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Here's a really great letter from a veterinarian in San Diego which sheds some light on why vets and the CVMA seem to have a disconnect between being for or against AB1634. The doctor writes a brilliant letter.


June 1, 2007

Sharon Vanderlip, D.V.M.
Lakeside, California 92040
California License #7846

To The Esteemed California Assemblymembers:

I am a veterinarian licensed to practice in California and I vehemently oppose AB1634 as amended May 31, 2007. California veterinarians overwhelmingly oppose AB1634. Unfortunately, the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) did not poll its membership or non-CVMA member veterinarians before deciding to sponsor AB1634.

For 28 years I have worked in reproductive medicine. I have worked extensively with responsible dog breeders and I have also worked in a very large California animal shelter. I have performed thousands of spays and neuters during my professional career, including early spays/neuters. I am convinced that AB1634 is a disastrous bill that will not solve a single problem, but will definitely create many more. This letter explains some reasons how and why AB1634 WILL SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE NUMBERS OF ANIMALS IMPOUNDED, ABANDONED, AND EUTHANIZED EVERY YEAR.

Veterinary medical decisions, including when/if to spay/neuter an animal, should be made by veterinarians and the pets’ owners, not by politicians. I am a proponent of spay/neuter, but on a medical case by case basis, when the time is right for each individual animal patient.

For complex physiological reasons, young puppies and kittens cannot clear some drugs and medications from their bodies, or tolerate anesthesia and surgery, as well as adolescent or adult animals can. Puppies and kittens can develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and have difficulty maintaining a normal body temperature during and after anesthesia. The three main causes of death in puppies and kittens are hypothermia, hypoglycemia, and dehydration—all of which can occur as a result of anesthesia and surgery and can progress to shock and death. In short, puppies and kittens are high risk patients.

Words create images in our minds and direct our thoughts—and our decisions. “Neuter” and “spay” sound harmless and suggest these are simple procedures without consequences. These words don’t raise mental images of incisions, organs, blood—or risks. “Spay”, derived from the French word espeier, means “to cut with a sword”. Castration, from Latin, castratio, means “to cut”. Now, with these original words in our heads, our mental images change from something benign to something startling. For balance, we should call these procedures by their correct names that describe what they really are: gonadectomy, ovariohysterectomy, castration. By doing so, we remain cognizant of the difficulties and risks associated with an invasive intra-abdominal surgical procedure (including those required for abdominally retained testicles), the removal of body parts, and their long-term effects.

Gentle words like “spay” and “neuter” have lulled many non-veterinarians into a casual, worry-free attitude toward these surgical procedures. Politicians and animal activists supporting AB1634 also take these surgical procedures and their profound medical consequences casually— so casually as to mandate the procedures for young pet companions with a broad brush stroke in a “one size fits all” approach. This is an excellent example of why politicians and animal activists must not be allowed to dictate how veterinarians practice their profession. It's dangerous and it's wrong.

AB1634 is seriously flawed on many counts, beginning with its deliberately deceptive misnomer. This bill is not a "healthy" pet act. It will not help animals or improve their health. It will not reduce the shelter animal population. It will not reduce the number of animal euthanasias. To the contrary, the number of animals in shelters and the number of euthanasias will increase as people who cannot afford to spay/neuter their pets, or cannot afford the fines associated with non-compliance, will abandon their animals, relinquish them to shelters, or have them euthanized. This is what has already happened in other municipalities that have attempted similar legislation.

AB1634 will open the floodgates for puppy smuggling from Mexican puppy mills and other areas. Several thousands of puppies are smuggled through San Diego annually. These puppies are invariably taken from their mothers too soon, are very sick, heavily parasitized, and near death when confiscated after traveling in the cruelest of conditions tucked away in the wheel wells or crevices of vehicles. These smuggled puppies contribute to the number of euthanasias that supporters of AB1634 decry. I know, because I’ve seen several hundreds of these animals. In addition, out of state puppy mills (commercial dog breeding farms that produce puppies for profit, without regard to health, quality, socialization, or temperament) will ship young puppies of inferior quality into California, while responsible dog breeders will be seriously restricted in their ability to raise their top quality dogs and protect their breeds’ valuable gene pool. The ever growing demand for puppies will be filled with animals from puppy mills. These puppies are often sick and many have genetic defects (such as abdominally retained testicles, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, luxated patellas). When pet owners cannot afford to treat the problems, many puppy mill puppies end up in the shelter and add to the euthanasia statistics. I have witnessed this countless times. These animals also pose a zoonotic (diseases contagious between humans and animals) threat to public health.

