CA MS/N Legislation Track Record

Dog Licensing and Mandatory Spay-Neuter

Animal services cost California local governments about $250 million each year.  Individual dog license fees have increased in many California counties and cities in recent years, but the revenues generated from these licenses cover only a small fraction of the cost to fund animal services.  Most of the rest is paid by the taxpayers.  This revenue shortfall is mainly because fewer than 1 in 4 dogs in California is licensed, even though licensing has been mandated by law for many years.  It’s faGSD with license tagir to ask how public policy decisions of lawmakers have influenced licensing rates, and how licensing rates impact other goals.

Dog licensing serves multiple roles:

1) To track compliance to rabies vaccination where required for public health reasons. This is the reason California state law mandates dog licensing.

2) To provide a means of identification for dogs that is tracked in the municipality’s database in case they are picked up stray, so they can be returned to their owners. “Your dog’s license is his ticket home.”

3) To generate income for the municipality to operate its animal services programs.

Higher rates of dog licensing lead to higher return-to-owner rates (RTO) when dogs are picked up stray, because more dogs are wearing their identifying license tags.  Higher return-to-owner rates means fewer dogs need to be housed in public shelters. This reduces shelter costs and reduces the number of dogs euthanized, both important societal goals.

return to owner

For the animal services authority,  return-to-owner is the lowest cost way to deal with dogs picked up stray.  Dogs that are quickly returned to their owners don’t consume limited resources in the municipal shelter.  Some animal services departments return licensed stray dogs directly to the owner, bypassing the shelter, reducing costs to the bare minimum.

Calgary animal services leads the way in North America, saving 95% of dogs they process thanks in large part to a return-to-owner rate for impounded dogs of 86%.   Key to Calgary’s success is a dog licensing compliance rate that exceeds 90%.  For a city of over 1 million people, Calgary has a relatively little public animal shelter space because their return-to-owner rate insures that most dogs are not housed in shelters for long.   Calgary achieves this success at no cost to its taxpayers, the costs are almost entirely covered by pet license fees.

In California, only 62% of dogs in public shelters are saved.   Return-to-owner for impounded dogs is a paltry 21%, in large part because only 22% of dogs are licensed in California.  The low return-to-owner rates means that stray dogs must be housed longer in shelters, until they are either adopted out or euthanized.  This increases costs.  The low rates for dog licensing means that California’s taxpayers must cover most animal services costs.

Over the years, Calgary has implemented policies to incentivize dog licensing, including quick and convenient licensing options, and discount perks at retailers.  Calgary’s pet owners know that many valued services are paid for with their pet licensing fees, including educational programs on responsible dog ownership, over 100 off leash dog parks in the city, a low-cost spay-neuter clinic,  returning stray dogs straight home rather than impounding them at the city shelter, and other valued services.   Calgary’s residents have a very positive opinion of their city animal services department, with 91% giving it high marks in a citizen satisfaction survey.   As a result, pet licensing rates have trended upward in Calgary over the years.

Over the same time, many California communities have implemented coercive policies that have had the opposite effect.  Among these coercive policies are mandatory spay-neuter laws. Mandatory spay-neuter laws are different than any other policy that governments impose on citizens. Instead of fees, fines, or even incarceration, mandatory spay-neuter laws impose forced surgical procedures. No other aspect of the US legal system mandates forced surgery. Reasonably so, many pet owners perceive mandatory spay-neuter laws as especially oppressive, whether lawmakers intend them to be or not. This negative public perception drives down pet licensing compliance.

California communities that have implemented mandatory spay-neuter ordinances have experienced significant declines in dog licensing complianceLAAS licensing

Los Angeles Animal Services admits that mandatory spay-neuter has reduced their dog licensing income:

“the number of dogs for which unaltered licenses (and in many cases breeding permits) have been paid for and issued has dropped since implementation of mandatory spay/neuter. Because of the steep license differential, loss of higher priced licenses have resulted in lower revenue trends.”

Los Angeles Animal Services lost $440 thousand in annual licensing revenue since the 2008 MSN ordinance went into effect. That’s on top of the licensing income lost due to the downward trend in licensing compliance after Los Angeles enacted their 2000 MSN ordinance.

Sac County licensingSacramento County instituted mandatory spay-neuter on the 2nd impoundment in 1995.  There were proposals in during 2006 and 2007 to pass more comprehensive MSN in Sacramento County, but those efforts were defeated.  Note: the large gap in the data reflects Sacramento County’s lack of full reporting to the CDPH.

