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.