Hundreds cheer as Santa Clara votes to support statewide spay and neuter bill

Released on: June 3, 2008, 1:16 pm

Press Release Author: California Taxpayers for Self and Healthy Pets

Industry: Non Profit

Press Release Summary: Board of Supervisors votes 3-2, making Santa Clara County the
first county to take a position on AB 1634

Press Release Body: June 3, 2008 - San Jose

The Santa Clara Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 today to pass a resolution in support
of Assembly Bill 1634, the California Healthy Pets Act.

Although the bill has attracted support from a wide array of California cities and
humane societies, Santa Clara is the first county to take a position on the
legislation. Board of Supervisors Chair Pete McHugh, author of the county
resolution, asked his colleagues to "consider that nearly one million unwanted dogs
and cats enter the State's animal shelters each year and more than half of them are
euthanized. AB 1634 offers a humane, sensible and cost-effective solution to
controlling pet overpopulation.

"AB 1634 will also reduce costs to taxpayers, who pay a staggering $250 million a
year to house and euthanize the State's unwanted population of dogs and cats,"
McHugh said.

The bill, which aims to significantly reduce the number of animals that are
euthanized in the state's animal shelters, requires pet owners to have their dogs
and cats spayed or neutered by the age of six months. It has already passed out of
the State Assembly and awaits a hearing later this month in the Senate Local
Government Committee.

"This measure will prevent the needless killing of hundreds of thousands of animals
a year while simultaneously saving taxpayers millions of dollars," said Assemblyman
Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), the bill's author.

"Since last year, our coalition has been working with stakeholders and other members
to strengthen Assembly Bill 1634," said Levine, who serves as Chair of the Assembly
Select Committee on Animal Welfare. "At the same time, we've continued to keep the
door open to listen to the legitimate concerns of the bill's detractors. I am
confident that with the work we've put in, 2008 is going to be a successful year for
our bill, which in turn means good things for our state's budget and animal

AB 1634 asks that most dogs and cats in the state of California be spayed or
neutered. "More than 20 common-sense exemptions are provided in the bill for
purebreds and mutts, including provisions for show and sporting dogs, law
enforcement dogs, dogs used in search and rescue, pets that are too old or in poor
health, and guide, service and signal animals," said Judie Mancuso, the Campaign
Director of the California Healthy Pets Coalition, and one of the bill's

"The facts of this issue are really very simple. We have overcrowded shelters that
are costing taxpayers millions of dollars annually, and spaying and neutering is a
tried and true approach," Mancuso said. "This is the right legislation at the right
time - a humane, common-sense and taxpayer-friendly solution to a real and costly
problem. The needless killing of over 500,000 healthy animals and the waste of
hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year must end. With both the state and
local governments facing critical budget decisions, we need to look for savings
wherever we can."

Dan Soszynski, the Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Animal Control
Authority, believes a similar ordinance in the City of Santa Cruz, "has been
successful in reducing the euthanasia rate; the ordinance allowed us to 'get tough'
with backyard breeders and reduce the numbers entering our shelter. These laws are
an effective and significant tool."

Jody Cramer, a former Santa Cruz SPCA Director, argued that "From both the humane
aspect and the cost aspect, (AB 1634) is absolutely the right thing to do. There
are a number of years worth of statistics for those who are skeptics to look at
about how these (spay and neuter laws) have helped. They have saved the lives of
many animals and have saved people who do this work from having to kill them."

The California Healthy Pets Act is supported by elected officials, law enforcement
and fire department agencies, cities, city and county agencies and employee unions,
humane societies and SPCAs, veterinarians and veterinary hospitals, national and
international animal welfare organizations, celebrities and other public figures,
rescue organizations, animal specialist and professionals, business and chambers of
commerce, and tens of thousands of individual supporters, Mancuso stated. For more
information on the legislation, visit the organization's web site at

Web Site:

Contact Details: Breit Strategies
3053 Freeport Blvd. #124
Sacramento, CA 95818

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