In California jurisdictions without mandatory spay-neuter ordinances, dog licensing compliance rates tend to be higher:

NO mandatory spay-neuter – dog licensing compliance rate
Contra Costa County – 34%Black Lab with license tags
San Luis Obispo County – 34%
Orange County – 32%
Ventura County – 34%

Mandatory spay neuter – dog licensing compliance rate
Santa Cruz County – 13% [MSN since 1995]
City of Los Angeles – 13% [MSN since 2000, made stricter in 2008]
Los Angeles County – 20% [MSN since 2006]
Sacramento County – 14% [MSN on 2nd impoundment since 1995]

Contra Costa County does not have mandatory spay-neuter, and dog licensing compliance has held steady there.

Contra Costa County Dog Licensing

Mandatory spay-neuter laws break the bond of trust between many dog owners and their government. Dog owners have seen what happens after mandatory spay-neuter laws go into effect. Licensing makes their dogs known to government, and dog owners fear that government will whittle away their right to make their own informed choices about responsible dog ownership. An increasing number of dog owners would prefer that their government not know about their dogs.

Dog owners have seen the City of Los Angeles implement increasingly strict mandatory spay-neuter ordinances over the years that have turned law-abiding citizens into targets of their government. Dog owners have witnessed the enormous multi-year battles in state legislatures that have been required to stop mandatory spay-neuter laws. They have watched the spread of mandatory spay-neuter laws despite a consistent track record of failure.

Dog licensing is not the only path to saving stray dogs in community animal shelters. Some communities have achieved success with a greater emphasis on comprehensive adoption programs for dogs picked up stray. But returning stray dogs to their owners is a proven way to save lives. Even dogs that would be difficult or impossible to adopt can be returned to their owners, and dog licensing enables that. But high dog licensing rates require a level of trust between dog owners and their government that does not exist in many communities, thanks in large part to the policies that elected officials have chosen to pursue.

Whether policy makers intend it or not, mandatory spay-neuter laws are perceived by the public as especially oppressive and drive a wedge between the public and animal services departments. This perception reduces dog licensing rates, reduces dog licensing income, reduces return-to-owner rates, increases costs, and kills more dogs. Fortunately there are successful models that build public confidence, save money, and save lives.


California dog licensing compliance rates are calculated using:

Number of dogs licensed in a jurisdiction
– Annual reports from the California Department of Public Health that include the number of dogs licensed in each county
– Reports by Los Angeles Animal Services that include numbers of dogs licensed, here and here

Total number of dogs in jurisdiction
US Census Bureau data for county or city average household size and population as a function of year
– The average number of dogs per household from the APPA National Pet Owners Survey

Many thanks to the National Animal Interest Alliance for their assistance with this report.

CA MS/N Legislation

Contra Costa County Mandatory Spay-Neuter Passes Committee

The Contra Costa County (California) Board of Supervisors Public Protection Committee held a hearing today about a proposed ordinance that would mandate sterilization of impounded dogs. After more than 1 hour of discussion, unfortunately the committee approved the MSN proposal and authorized staff to draft an ordinance.

There were no speakers for MSN — other than the 2 supervisors who make up the committee.

There were about a dozen individuals who spoke against the ordinance, almost all of whom are residents of Contra Costa County. Many excellent points were made. Opposition organizations that were represented include (apologies as we do not have a complete list):

All American Dog Registry
American Dog Breeders Association
California Federation of Dog Clubs
Concerned Dog Owners of California
Contra Costa County Kennel Club
Endangered Breeds Association
National Animal Interest Alliance
National English Shepherd Rescue
San Francisco Samoyed Rescue
Save Our Dogs
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America
UKC clubs

We will be issuing additional announcements for follow-up action.

CA MS/N Legislation

Contra Costa County California – Mandatory Spay-Neuter Ordinance

Opposition is needed to stop mandatory spay-neuter from passing in Contra Costa County, California.

On Monday January 24 starting at 11 AM, the Contra Costa County Public Protection Committee will meet to discuss a proposed all breed mandatory spay-neuter ordinance for impounded dogs picked up at large.
  • unlicensed dogs face MSN on the first impoundment
  • licensed dogs face MSN on the 2nd impoundment
There are no exceptions for extenuating circumstances or for breeding dogs, competition dogs, hunting dogs, or working dogs.
More info is here.

Save Our Dogs will be there speaking against this ordinance.

We need residents of Contra Costa County to attend the hearing and make  brief, polite statements of opposition that MSN has been a failure everywhere it has been applied.    Everyone gets a chance to speak before this committee.

