Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pet Neuter / Spay Bill Fails... For Now

SACRAMENTO – Senators turned away mandatory pet sterilization legislation Wednesday, ending months of passionate debate over an issue that touches millions of dog and cat owners throughout California. However, it may be just a temporary lull. Assemblyman Lloyd Levine already has begun to recast his measure to narrow its reach in ways that could attract more support next year.

This article was followed by this comment:

Lloyd Levine is the same freak who wants legislation outlawing incandescent light bulbs. This tool sits around all day thinking of things to ban. The problem in the People's Republic of California is that Government thinks its role is to tell you what to do, what not to do, what not to eat, where to smoke, and what to think. You'd think the legistators would actually be spending their time doing something to fix the problems in this state. Instead, they sit around and think of new ways to control what you do in your home. The people of California are stupid cows and they deserve what they get when they elect people like Lloyd Levine.

Say that! Amen, brother.


Hellatiight said...

Yes Sam, because anyone that cares about global warming and ways to halt its progress and cares about finding ways to cut down on the killing of unwanted animals and cares about saving money is obviously insane in your world, right?

Sam Basso said...

The means don't justify the ends. Why should I agree to allow politicians to pass any law they want to? It is my dog, I should determine whether to spay and neuter the dog, period.

And why stop here? If you allow government to take what is not theirs, to make you do things with your pets for whatever social purposes they deem necessary, then what are the limits to their powers?

Could they demand that you to pluck out the eyes of a dog so it couldn't chase cars? We surely don't want dogs chasing cars and getting killed, so maybe we can justify that. Could they demand that you strangle your dog if your neighbor found the barking to be excessive? No one likes a barking dog or an owner that won't do anything about it.

In China, the way they dealt this year with a rabies scare was to send out the police to seize and beat dogs to death in the streets. Why not do that? What law prevents the government from doing whatever it pleases?

The bill went to defeat because of the outrage of normal people to having their lives run by a bunch of do gooders.

Regarding global warming, this is a pet blog, not one focused on global warming. But, since you went there, when you can explain why there is also global warming on the other planets in our solar system, then maybe you can explain why whatever is causing that isn't the reason why we are going through a possible warming trend now. And after that, tell me why the planet wasn't wiped out prior to the last two ice ages, when temperatures were much higher than they are now globally. Maybe higher temperatures aren't a bad thing after all.

Marjorie said...

I have to say that I'm not really "for" mandatory spay/neuter laws, but I'm not intellectually ag'in' 'em, either.

With public educational campaigns, voluntary spay/neuter has decreased the number of animals euthanized in shelters down from 10-15 million a decade or two ago, to about 3-5 million in recent years. There's still more work to be done, but that's a huge improvment.

The thing is, mandatory spay/neuter has been proven not to work.

Some people who don't want to spay/neuter their pets then feel they can't license them, can't socialize or exercise them in public, or even seek out ordinary veterinary care. This apparently led to an outbreak of rabies...yes, intact dogs, in a region with a mandatory spay/neuter policy.

This particular proposed bill was especially egregious because of the age of the puppies required to be sterilized. (4 months, as I recall)

With the advent of extremely early spay/neuter capabilities, there has followed a series of studies which show a range of possible consequences...and not just for the 6-8 week spay/neuter, but any done substantially before sexual maturity.

The thing is, this has long been an area of interest for me. I've always been fascinated by the "castrati" (the boys intentionally or accidentally castrated, so they would retain their juvenile voices for operatic performances).

The earlier the boys were castrated, the more obvious the effect. They continued to grow. You see (putting it simply), it is the sex hormones that close the growth plates. Without puberty, boys continued to grow and grow. The castrati were known to be very tall, yet rather boy-ish, and were trained to use their huge heart and lungs to take their juvenile vocal cords to places even female opera singers couldn't.

When the boys were castrated closer to puberty, though, they didn't exhibit this extraordinary growth. Farinelli, for example, one of the most famous of the castrati, was accidentally castrated around age 12 (as I recall). Thus, he was of normal height, as an "adult".

Knowing this, I always wondered if the same was true of dogs. Being a Great Dane fancier, I found myself asking the owners at what age their very tall Danes were sterilized. Still, these were just anecdotes, and not enough to help me draw any conclusions.

Well, some studies are in, and they find dogs spayed/neutered very early show the same, abnormal skeletal a way that is likely to be very unhealthy for the dog, in the long term...similar to the castrati.

The long bones grow too long, and the supporting structures become stressed.

Dogs spayed/neutered a little later, but still long before sexual maturity, show the same long bone "deformity", although not to the degree of the much earlier procedures.

The long and the short of it is, some veterinarians are reversing their support for early spay/neuter, in favour of a recommendation it be performed around the 14 month mark (some earlier, some later).

Since my own dogs have always come from shelters/rescue, they come to me already altered...which is just fine with me.

Marjorie said...


Re: China

As soon as I heard about what was going on in China, I said this,

"If you can go door-to-door to find dogs and kill them, you can go door-to-door to find dogs, and vaccinate them."

Every humane organization in the world (either did or would have) offered to help provide enough rabies vaccine, if the Chinese government had chosen to vaccinate instead of slaughter.

It just didn't make intellectual sense. It's probably even easier to vaccinate dogs, than kill them.

Reportedly, the goons would go into village areas and make a lot of noise in the evening, and then listen for barking dogs. They'd then knock on the doors of houses that appeared to have a dog, and wrench the dog from its family, and beat it to death, right there, in the street, in front of angry and horrified owners.

Now imagine some simple training, and a supply of syringes and vaccine, and voila! Instead of several minutes of beating each dog to death, you spend 2 seconds vaccinating it.

Alas, when your goal is not to solve the problem but rather vilify dogs, you opt for the cruel death, and feel like a big man in the process...I guess.