03 August 2007

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

The real thrust of the American Kennel Club’s opposition to California Assembly Bill 1634 as stated in “Should Most Pet Owners Be Required to Neuter Their Animals?” (Editorial Observer, July 30) is not economic but rather that creating a one-size-fits-all law such as mandatory spay and neuter is not a workable, enforceable solution to reduce the diverse demographics of the state’s shelter population.

Lawmakers, animal control officers and animal welfare organizations need to work together and delve into the origins of shelter subgroups—such as stray, feral or surrendered pets—to address the issues that bring them to the shelter.

California’s shelter populations have declined in recent decades, and most pet owners (70 percent dog, 84 percent cat) are acting responsibly and spaying/neutering their pets without government involvement. Targeted programs that address specific segments of the companion animal population and broad public education programs have been and can continue to be effective.

Lisa Peterson
Director of Club Communications, American Kennel Club
New York, July 31, 2007

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