Opponents stopped MSN for pit bull breeds last year in this committee, and we can do it again for the latest ordinance  if we have a sufficient turnout of informed, respectful opposition.

651 Pine Street, Room 101
Martinez, CA
When:  January 24, starting at 11 AM

CA MS/N Legislation

Hollister Mandatory Spay-Neuter Ordinance


There was a great turnout for last night’s Hollister city council meeting about the mandatory spay-neuter ordinance. The room was packed with more residents than the council had ever seen before on any issue.

Only one person in the audience spoke for the ordinance. ALL of the others in the audience who spoke, at least two dozen of them, were opposed. Unfortunately the ordinance passed despite this unprecedented level of constituent opposition, by a 3-2 vote.

Thank you to Mayor Gomez and Vice Mayor Valdivia for voting no.

Council members Friend, Emerson, and Sanchez voted yes.


The Hollister (California) City Council is scheduled to vote on a pending mandatory spay-neuter (MSN) ordinance on Monday, October 18.

There appears to be only one thing that will stop this ordinance, and that’s if locals pack the city council chamber before the 6:30 pm Monday meeting (375 5th Street, Hollister).  When public comments are requested, they need respectfully ask the city council to vote NO on this ordinance.   AT LEAST 20 locals need to speak out in opposition, perhaps more.

A majority of the Hollister city council said at the last city council meeting that they want mandatory spay-neuter (MSN) for ALL dogs, not just the breeds mentioned in the pending city ordinance.  They have to deal with the pending breed-specific MSN ordinance first, but MSN for all dogs will probably come next.

Hollister officials are already in discussions with county officials to make MSN the law across San Benito County.

At the Hollister city council meeting, each person needs to fill out a speaker card, and then make a polite statement when its time for public comments.  Something along the lines of

“My name is _________, and I live in this community.   I strongly oppose this ordinance,  and respectfully ask you to vote no.  Thank you.”

Additional talking points from the list below can also be added:

  • a proven track record of increased costs to the taxpayers.  The poster child for MSN by those who support these laws is Santa Cruz County — which saw animal control costs double in the years after they passed MSN.   Fifteen years after passing MSN, per capita animal control costs in Santa Cruz County are nearly twice the California statewide average.  If San Benito County residents paid per person what those in Santa Cruz Co pay, you’d be looking at another $221,000 per year in animal control costs.
  • Double taxation.   Owners of intact dogs are already required by state law to pay at least twice as much to license their dogs as owners of spayed and neutered dogs.   This ordinance will slap them with another tax to allow them to keep their dogs intact, which we are told is likely to be about $100 per dog.
  • A proven track record of increased dog bite incidents after these laws pass.  In the year after Santa Cruz Co. passed MSN, dog bites increased by 50% according to official CA Dept of Public Health statistics.  In San Francisco, they increased by 13% after passing MSN according to the city’s own data.   Some dog owners dump their “illegal” intact dogs, stray dogs that cause more dog bites.
  • Harmful impacts on responsible dog breeding, including working dogs.  MSN is opposed by state and national associations of law enforcement officers who handle police dogs, search-and-rescue dog associations, organizations that breed, train, and place guide dogs for the blind and service dogs for the disabled, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and groups that represent sportsmen including the NRA and the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance, the AKC, and hundreds of breed clubs.
  • Harm to business.  Before the city of Los Angeles passed MSN, they had a thriving community of dog events that brought in millions of dollars of year to restaurants, hotels, convention centers, and other local businesses.   Almost all of that has disappeared since Los Angeles passed MSN.  San Benito County gains an estimated $246,000 a year in economic benefit from AKC dog events.  The AKC has made it very clear that where MSN passes, they take their dog events elsewhere.
  • A proven track record of causing higher impounds and euthanasias in animal shelters than in communities that don’t have these laws, as low income families who cannot afford to sterilize their dogs are hit with increased fees to keep them intact that they also cannot afford — leaving them no choice but to relinquish their family dog to animal control.  People who are hit by hard economic times are having to choose between paying the rent and elective surgery for their dog.  The year after Los Angeles passed MSN, dog euthanasias in their city shelters increased by 24% reversing many years of gradual improvement.  Santa Cruz Co. says their shelter numbers have gotten better there, but this misses the point that shelter stats have gotten better all over California.  Santa Cruz Co shelter stats are worse than nearly all counties in the region that don’t have MSN.
CA MS/N Legislation SB 250

SB 250 is finally defeated

The California state Assembly voted on SB 250 (Florez) tonight, but after multiple attempts it did not receive a sufficient number of votes to pass.pelemark

The final vote — at 11:47 pm — was 28 27 Yes, 40 39 No, 10 12 abstain.   41 Yes votes were required for SB 250 to pass.

