Kittens entitled due process, sez Cat Fanciers’ Association

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The Cat Fanciers Association is arguing that a “revised” California assembly bill could result in unwanted sterilization of pets who have accidentally slipped outside of homes, or escaped during earthquakes, fires, or other disasters.

They write that AB 1634 mandates…

…sterilization of dogs and cats as punishment for multiple impounds. The bill also imposes additional fees and mandated sterilization based upon oral or written complaints. We are concerned about the lack of due process and the extreme negative consequences of such a law for pet owners and their animals.

The bill increases the fine of impounding a cat by $15 to $50, and if an unsterile cat is impounded a second time, it would be automatically spayed or neutered and the associated costs charged back to the owner before release. Cat Fanciers is concerned that cats intended for breeding could be sterilized after accidentally slipping outside twice, in spite of the best intentions of the owner, perhaps even due to complaints by a disgruntled neighbor.

I could offer commentary questioning the merits of their argument, but honestly, I just wanted to post about this as an excuse to use pics of LOLCats. Another relevent pic after the jump.

funny pictures
more cat pictures

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3 responses to “Kittens entitled due process, sez Cat Fanciers’ Association

  1. Sacramento Mom

    The new AB1634 violates the 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th amendments to the Constitution. It mandates expensive, potentially dangerous ovariohysterectomy or castration surgery – without regard to the animal’s age, health or whether a female is pregnant or not – and without first providing a dog or cat owner the right to a court trial. The bill also negates the right of that owner to face whomever first complained about their animal in court.

    As written, the bill now requires that pet owners *will* receive a citation for owning a non-sterilized animal if someone (known or unknown) complains about the animal, whether or not the complaint is valid, and Animal Control visits the cat or dog’s owner. This means AB1634 codifies into law that owning an intact, non-sterile animal is ILLEGAL — according to bill author Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, a citation is issued for the same reason a police officer issues tickets for not wearing seatbelts.

    Please tell me when it became EVIL to own an intact, natural cat (kitten) or dog (puppy)???

    This is actually a ‘one strike’ bill for both cats and dogs because the first citation is for a complaint (bogus or otherwise) which brings Animal Control to a pet owner’s door. That’s $50. Citation #2 is issued when the the AC officer asks “is that cat/dog neutered?” and the answer is “no.” That’s an automatic mandatory spay/castrate requirement for cats, and another $100. on top of the first $50. for dogs – and the citation for owning an intact dog means that the owner must now neuter the dog to avoid further penalties within 14 days. If the dog is not sterilized within 14 days, or fails to provide proof of sterilization, a 3rd citation is generated for ‘failure to spay/castrate’: mandatory spay/neuter. One strike – one false complaint – and “you’re out!”

    Testimony during the last hearing by AB1634’s author Levine is here:

    Testimony on why Los Angeles thinks this would be a good law, per L.A. Animal Control Director Ed Boks is here:

    When bills become law, the author’s intent is used as the basis for enforcement. The entire hearing last Wednesday is here (where Assy. Levine states for the record how he interpret the bill – under oath, as are all Capitol hearings):

    http://www.calchannel.com/search.php?date=062508&source=senate&type=committee&title=&Search=Submit

    Just the first 1 hour and 4 minutes is about AB1634.

    The people who will be hurt by this new AB1634 include pet owners, feral cat caretakers, other rescue groups which are not 501(c)3 non-profits, and potentially even veterinarians and boarding facilities caring for and feeding intact pets overnight. Pregnant dogs and cats are not excluded or exempted even temporarily.

    Police dogs, search and rescue dogs, guide dog breeding animals and other service dogs WILL also be hit by this bill WHEN someone malicious decide to call in false complaints.

    Levine’s own testimony shows that those who thought last year’s AB1634 was ultimately about exterminating every cat and dog were spot on: this new bill as law would truly be a universal cat and dog sterilization bill for the entire state. Even paying for a local intact cat/dog license or breeding permit would be worthless, as state law (illegal to own an intact dog/cat) always trumps local law (permits available to own/breed intact pets). Indeed, anyone who bought such a permit would have a huge target painted on their home if AB1634 becomes law.

  2. Sacramento Mom

    Sorry, forgot to mention that the offical state link (CalChannel.com) contains three videos – choose the (062508) Senate Committee Local Government Hearing – click WATCH to view the proceedings.

  3. David Markland

    Thanks for the comments, Sac Mom, although I’m disappointed to you didn’t even mention the LOL Cats chosen for the occasion.

    From what I’ve read, in order for a cat to be sterilized, it would need to have been let out on two different occasions, and complaints made each time. I have no problem with a cat that keeps getting outside to be sterilized, especially by neighbors. Unspayed/neutered cats whine, moan, and can be hella obnoxious. But mostly, the owner needs to take better care.

    That said, hearing that Ed Boks supports this makes me think twice. I may have to look deeper and revisit this issue.

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