AB1634 does nothing to address the biggest, shelter population and euthanasia problem: feral cats. These are wild, untamed cats without owners. These cats are largely the offspring of other feral cats, not of client owned cats. More than 85 percent of cat owners neuter their cats. Feral cats spread zoonotic diseases, kill songbirds, and struggle to survive. Eventually they are hit by cars; eaten by predators; or die of starvation, disease, or fight wounds. The rest end up in animal shelters. The large majority of feral cats in animal shelters are seriously ill, injured, pregnant, fractious and non-adoptable. It has been estimated that feral cats account for 70 percent of shelter euthanasias. AB1634 does not address and will not solve the feral cat problem.

AB1634 unfairly penalizes responsible pet owners and breeders. Dog breeders are an asset to their community. They educate pet owners, provide quality companions and service dogs, hold events that bring revenue to California estimated at more than one hundred million dollars annually, and, through their numerous breed clubs, they rescue several thousand animals every year, preventing these animals from ending up in shelters.

Supporters of AB1634 quote total shelter euthanasia numbers when they argue in favor of their bill. This might lead the uninformed to assume that all those animals euthanized in shelters were adoptable. The truth is, a large number of animals housed and euthanized in shelters are non-adoptable feral cats (approximately 70 percent). Another large part of the animal euthanasia total includes smuggled animals that are near death; animals that are not adoptable for behavioral reasons (such as vicious fighting dogs, numerous and common in California); animals with serious health conditions (such as advanced cancer) that cannot be treated; and animals that are very old and suffering from severe or terminal illnesses. California’s responsible dog breeders and responsible pet owners are not responsible for these euthanasias. Yet, they are the people who would be unfairly penalized by AB1634. Note: There is a shortage of puppies available for adoption in many areas of California. Some shelters import puppies from other areas to adopt out to meet their communities’ demand for puppies.

Rabies is a serious, fatal, zoonotic disease that is present in California. Puppies and kittens should be vaccinated against rabies at 16 weeks of age. A very serious potential public health endangerment that would result from AB1634 is that people who cannot afford to spay/neuter their pets, or who refuse to comply with AB1634, will not bring their pets to their veterinarians for rabies vaccination because of fear of being cited and fined for non-compliance. As a result, we can anticipate an increase in rabies cases. We can also expect more animal health problems and subsequent relinquishments at shelters as owners whose pets need health care may not take them to their veterinarians because they are worried they will be fined for not having their pets neutered. AB1634 states that veterinarians are not part of the “enforcement team”, but it is inevitable that we will be expected to be, and this will seriously damage our relationships with our clients.

Educating the public (starting with children at an early age) about responsible pet ownership and encouraging spay/neuter when appropriate (things veterinarians and responsible breeders do very well every day), working with outreach and rescue groups, addressing the major sources of the problems (such as feral cats, fighting pit bulls, smuggled animals) and securing our borders, would be some logical areas to focus efforts to reduce the number of animals in shelters and reduce the number of euthanasias. AB1634 does none of these things. Responsibility cannot be legislated. Responsibility must be taught and learned.

Veterinarians have spent thousands of collective hours opposing AB1634 and trying to educate members of the legislature and the CVMA, who have been either misinformed or misled by the bill’s advocates. Pet owners and breeders have spent considerable time and effort opposing AB1634, trying to defend their pets and protect their property rights in our free country. And supporters of AB1634 strain credulity as they spend thousands of dollars fighting to mandate the removal of every pet's gonads. Those wasted dollars could have been spent on a good cause for animals, rather than on efforts to interfere with the medical care of privately owned pets and violating the veterinarian/patient/client relationship.

