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
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.
CA MS/N Legislation SB 250

California SB 250 – Mandatory Spay/Neuter – immediate action required

Today Senator Florez pushed through amendments to SB 250.  The amendments, which can be found here, are not yet in print.  The amendments are very minor, and do nothing to address the reasons to oppose this bill.

Senator Florez may push for an Assembly vote as early as tomorrow or Friday.

If you do not want mandatory sterilization for dogs and cats in California, it is critical that you call or fax the office of your Assembly member today.   It takes less than 1 minute to politely tell the person who answers the phone — or leave a polite message — along the lines of:

“Hello, my name is [your name  ] and I live in [ name of city  ] California.  I am calling to ask Assemblymember [  ] to continue to oppose Senate Bill 250 – mandatory spay-neuter for dogs and cats – when it comes up for a vote.  The recent amendments do nothing to change any of the reasons for opposing this bill.  Thank you.”

You can find your California Assembly member here

Listed below are the members who voted no or abstained on SB 250 in 2009.


PHONE (All 916 )

FAX (All 916 )


Joel Anderson



Tom Berryhill



Sam Blakeslee



Marty Block



Joan Buchanen



Anna Caballero



Charles Calderon



Wesley Chesbro



Connie Conway



Mike Davis



Chuck Devore



Noreen Evans



Nathan Fletcher



Jean Fuller



Warren Furutani



Ted Gaines



Martin Garrick



Danny Gilmore



Curt Hagman



Diane Harkey



Alyson Huber



Kevin Jeffries



Steve Knight



Dan Logue



Jeff Miller



Brian Nestande



Roger Niello



Jim Nielson



John Perez



V. Manual Perez



Mary Salas



Jim Silva



Nancy Skinner



Cameron Smyth



Audra Strickland



















Anthony Adams



Bill Berryhill



Paul Cook



Cathleen Galgiani



Isadore Hall



Bonnie Lowenthal



Fiona Ma



Bill Monning



Lori Saldana



This is as critical as it gets.  Please take action today.

CA MS/N Legislation SB 250

SB250 Stopped—for now

The California Legislature is winding down for the year and SB250 has been placed on the inactive file. That means no further action until next year. With your help we stopped SB250, but it’s not dead, yet. When the Legislature reconvenes next year Senator Florez can bring the bill back and pick up right where we left off, at the Assembly floor vote. Or he may just let it die.

It was your letters and faxes and phone calls that stopped this bad bill. We heard over and over at the Capitol that polite, well reasoned statements were greatly appreciated and made a real difference. Thank you for your support. Take a rest for a few weeks. We’re going to.

But the bill’s not dead yet either. If it comes back we’ll be ready with something you can do. So check back every so often, sign up for our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter. We’ll keep you up to date.

[Update] If you are looking for our Easy Letter, we have given it a rest as well. If SB250 comes back, so will the Easy Letter, shinier than ever.

CA MS/N Legislation SB 250

SB250 as amended August 31, 2009

The latest amendments are up. The most significant thing about these amendments is that they require the bill to go back to the Senate. Prior to these amendments, the bill only needed to pass in the Assembly before going to the Governor’s desk.

There are some minor changes, but nothing that makes the bill any better. Save Our Dogs opposes this latest version.

What is important however, is that this version contains language that purports to exempt a few classes of working dogs. As we have written before, exemptions for working dogs do not protect those dogs. This is no exception.

(l)  Nothing in this section shall apply to any of the following,
provided the subject dog is licensed pursuant to Section 30801,
Section 121690 of the Health and Safety Code, or as required by
the local licensing agency:

(2) Any owner or breeder of a dog used in the business of
cultivating agricultural products.

This “exemption” was added specifically to cover insect detection dogs used to detect insect pests in vineyards. Let us consider the hypothetical case of an insect detection dog, Rita.

This is a new-ish use for dogs, so although Rita is the most experienced dog in the State, she is just two years old. She is intact and her owner/handler plans on breeding her someday, but this has nothing to do with Rita’s ability to do her job. This exemption covers Rita. But what about Rita’s parents?

Neither of Rita’s parents were insect detection dogs. Nor were they police dogs, service dogs, hunting dogs or any of the other “exempt” categories. Nor are the owners of Rita’s parents involved in any of the special businesses that would qualify them for exemptions. So Rita’s parents would suffer the full weight of the law. And if either of them had been spayed/neutered then Rita would never have been born. The exemption does not protect Rita.

Let us suppose, though that Rita’s father, Rex, was owned by a police dog trainer. Under another section, Rex would be exempt when he was bred to Rita’s mother. But Rex was purchased at 18 months of age from a private individual. Rex’s first owner bought him as a pet, but then discovered that Rex was too much dog and found a place where Rex could do what he was born to do. But for the first 18 months of his life Rex was not owned by a police dog trainer and so was not exempt. If Rex’s first owner had neutered him at 6 months old as the law requires, then there would be no Rita and insects would overrun the California vineyards.

The problem with the specific exemption language in this version of SB250, and with all attempts to exempt working dogs, is that there is no bright line between the parents of working dogs and pets. Further this law requires that this non-existent bright line be drawn when the dog is 6 months old. It is simply impossible to protect the breeding stock for future working dogs without exempting all dogs. It is only when the dogs are five and eight years old and their offspring are working that you can say, “this dog is breeding stock for working dogs”, These laws require that the dog be identified at six months and that is impossible.

The only thing that this language does is perhaps mislead some people into believing that police dogs, service dogs, herding dogs and others are protected. We need to do everything in our power to explain that these so-called exemptions do nothing. Please contact your representative and explain this to them. All California working dogs need your help.

SB 250

SB 250: Assembly Appropriations Committee Update

SB 250 was heard today in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Senator Florez waived his right to present his case. The Chair allowed for 2 speakers in support and 2 in opposition. NO ONE spodollar-sign-5ke in support of the bill. Cathie Turner (Concerned Dog Owners of California) and Angie Niles (NAIA) presented the opposition’s fiscal case.

Two of the Democrats on the committee expressed serious reservations about the bill.

Assemblymember Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles) showed a very short stack of support letters and and very tall stack of opposition letters. Nice job getting those letters sent, it makes a difference!

Assemblymember Charles Calderon (D-Montebello) said:

I hope that legislators will STOP bringing these bills. They don’t need the state to get involved or to intervene. This bill may be about euthanasia … but … this bill just doesn’t die!!

Right on, Assemblymember Calderon!

SB 250 was put into the Appropriations Committee “Suspense” file, a kind of holding pattern which is required for bills that are projected to have a significant fiscal impact to the California state budget. We need to keep contacting our assembly members and ask them to kill SB 250. Letting a bill die by never taking it out of the Suspense file is the easiest way for the majority party to kill an unpopular bill that originated from one of their own.

SB 250

SB 250 Clears Assembly Business and Professions Committee

SB 250 was passed out of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. Six for, four against. Once again the bill seems to have passed on “courtesy” votes. The state is about to start paying its bills with IOUs and the Legislature is passing an expensive dog killing bill on “courtesy” votes? What happened to actually voting based on the merits of the bill?

Next the bill goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Given that the California Department of Finance came down hard against the bill, it really should die in Appropriations. We’ll have information up on contacting the Committee soon. Thanks for your help so far and keep up the good work. You may not see it in the votes, but your calls and letters do have an impact.