SB 250 – mandatory spay-neuter for dogs and cats – is finally and truly defeated.*

Congratulations to the tens of thousands of Californians who made this victory possible.   Your immense outpouring of opposition to SB 250 in the form of phone calls and faxes to legislators made the difference.

Thank you, for Saving our Dogs.

*According to Article IV, Sec 10(c) of the California state Constitution, SB 250 cannot be voted on again after midnight Tuesday night.

CA MS/N Legislation SB 250

SB 250 fails to pass – but reconsideration requested

Tuesday Aug 31 8:15 pm Update The motion to reconsider SB 250 is being voted on, but a number of members are voting against what is usually a courtesy vote (even members who oppose a bill vote for these motions).   This is not a vote on the actual bill itself.  It is a vote on a motion to allow yet another vote on the bill.  The motion to reconsider has been voted on twice so far but has not yet reached the 41 vote threshold to allow another vote on SB 250.   As more members enter the chamber we expect the call will be lifted again on the motion.

Tuesday Aug 31 7:00 pm Update Our sources in the Capitol are hearing that Senator Florez will bring back SB 250 for another vote tonight.  Supporters are flooding assembly member offices with calls and faxes.   We need to do the same to counter them.

Monday Aug 30 9:35 pm Update: The Assembly adjourned until 10 AM Tuesday.  No vote for SB 250 occurred today.  Tuesday is the last day the legislature can deal with SB 250.

Monday Aug 30 6:22 pm Update : The Assembly is in session today and will work until late tonight.  They are trying to get through the pending bills before the 2009-2010  session ends tomorrow.   SB 250 is on the schedule but has not been dealt with yet.

Friday Aug 27 Update:  The Assembly adjourned until 1 pm Monday Aug 30.  There were no votes on SB 250 today.  Your calls and faxes are really helping.


SB 250 was voted on four times today, and each time it failed to pass. The last vote tally was 33 34 Yes, 40 No, 5 4 Not voting. The vote tabulation can be found here.

But it’s not over yet, because reconsideration was requested granted again.

This means that the Assembly might vote on SB 250 once again on Friday, or perhaps Monday or Tuesday if when the Assembly reconvenes next week. Tuesday is the last day the legislature can vote on bills according to the state Constitution.

Your calls and faxes are making a huge difference.

The Sacramento Bee reported today

An immense outpouring of opposition from dog and cat owners had an impact today when the Assembly rejected a bill aimed at forcing more pet sterilizations as an alternative to euthanizing hundreds of thousands of strays.

Legislators’ office had been inundated with protests, as several mentioned during the emotion-tinged floor debate that preceded the vote on Senate Bill 250.

Assemblymember Conway said during floor debate on SB 250 that her fax machine has been jammed with opposition faxes, and her office has received more calls and letters about SB 250 than all other bills combined.

Unfortunately, because there can be yet another vote on this bill, we have to ask you once again to make calls and send  faxes.   We know that pressure will be put on many members who voted with us to switch their votes to Yes.  They need to hear from us that their votes are appreciated by California voters.   Please THANK these members for not voting for SB 250 (remember that an “abstain” is just as good as a NO vote for us).

vote telephone fax
Galgiani, Cathleen abstain (916) 319-2017 (916) 319-2117
Ma, Fiona abstain (916) 319-2012 (916) 319-2112
Monning, William W. abstain (916) 319-2027 (916) 319-2127
Adams, Anthony NO (916) 319-2059 (916) 319-2159
Block, Marty NO (916) 319-2078 (916) 319-2178
Caballero, Anna M. NO (916) 319-2028 (916) 319-2128
Chesbro, Wesley NO (916) 319-2001 (916) 319-2101
Coto, Joe NO (916) 319-2023 (916) 319-2123
Evans, Noreen NO (916) 319-2007 (916) 319-2107
Huber, Alyson NO (916) 319-2010 (916) 319-2110
Pérez, V. Manuel NO (916) 319-2080 (916) 319-2180
Salas, Mary NO (916) 319-2079 (916) 319-2179
Swanson, Sandre R. NO (916) 319-2016 (916) 319-2116
Torres, Norma J. NO (916) 319-2061 (916) 319-2161
Torrico, Alberto NO (916) 319-2020 (916) 319-2120
Yamada, Mariko NO (916) 319-2008 (916) 319-2108