AB1634 is an outrageous bill. It will not solve any problems and it will create many more.

Thank you for opposing AB1634.

Sharon Vanderlip, D.V.M.
California License #7846
 

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WOW

i hope this doesnt fall to deaf ears and it helps the cause
And above all i hope that some breeders that do EARLY SPAY read it!!!


QUOTE>


"For complex physiological reasons, young puppies and kittens cannot clear some drugs and medications from their bodies, or tolerate anesthesia and surgery, as well as adolescent or adult animals can. Puppies and kittens can develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and have difficulty maintaining a normal body temperature during and after anesthesia. The three main causes of death in puppies and kittens are hypothermia, hypoglycemia, and dehydration-all of which can occur as a result of anesthesia and surgery and can progress to shock and death. In short, puppies and kittens are high risk patients.

Words create images in our minds and direct our thoughts-and our decisions. "Neuter" and "spay" sound harmless and suggest these are simple procedures without consequences. These words don't raise mental images of incisions, organs, blood-or risks. "Spay", derived from the French word espeier, means "to cut with a sword". Castration, from Latin, castratio, means "to cut". Now, with these original words in our heads, our mental images change from something benign to something startling. For balance, we should call these procedures by their correct names that describe what they really are: gonadectomy, ovariohysterectomy, castration. By doing so, we remain cognizant of the difficulties and risks associated with an invasive intra-abdominal surgical procedure (including those required for abdominally retained testicles), the removal of body parts, and their long-term effects. "
[/b]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nancy, she does make a very strong case in the issue of early spay/neuter. Her letter is chock full of important information.

Another point she made was something Jac and I have discussed... my old adage of "Follow the Money." I've said we need to get the numbers on what the canine industry contributes to the California economy. Dr. Vanderlip actually has the figure of what this may cost the State in lost revenue.

AB1634 unfairly penalizes responsible pet owners and breeders. Dog breeders are an asset to their community. They educate pet owners, provide quality companions and service dogs, hold events that bring revenue to California estimated at more than one hundred million dollars annually, and, through their numerous breed clubs, they rescue several thousand animals every year, preventing these animals from ending up in shelters.
I'm advised by my sister, who shows one of her Goldens in the Midwest, that breeders will boycott shows in any state that enacts a law such as this one. There is already a lot of flap on one site calling for permanent cancellation of a huge annual show in Long Beach, since their two assemblymen promised to abstain from a vote on AB1634, then voted in favor of it. If Long Beach has proven itself to be unfriendly to dogs, there is no reason for them to enjoy the revenue.
 

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Boy Howdy

You sure got that right,
I cant help but feel this is government trying to hard to rule our lives, which scares the beegeebees outta me
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Very good letter indeed I copied and pasted some points she made to send in for myself.
Excellent, Linda!

The most effective letter makes only one or two strong points, and they are quick to recognize and discount the form letters. I strongly feel that we ought to each pick one or two points that resonates with us, and give it our best shot. Speak from the heart!
 

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Wow! Deb, thank you so much for posting this! It is a powerful, passionate and reasonable plea.
Where was it posted? I would love to respond and thank this Doctor. She obviously has a lot of knowledge and courage. I applaud her and I am so grateful for her writing.
She is credible. She knows, better than anyone else, why this Bill is bad. I hope that it reaches the right people and will be heard.
And, you are so right, you have been all along, it is about numbers and dollars.
I wish some news agency would pick it up and interview HER!
 

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Hal Fishman commentary about Bill AB1634

On June 8, 2007 Hal Fishman of KTLA spoke out against bill AB1634 during his commentary. You can see a viedo of his commentary by going to the KTLA web-site. I hope maybe this will reach a wider audiance and make more citizens aware of what these politicains are trying to do to us!! Go Hal!!
 

