From: Jan Dykema
Sent: Wed, Dec 11, 2013 11:38 pm
Dear Supervisor Foy:
I spent the entire evening watching the entire public hearing on Ventura passing a mandatory spay/neuter law. Much of it was painful as I listened to erudite speakers having to defend their right to breed a litter of puppies without the government looking over their shoulder (or rather "inspecting" their private homes) and extracting fees and other fines, and .. let's call it what it really is, a TAX.. on people who wish to breed their dog.
I watched as speaker after speaker presented concrete evidence; facts and statistics that without any doubt showed that MSN does not work, never has worked and never will work. I watched as people decried and denied these facts as somehow irrelevant to Ventura County; as if it was somehow special and that what happens in LA is not relevant. It IS relevant, and always will be.
Facts are facts. The housing "bubble" cannot be blamed for years of proven statistics that show MSN does not work.
I live in Napa County. We do not have MSN. Lake County is the next county over, and they do have MSN . Their shelter kills many more animals than we do.
As I looked at Ventura County stats I wondered, how much better can they get? Your shelter is doing a great job, numbers are dropping at a huge rate, so why the need for this (I hesitate to use the word as it was so overworked) "tool"? It appears that you will reach the 90% rate in very little time if all continues as it has been, without MSN. I was impressed with the amount of VOLUNTARY surgeries that were already done in your area and with the fact they were low cost or even free. Good for you! It is working and working well, if all of that is true.
I will be forthcoming. I am a licensed American Kennel Club judge and an occasional breeder of English Bull Terriers ( the Target dog, General Patton or Spuds Mackenzie depending on your shopping habits, age and propensity for libations). I sit on the Board of Directors of the California Federation of Dog Clubs and have spent much time in Sacramento lobbying for people rights to own and breed animals of all types and for them to be able to use the animals for the work they were bred for, so I am not entirely neutral on this issue; but I try to be open minded because I am also a trained Humane Officer.
I did see that much information was handed to you all during the hearing. I wondered why? None of you had any time to read the information before the vote was taken, although it did seem that you ( and you alone) had time to look at the charts that were presented and at least absorb the information.
Animals are a very emotional issue, but all facts must be considered including loss of income for the county, and less licensing for dogs and cats. A major problem that I did not hear addressed in a very significant way was the drop in rabies vaccinations that occurs when punitive laws are put into effect. Rabies is not a dog issue. It is a serious public health issue and when people do not comply due to fear or interference, the risk is escalated to a degree that cannot be calculated until a human being is infected and dies.
Finally, I heard the words "No Kill" over and over again. And yet, no one actually reported who is the "father" of the No Kill movement. That would be Nathan Winograd. Mr. Winograd invented the words "No Kill" and has a very specific plan on how shelters can become "No Kill". Nowhere anywhere in his statements and writings regarding No Kill does Mr Winograd EVER say MSN is a part of the No Kill program. If fact, he intentionally says MSN NEVER helps the No Kill program and that MSN should never be a part of any No Kill program.
I have taken the liberty to include a few of Mr. Winograds information by attachments here. (all safe to open) Here is an excerpt:
"Moreover, mandatory spay/neuter laws are not a new or untested idea in the U.S. They have been around for decades and historically have been the favored form of pseudo-advocacy by the voices of tradition within the animal sheltering industry. In fact, many U.S. communities already have such laws. Are those communities No Kill? No, far from it. While mandatory spay/neuter laws have long been the siren song of the animal protection movement, the evidence proves that when implemented in the U.S., such laws have been disastrous. Over and over, mandatory spay/neuter legislation is pushed as a quick solution to high rates of shelter killing."
“If only we had a spay/neuter law” the argument goes, “all the bad, irresponsible people would have to take care of their pets properly, and shelters wouldn’t have to kill so many animals.” If this were true, given the proliferation of such punitive mandates nationwide, these laws would have already created many No Kill communities. That there are none as a result of mandatory spay/neuter laws proves that such legislation does not work. In fact, it often has the opposite effect. Communities that have passed such laws are not only far from No Kill; they are moving in the opposite direction, killing more, not fewer animals."
I hope Ventura County will be the exception to this rule but statistics and time do not bear this out.
Thank you for your support of less government interference in the lives of American citizens and for voting "no" on this ordinance. You would have my vote if I had one!
Certified Humane Officer
American Kennel Club Judge
BOD California Federation of Dog Clubs