AB 2243 would improve California’s emergency response system

pelemarkSave Our Dogs supports California Assembly Bill 2243 (Smyth) .

When emergencies strike, search-and-rescue handler-dog teams that provide life-saving services often need to travel considerable distances with no advance notice.  While traveling as part of their official duties, these teams often require access to lodging, public transportation, and other travel services.  And yet this access is often impeded or denied by policies that discriminate against those who bring their dogs.

Existing California state law provides protections against discrimination when peace officer and firefighter handler-dog teams travel on official business with their dogs.   AB 2243 would extend these protections to search-and-rescue handler-dog teams.

At no cost to the taxpayers, AB 2243 would improve California’s emergency response system.

AB 2243 passed the state Assembly unanimously, 76-0.   It now awaits action by the Senate Judiciary Committee.


AB 2689 to modernize California rabies law

Save Our Dogs supports Assembly Bill 2689 (amended 4/22/2010), sponsored by Assemblymember Cameron Smyth. This bill would modernize existing California state law as it pertains to rabies vaccination paperwork.

Current California state law requires dog owners to provide proof to their local dog licensing authority that their dogs have been vaccinated for rabies. But the law is archaic and has been interpreted to require that the actual rabies vaccination paperwork be delivered or snail mailed to the dog owner’s local licensing authority.

Modern methods of providing proof of rabies vaccination include: fax, email, telephone, and online forms on the Internet. Current California state law does not allow for any of these options. AB 2689 would fix that, and dog owners would benefit.

AB 2689 would pave the way for the user-friendly dog licensing options that helped create the best animal control program in North America in Calgary Canada.

The modest change AB 2689 makes to state law would enable these benefits:

  • make it easier for dog owners to license their dogs
  • by removing the hassle, increase the number of licensed dogs
  • because more dogs picked up stray will be licensed, increase return-to-owner rates for dogs that get loose
  • decrease the number of dogs euthanized in animal shelters – saving dogs’ lives
  • improve the efficiency of local governments’ rabies compliance and licensing programs
  • increase dog licensing revenue for local governments

AB 2689 is a win-win for all stakeholders.   An earlier version of the bill contained provisions that dog owners objected to, so Assemblymember Smyth amended the bill to remove those provisions.

AB 2689 is a good bill and Save Our Dogs supports it.

AB 2689 is scheduled for a hearing and vote in the Assembly Local Government Committee on April 21.

California dog owners can phone their support to the Committee at (916) 319-2038 or (916) 319-3958 .

On May 6, AB 2689 passed the Assembly unanimously, 74-0.

On June 10, AB 2689 passed the Senate Heath Committee unanimously, 5-0.

[Update] A section of current California law (Health & Safety Code Section 121690) was copied and pasted into AB 2689 (as amended 4/15/2010) and this has generated some confusion.

AB 2689 would NOT  change anything in current state law pertaining to how frequently rabies vaccinations need to given or how frequently dog licenses need to be renewed.

AB 2689 would NOT impose a requirement for annual rabies vaccinations.

The purpose of copying the current law into AB 2689 was to clean up some awkward wording:

“It shall be the duty of the governing body of each city, city and county, or county…”


The governing body of each city, city and county, or county shall…”

“It shall be the responsibility of each city, county, or city and county to…”


“Each city, county, or city and county shall…”

It’s minor wordsmithing.

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.

Track Record

ASPCA – mandatory spay/neuter laws do not work

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recently issued a Position Statement on Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws, in which they state:


the ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law.


in at least one community that enacted an MSN law, fewer pets were subsequently licensed, likely due to owners’ reluctance to pay either the high fee for keeping an unaltered animal or the fee to have the pet altered

Spay/Neuter Health

AVMA Opposes Mandatory Spay/Neuter

As expected, the American Veterinary Medical Association has followed the lead of their expert advisory boards on spay/neuter issues, and issued their own position statement against mandatory spay/neuter laws:

The AVMA does not support regulations or legislation mandating spay/neuter of privately owned, non-shelter dogs and cats. Although spaying and neutering helps control dog and cat populations, mandatory approaches may contribute to pet owners avoiding licensing, rabies vaccination and veterinary care for their pets, and may have other unintended consequences.

The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported on this in a news article entitled AVMA: Mandatory spay/neuter a bad idea