Also, please call the office of Speaker John Perez and ask him to please vote against this bill: (916) 319-2046

CA MS/N Legislation SB 250


The California state Assembly is voting TODAY on the mandatory spay-neuter bill SB 250.   Californians, please help save our state from the unintended consequences of this bad legislation, which has backfired everywhere it has been implemented.
The initial vote is close: 30 Yes, 38 No, 10 abstained.  There will be one last vote before the end of today’s session, during which members can change their votes.  We have not won yet, we know that the Yes tally will increase.  There can be no other votes after today.
We need to thank the 10 who abstained — which is as good as a NO vote. They are under tremendous pressure to change their votes to Yes. We need to support them.
Californians:  Please, it will only take 5 minutes to call all of the following and say:
“My name is _________, I am calling to thank the assembly member for NOT voting for SB 250 ­ the mandatory spay-neuter bill for dogs and cats”
John Perez       (916)-319-2046
Brownley          (916)-319-2041
Galgiani             (916)-319-2017
DeLaTorre        (916)-319-2050
Hayashi             (916)-319-2018
Huber                (916)-319-2010
Ma                       (916)-319-2012
Monning           (916)-319-2027
Manny Perez   (916)-319-2080
Cook                   (916)-319-2065
CA MS/N Legislation SB 250

No on SB 250 – Need more calls and faxes

California SB 250 – mandatory sterilization for dogs and cats – is eligible for a vote in the Assembly at any time.   If it passes the Assembly it may be moved very quickly to a final vote in the Senate.   Additional polite No on SB 250 calls and faxes are needed from Californians to these legislators:

Assemblymember phone fax
Evans (916)-319-2007 (916)-319-2107
J. Perez (916)-319-2046 (916)-319-2146
M. Perez (916)-319-2080 (916)-319-2180
Hall (916)-319-2052 (916)-319-2152
Saldana (916)-319-2076 (916)-319-2176
Lowenthal (916)-319-2054 (916)-319-2154
Adams (916)-319-2059 (916)-319-2159
Carter (916)-319-2062 (916)-319-2162
Senator phone fax
Pavley (916)-651-4023 (916)-324-4823
Correa (916)-651-4034 (916)-323-2323
Simitian (916)-651-4011 (916)-323-4529
Yee (916)-651-4008 (916)-327-2186
Negrete-McLeod (916)-651-4032 (916)-445-0128
Wright (916)-651-4025 (916)-445-3712

AB 2000 stuck in Appropriations Committee, please help

AB 2000 “Molly’s Bill” which is sponsored by California Assemblymember Hagman is a simple compassionate bill that we support.  It would provide an option for a medical exemption for dogs that veterinarians determine could have severe adverse reactions to the rabies vaccination that is mandated in existing state law.   Currently dog owners have no choice.   Even if veterinarians warn a dog owner that rabies vaccination would almost certainly kill their dog, they are required by current state law to do it anyway.

After passing unanimously in the Assembly, AB 2000 is stuck in the Senate Appropriations Committee for reasons that make no sense.  The CDPH is claiming they would need to hire additional staff for 18 months to update their regulations related to canine rabies vaccinations.   The cost associated with this is causing the committee to hold the bill.   Nonsense, this is just not that complicated.  Key details were already hashed out during the legislative process as a result of discussions between the CDPH, veterinary groups, and other stakeholders.

Please contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ask them to pass AB 2000 “Molly’s Bill”

Senate Appropriations Committee contact information

Senator Christine Kehoe (Chair) (916) 651-4039
Senator Roy Ashburn (Vice-Chair) (916) 651-4018
Senator Elaine Alquist (916) 651-4013
Senator Ellen Corbett (916) 651-4010
Senator Bill Emmerson (916) 651-4037
Senator Mark Leno (916) 651-4003
Senator Curren Price (916) 651-4026
Senator Mimi Walters (916) 651-4033
Senator Lois Wolk (916) 651-4005
Senator Mark Wyland (916) 651-4038
Senator Leland Yee (916) 651-4008
CA MS/N Legislation SB 250

Response to SB 250 Misinformation

The lobbying firm retained by SB 250 supporters has been giving a “Background Sheet” of misinformation about this bill to legislators.

CLAIM: SB 250 DOES NOT APPLY to an owner of a licensed dog or cat.

FACT: SB 250 DOES APPLY to the owner of a licensed dog.

