California Healthy Pets Act

PuppiesA bill called California Healthy Pets Act (AB1634) is being proposed which would require the spaying or neutering of most cats and dogs by the time they are four-months-old. If pet owners do not get their pet spayed or neutered, they will be charged a fine.

The pets that are exempt from this law are: purebreds that are registered with the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, the American Breeders Association or the International Cat Association (how about designer dogs like labradoodles or mutts?) and whose owners have a special permit, service dogs, police dogs, and pets whose health is at risk. Local animal control agencies will be enforcing the act and the fines collected will be used to offer more free or low-cost snip snip programs.

Supporters of the act say that altered pets live longer and healthier lives, reduce the danger of stray animals, rabies bites and dog bites (intact dogs are three times more likely to bite humans) and will save taxpayers’ dollars (CA governments spend about $250 million a year to shelter or euthanize animals).

Opposition — mostly breeders — to this bill says that it will force them to go underground and won’t have any impact on the number of strays. Some are worried that pets that get spayed/neutered too young are more probable to have cancer or hip dysplasia.

This legislation is not new. Rhode Island already has a law for mandatory spaying/neutering for cats and New Mexico is proposing a similar bill. Can’t we just all get along?

13 Responses to “California Healthy Pets Act”

  1. Heather says:

    Actually, it’s not REPUTABLE breeders that have a problem with this ordinance. REPUTABLE breeders don’t want any Joe Schmo breeding. REPUTABLE breeders do it for the betterment of the breed.
    The kind of breeders that have a problem with this ordinance are PUPPYMILLS, BACKYARD BREEDERS, and irresponsible people that want to have JUST one litter. :rollseyes:

  2. rjc says:

    Actually, it *is* the reputable breeders who are worried. If you read the bill you find out that the local governments may impose any fee they want on intact dogs. The puppy mills are exempt from spay/neuter rules because they’re a business. They just have to pay the fee which, because they’re for profit is no big deal. The responsible breeders who either just get by or lose money could be forced to abandon breeding (or califonia) all together, leaving less competition and alowing the puppy mills to thrive. This is a typical, poorly thought out attempt to look good while actually benefitting the deep pocketed puppy mills.

  3. rjc says:

    Not only that, purebreds are no longer exempt. Only those who meet a number of other, ill thought out criteria

  4. Shari Mann says:

    For me, the issue is the health and welfare of *my pet*. And 4 months of age is just too young. Ears are not up, teeth are not in, the immune system is not fully functional — and the legislators are practicing veterinary medicine.

    I spay my girls and will continue to choose to do so. When they are mature, which for me means after a year of age; after at least one heat. Never had an unwanted pregnancy, and never will.

    For information on the health effects of spay / neuter, go here:

    Pros and cons are set forth in a clear, comprehensive way, complete with proper footnoting to veterinary journals. No “pro” or “con” position is taken.

    My view is, the government has no business practicing veterinary medicine.


  5. Dave says:

    I wonder if it would not be more beneficial to spay and neuter politicians.
    The negative consequences of spay and neuter of immature dogs is quite serious particualrly if the dog is involved in performance sports. Increaases in such problems as cruciate ligament rupture are related to the disproportionate body ratios resulting from the hormonal changes prior to the closing of growth plates. Many cancers also show up with increased frequency and at earlier ages. Dr. Christine Zink is an excelent resource in this area having done research and gathered statistics. Have you never wondered why nobody takes human hysterectomy lightly and long term pharmaceutical drug use is necessary to counteract resulting problems. Few Vetinarians have studied this problem and many are unwilling to even consider it for reaasons best left unsaid at this point.

  6. patientpup says:

    CA AB#1634 will devastate the pet population in California. What Heather called backyard breeders are often partners (co-owners) with breeders who want to keep their gene pool population in loving pet homes. For many rare breeds forcing the unshown dogs to be altered limits or eliminates breeding choices in the future. The Humane Society of the United States and PETA would like to see this happen.
    “One generation and out,” is the motive behind AB#1634, is not healthy pets, but no pets.