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Sue, I went to their site and couldn't find anything...do you have any idea where I would look if I wanted to see the clip? (I know nothing about this station or what show this Hal Fishman is on...or a commentary....just dont' know where to look.)
Thanks...I am very glad to see the press speaking out against it.
Our County Board of Supervisors has come out against it too, so our county should be fine, even if it passes...but when the sups get the smell of money in fees, well, everything could change!
 

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Link to Hal Fishmans commentary

Hi Jac: Here is the link to his commentary. All the different video commentaries are listed right below his picture, just click on the one you want to see. Try this right away because they change them every 2 weeks. I hope this works but if it doesn't let me know and I will try it again. He is on the prime time news and you can click on that link to find him. http://ktla.trb.com/news/local/eveningn ... ing-news-1
 

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It worked! Wonderful commentary! Thank you so much for sharing it...I finally feel that maybe, just maybe, people will listen! I hope so!
 

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Interesting topic. We had a similar issue at the county level here. The mandatory spay-neuter law was being sponsored by the people who run the local Humane Society (good people, just misguided in this case) and later opposed by local vets and outraged pet owners who were able to kill the bill just as the county council was about to approve it. It took the huge public outcry to keep this insidious bill from being sneaked by. I think the proponents of these bills mean well as they certainly do such amazing work for the well being of animals and are daily witnesses to the consequences of irresponsible pet owners. That being said, it was agreed upon by most here that more education is needed and not more laws.
 

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I agree, Susana, but they do tend to have myopic vision on the subject, understandably.
I could not work in a place where I had to put healthy animals to sleep (even sick ones, for that matter) so I do understand what motivates them...
But there are just too many facets to this problem to see this Bill pass and accomplish what they intend it to accomplish.
 

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Hi Sue, thanks for asking...here is the AKC web information:

"AB 1634 will first be heard by the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee on Monday, July 9th. At this time, it is imperative that breeders and concerned dog owners focus their efforts on this committee. Contact your Senator and the committee members and express your opposition to the bill. Letters must be sent to the committee by 5 P.M., Monday, July, 2nd, to ensure that your opposition is noted for the official bill analysis.

Again, please focus your efforts on the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee. In the event the bill passes this committee, we will then focus efforts on the Senate Local Government Committee. "

Visit http://www.akc.org/canine_legislation/C ... center.cfm for ideas regarding what you can do to help...and we need all the action we can get!

Also, after noting this post by Maureen, where a vet is opposing the Bill, I read a great idea on one of the websites...the CVMA supports, even sponsors, this Bill...if everyone, in every state but especially in CA, would find out if their vet belongs to the CVMA and tell that vet that they no longer will support a vet who belongs to this organization due to the support of this Bill. I read a response from CVMA trying to clarify their stance due to the terrific pressure they have had from their members who are in opposition and who are losing clients due to the CVMA stance...well, if we continue to push them, we may see some major retractions. At least I hope so!

So, there are still things that we can do, and I hope that everyone shares the responsibility...whether or not you live in CA.

The fact is, that if this Bill passes in California, it won't be long before it passes in your state and...before you know it, breeding Labradoodles will be so impossible that only the millers will be in business! (Good breeders will be driven out by the laws, millers don't abide by the law anyway and they don't care...so they will continue to breed inferior, sick and unhappy puppies.)
 

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Thanks for the great info

Hi Jac: Thanks for all the great info. I will definately check my vets to see if they support this. So far everyone I have run into is against it. Why should we be told what we can do with our animals. I went into a dog supply store and was given a flyer against the Kern county ordinance they have been trying to pass. They had a town meeting here and every one was so up in arms about this whole thing they wouldn't even let the guy talk! It was held in a large hall and was filled. These weren't breeders, just citizens who don't want the politicians telling them what to do! I sure hope we can make enough noise to get this thing killed.
 

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We have similar support here. When I see letters to the editor in our local paper...and even editorials from the newspaper staff...overwhelmingly, they oppose the Bill.
I hope that it makes the Senators and Governor pay attention.
Plus I am calling and writing letters...as much as I can!
Thanks, Sue, I appreciate your input and your help!
 
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