SECTION 1. 30804.6 (b) of SB 250 reads:

(b) The licensing agency shall utilize its existing procedures or
may establish procedures for the denial or revocation of an
unaltered dog license
and may deny or revoke a license for one or more of the following reasons:
(1) The owner, custodian, applicant or licensee is not in
compliance with all of the requirements of this section.
(2) The owner, custodian, applicant, or licensee has violated a
state law, or a city, county, or other local governmental provision
relating to the care and control of animals.
(3) Any unaltered dog license held by the applicant has been
revoked for violating a state law, or a city, county, or other local
government provision relating to the care or control of animals.
(4) The license application is discovered to contain a material
misrepresentation or omission of fact.
(5) In any case in which the owner or custodian of a dog with
an unaltered dog license is cited for permitting the dog to roam at
large, the license of the dog shall not be subject to revocation for
a first violation, if at the time the dog roams at large the dog
possesses a current license pursuant to Section 30801, Section
121690 of the Health and Safety Code, or as required by the local
licensing agency.

This means that if a licensed dog is not wearing its collar and the owner is citied for the dog not wearing its license or rabies tag, the owner may have the unaltered dog licenses revoked for all dogs he then owns and also be forbidden from licensing any unaltered dogs ever again. Since dog licensing is mandatory under existing state law, the owner would not be allowed to own an intact dog ever again.

This means that if a licensed dog gets loose from its owner’s property twice within 15 years and the owner is cited for violating the leash law / at large law, the owner may have the unaltered dog licenses revoked for all dogs he then owns and also be forbidden from licensing any unaltered dogs ever again. Since dog licensing is mandatory under existing state law, the owner would not be allowed to own an intact dog ever again.

This does not encourage dog licensing. It is mandatory spay-neuter for all dogs a person owns now and into the future due to minor infractions already subject to appropriate fines. It is an excessive penalty, comparable to forbidding a person from registering a car due to a broken taillight.

CLAIM: SB 250 DOES NOT APPLY to an owner or breeder of any licensed dog used for shepherding, herding, guarding livestock, cultivating agricultural products, hunting or the purposes of field trials, or to any owner or trainer of a guide dog, signal dog, service dog, peace officer’s dog, or firefighter’s dog.

FACT: SB 250 DOES NOT adequately protect these dogs or other working dogs because:

  • Before they become guide dogs for the blind, signal dogs for the deaf, or service dogs for the disabled – or breeding dogs used to produce the future generation these dogs — they spend the first year of their lives
    unaltered and in the homes of volunteer puppy raisers. Puppy raisers are not legally the “owner or trainer” and these dogs are not yet “guide dogs, signal dogs, or service dogs”. While they are with puppy raisers,
    these dogs are not exempt from the provisions in SB 250.
  • Search-and-rescue dogs have no exemption at all in SB 250. Search-and-rescue area search and cadaver dogs work and train off leash and without their collars for safety reasons. Many local ordinances make no exceptions for search-and-rescue dogs in their leash laws / at large laws or in their requirements that dogs wear their license or rabies tags. SB 250 increases penalties for search-and-rescue dog owners to include revocation or denial of unaltered dog licenses.
  • Before they become peace officer’s dogs for police service work, drug sniffing, or bomb sniffing, these dogs are in pet homes. Most of the time neither the dog owner nor anyone else has any idea he is raising a
    future law enforcement dog. These are dogs bred for work that may grow up into adults that are “too much dog” for the pet owner to handle. If this happens the dogs are rehomed back to the breeder or other intermediary, and if suitable end up in being sold to law enforcement. But before this happens these dogs are subject to all of the same provisions in the law as any other pet. SB 250 does not have an exemption during that time, and cannot do so because no one – not even the pet owner – knows he is raising a future law enforcement dog. Dogs that a spayed or neutered before they are 18 to 24 months of age rarely grow up to be suitable for police service work.
  • Dogs used for shepherding, herding, guarding livestock, and cultivating agricultural products are not protected from the provisions of SB 250 because the bill allows local ordinances to override the exemption.
  • Dogs used for hunting and field trials are not protected from the provisions of SB 250 because the bill allows local ordinances to override the exemption.
  • The breeding populations that produce the next generation of working dogs are largely unprotected. With or without exemptions for the working dogs themselves, or those owned by today’s breeders, there is no way to craft exemption language to protect the breeding populations required to supply future working dogs because a large percentage of future breeding dogs for work are not in the homes of today’s breeders or working dog handlers. They are not legally distinguishable from pet dogs.