For whatever reason, California SB 250 -- the mandatory spay/neuter bill -- is no longer inactive. In fact, the Concerned Dog Owners of California report that an assembly vote could be as early as today.
After years of hosting shot fairs, and in particular, Celebrate Your Pit Bull events, it is painfully clear that what works is community outreach and education. Low-income dog owners do not have access to affordable resources, including vet care, nor do they know where to look. A mandatory spay/neuter law isn't going to make them all of a sudden get their animals altered. And if their dog/cat gets confiscated and lands in the shelter, will they have enough money to pay the fines and the surgery costs to reclaim him? After speaking with numbers of San Francisco pit bull owners about whether they know their city mandates that their dogs get neutered, the owners just respond that they just keep their dogs hidden rather than take them out during the day.
Educating people about responsible pet ownership can't happen through quick-fix legislation and most certainly can't happen overnight. Research has shown that mandatory spay/neuter laws sound great in theory, but are ineffective in practice. And, despite that, there are so many things wrong with the language in this bill that have the potential for negative unintended consequences.
Please, take a minute to call your Assemblymember today and voice your opposition.