Friday, January 23, 2009

New Bill Trying to Pass in Florida

To every pet owner:

Here is something as dog mums and dads, we need to be sure we act upon.

On January 20, 2009; HB451 was filed in the Sate of Florida. This is a mandatory spay / neuter bill that will require sterilization of cats and dogs (at specified age) in an attempt to reduce pet over population.

I am an advocate for spay / neuter, and rescue, however to even think that this is the manner in which to go about to alleviate pet over population is unbelievable to me.

Had this bill included restrictions and regulations against puppy mills and pet shops, I would have strongly voted for it. I have two qualms against this immediately, without even dissecting it:

1. They are the result of our pet over population, because it is those dogs that are MOSTLY breed again by inexperienced pet owners, or "some how" left to breed. I strongly believe it is as a result of Puppy mills and pet shops that we have a problem with pet over population.... not reputable breeders!

I read the bill hoping to find all sorts of restrictions against puppy mills and pet shops, and no where in there did it mention ordinances against them or requiring pet shops to spay / neuter all dogs they sell within a significant period of time after sale of dog, or age of dog etc.

2. Who will provide the funding needed into making sure this ordinance is enforced? Will this fall under the County Animal Control? If so, how will this be budgeted to ensure the dogs and cats are traced and tracked? As we all know, especially Orange County, FL all monies are in one account, and there has been fraud committed to the use of dollars that were supposed to go towards educational programs etc but were not sufficiently used, or used for other purposes. How about correcting all that first?

Beyond that here are my thoughts analyzed by section according to the "bill to be enacted"

1. 828.35 (1): This is interesting... who is determine what is the "best" age to fix a pet..... of course this will require vets to change their rules of "six months." I have no idea where that age came from either, but irregardless, if this does take into effect, I believe there should be a CAP set on which a vet can not charge more for sterilization. As it is, vets charge and inordinate amount to spay/neuter cats and dogs. There is no way this is going to work if there is no regulation or requirement to which Veterinarians must abide by.

2. 828.35(2): I do have a problem with heavily involving Veterinarians for the sole reason that it empowers them even more, and is just another way for them to add to their cash flow. As it is, veterinarians are very costly and becoming unaffordable for many pet owners. In addition, under what criteria or test or check or screening will they base their results off. If there are no such criteria or if this process was not standardized, than it would become a matter of manipulation... vets could potentially charge for this waiver.

3. 828.35(b) 1.: Being that Counties typically only have one Animal affiliated municipality or arm, and that is normally the County Animal Control, this would result in giving them authority to provide licensure of a high quality animal they are typically very unfamiliar with and lack a great amount of knowledge on. Again what are these standards, who are the Breed Organizations they would approve?

4. 828.35(b) 2.: That is great! But instead of encouraging pet owners to be responsible pet owners, by enhancing their relationship with their pets and getting them involved in recreational sports, competitive sports, training, agility etc, this rule will definitely take away from that because there is a now a process for it all (which requires paper work, time, permitting, and money).

Not to mention, having dogs involved in the above sports will not reduce pet over population... pet owners involved in these sports could contribute to pet over population as well, by breeding their dogs. Their are no requirements to enroll in these activities, and so what has to happen for one to prove their dog has earned a competitive sports title... a trainers signature? That still does not ensure the fact that those owners or affiliations will not breed carelessly.

5. 828.35(b)3.: Why is it that service animals can not be rescued from breed rescue groups??? Why do they need to breed their own dogs? That still does not ensure the fact that those owners or affiliations will not breed carelessly. This is such a minor contribution to pet over population if at all, but if the main purpose of this bill was to reduce pet over population, than there should be a restriction to the number of litters these organizations can have, and more encouragement on using puppies from breed specific rescues.

6. 828.35(b)5.: What defines a valid breeding permit? Paper work and money? But you could be a totally irresponsible pet owner OR have a dog that is predisposed to genetic issues such as hip displaysia, or a dog that has an unstable temperament or is aggressive in nature, etc.... but if they go through the permitting process, they will be enabled to breed?

7. 828.35(c).: A huge part of the pet over population is puppy mills and those states that still allow grey hound racing. How is this not illegal, or why is it that we will continue to allow greyhound racing to even go on, but we will attempt to pass a bill on spay/neuter... where's the ethics in this?

8. This is not the way to go about reducing pet over population. FIRST AND FOREMOST we need to pass a bill that:

- make illegal puppy mills
- bans pet shops, stores,
- have restrictions on the costs of a dog / cat... should not be treated as a business
- ban grey hound racing
-cap the cost of spay/neuter surgeries

Please pass this onto every dog owner, fancier, you know.

To read the entire bill click here.

Thank you


What are your thoughts on this bill? Please let us know in the comments section!

1 comment:

University of Doglando said...

I strongly agree with your comments Tina. This bill will do nothing to stop back yard breeding & puppy mills.

Likely the only people who will obide by this law are the same people who would have neutered their pets anyway - Responsible pet owners. There are people who get their sense of identity by having an unneutered, untrained, unsocialized dog. This bill will not have any impact on these individuals and their animals who are victims of this mind set.

As a foster for IDOGRRR I see the result of irresponsible breeding and ownership first hand. This bill does not even scratch the surface of the true problems that plague companion animals who are bred as a commodity and owned & discarded on a whim.

Marianne Holland, Orlando FL