newly-passed statewide Vincent and Hayden laws. These laws extend the period of time animals must be held by shelters so owners can reclaim them, and require sterilization of all pets prior to their adoption, as well as state mandated fines to discourage owners from letting their pets run loose.
CFA is dedicated to the welfare of all cats, both randombred and pedigreed, Miller explained. “An ordinance such as this is bad for the citizens of Los Angeles, and is bad for the animals! No conscientious breeding program can be established to improve or preserve a breed when only one litter per household is allowed per year. Therefore, since responsible cat or dog breeder cannot operate under these restrictions, citizens of Los Angeles will be deprived of their best source of healthy, socialized, well-bred puppies and kittens.”
She further explains that this ordinance means, literally, death for unowned and feral cats who depend on handouts from kind people for survival.
Since the ordinance defines an owner as someone who feeds an animal for 30 days, individuals may face the prospect of leaving these cats to starve or face high fines. “Caring people need assistance and access to affordable spay/neuter services, not punishment,” Miller says.
With statewide laws addressing the welfare of homeless animals and shelter operations, the City of Los Angeles should confine its attention to its first priority, which is the safety and health of the city’s human residents — removing stray dogs from the streets and investigating complaints, Miller and Di Blasi agree.
“The city’s most important mission is to insure that the public is
protected from the very real threat of rabies. That mission will likely be compromised, as pet owners no longer vaccinate their pets in hopes of avoiding the fees and fines,” Di Blasi warned.
SOURCE Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc.; California Federation of