    Many families who are fortunate enough to buy an expensive pet will have limited choices, often buying out of state. For the family on a smaller budget, their next pet may come out of the back of a car behind the swap meet, too young and unvaccinated.

    Responsible owners are already doing the right thing and the criminals will continue to do what they do, creating a worse situation for pets.

    Sterilization should be a choice, not a government mandate.
    say No to AB#1634

  7. Monty says:

    obviously this is a problem caused by having no law to control it in the first place and no 4 months is not too young in the first place because animals can start reproducing as young as 6 months of age. you’d want this law because if you’re responsible why would you want to keep paying in taxes for the irresponsible owners out there. they should be forced to be responsible. we have laws out there such as the seat belt law to save lives this law saves the lives of future unwanted stray pets of irrresponsible owners. so yes we should have this if we care enough about our animals.

  8. J.B. says:

    This bill, like others of the same ilk is NOT about healthy pets, it is about our right to own private property.

    If citizens allow the continuing errosion of our rights via mandates like this one we will wake up not only pet-less but property-less as well.

    This is a wolf…in sheep’s clothing - invite it into your barn at your own peril.

    The time to take a stand for your rights to own your pets, and other property is now.

  9. Kathleen says:

    The proposed law AB1634 is unconstitional. This law like most others regarding pets are unconstitional. There are plenty of laws currently on the books to protect pets which are not enforced. We are becoming a nation of people who will soon have no freedoms where everything will be decided for us by some government official, this is wrong and not what America is about. I have the right to own pets and to care for them in what manner I choose as long as it is not abusive. Abuse is subjecting an animal to dangerous surgery to remove perfectly healthy organs because a small portion of our citizenship is ir-repsonbile and animal rights (so called) zealots do not want any animals owned by anyone including animals used as food.

    Wake up America, we have a right to make our OWN choices. Get government back to the business of keeping America safe from invaders and take back our lives as American Citizens.

  10. Itchmo » Blog Archive » California Healthy Pets Act Update says:

    […] Floor and is now moving on to the Senate to be voted on. The California Healthy Pets Act would require the spaying and neutering of most cats and dogs by the time the pet is four months old. The act is being proposed as a solution to pet […]

  11. JH says:

    Devastate the pet population? Hard to believe when milliions of unwanted dogs and cats are killed or abandoned every year. My gosh, does anybody commenting know how unbelievably horrendous the overpopulation problem out there is? Go work the steets, like I do, as one individual trying to stem the tide of cat overpopulation in a small valley in Oregon. The sheer numbers out there of unwanted cats, including Siamese and purebreds, is astounding. And also, very very sad, for the animals.

  12. JH says:

    We are also a nation of people who scream about too many cats, as happens here in Albany, Oregon, yet do not donate to volunteers trying to stem the tide and demand that volunteers solve the problems created by irresponsible citizens, who get pets and throw them out like trash. I believe a responsible law would state that any pet, cat, dog, whatever, allowed off property and is at any time not under your direct control, that animal must be fixed. Because, if a dog or cat is off property or not under direct control and not fixed, they become an issue to others and to communities. So, my take is, in deference to the private property do what you want people, if the cat or dog is on your property or under your complete control (leashed), then you do what you want. You also pay if your dog or cat gets loose and causes damage, including crap, to any neighbor’s property. If your unfixed male free roams and fights with other cats, thereby causing that owned fixed cat health issues, exposing him or her to diseases, like FIV, you, the irresponsible owner, pay. That would be responsible American freedom.

    I see very little responsible behavior out there. Or even kindness.

  13. jv says:

    If some one can go to the slammer for practicing medicine w/o a license why not throw your legislators in JAIL because they are practicing VETERINARY MEDICINE w/o a license. After they get out SPAY OR NEUTER THEM!

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