Friday, August 27, 2010

A Quick Thought, California

A field-bred Labrador makes a great pet for anyone who bought a raffle ticket on a lark. God told me so.

The California assembly is once again using The People's Time and The People's Money (of which they no longer have any) to give unwarranted parliamentary benefit to a hairbrained scheme to sterilize every privately-owned dog and cat in the state. It could even pass the assembly.

You can read about it here.

And here.

So here's a thought, Californians who claim to love animals and have their welfare at heart while ignoring every data point about what happens when the gubmint mandates the surgical sterilization of privately-owned animals ...

Why not use some of that misplaced energy -- the time and effort you put into trying to get into your fellow citizens' private bidness, and their pets' very private gonads -- to make puppy raffles illegal.

The way they are in every other semi-civilized place. But not California.

This kennel announced in this Facebook post that they are raffling off a pup.

When questioned on this choice -- a curious one for a self-styled "premier breeding, boarding, and training center" that specializes in field-bred Labradors -- the proprietor responded that

I have never been of the attitude that it is my responsibility to vet people to see if they meet criteria set by us to be worthy of owning a dog. Over the yrs. I have seen kids helped by sympathetic adults win a puppy they otherwise couldn't afford at a DU dinner. In the past our dogs have always went to not only good people but the best! I believe it is God's duty to sort out people.

I wonder if The Almighty has consented to be unilaterally assigned that "duty" by this kennel owner. Most Judeo-Christian scripture seems to place the duties of animal husbandry and animal welfare firmly on the shoulders of the earthly owner of the animal. I am taking a risk here and assuming the proprietor is not a Jain or an Animist or something.

So what say you, Californians? This should be a no-brainer. Outlaw puppy raffles in the next session of the assembly, bringing California into line with 1970's-era animal welfare standards. It literally costs the state nothing.


  1. SB 250 is indeed a mess, but not for the reasons I've read from its opponents. It seems that both sides are either arguing against things that aren't in the bill, or are hiding things that are in it and are deliberately dissembling.

    Mandatory spay/neuter is a disaster for small-time breeders. But as far as dogs are concerned, SB 250 rewrites Section 30804.6(a)(3) of the Agricultural Code to read

    An owner or custodian of an unsterilized dog shall have the dog sterilized by the age of six months, obtain a certificate of sterility, or, if provided for by ordinance of the responsible city, county, or city and county, obtain an unaltered dog license in accordance with this section.

    Nowhere, so far as I can tell, does it flatly criminalize having an intact dog, save for violations of animal health and safety codes, though the paragraph above certainly opens the doors to municipalities outlawing intact dogs altogether by simply forbidding the licensing of unaltered dogs.

    Where I find the SB 250 proponents fudging things is when they talk about stray cats, because of added section 31751.40(a)(1):

    It is unlawful for any person who owns, keeps, or harbors any unsterilized cat six months of age or older to allow or permit that unsterilized cat to roam at large.

    It seems to me a straightforward step -- and I Am Not A Lawyer, so take this with that large grain of salt -- to go from feeding feral cats to being accused of "harboring" same cats. (We won't go into this case.)

  2. Of course, I should add that I oppose mandatory spay/neuter on the grounds that it doesn't do what its advocates claim, or if it does, they haven't advanced adequate data showing as much.

  3. If things don't work out, does god give refunds and/or help rehome the pup?

  4. Okay Rob, now try to obtain an unaltered dog license, and report back.


    This is the bill-writer's attempt to get MSN in the back door, since the spectacular crash 'n' burn of AB 1634 (and its sponsor, the notorious Lightbulb Lloyd) in the last Assembly session.

    Same cast of characters, same rhetoric, same goals, same bald-faced lies. (Like the repeated "SAR dogs are exempt" claim -- which is not anywhere in the bill. Nowhere.)

    The current parliamentary shenanigans are beyond anything I've ever heard of in any legislature outside of Texas, for any bill on any subject.

  5. Yeah try getting that intact dog permit for a pit bull. NO not likely no how.

  6. To borrow from the lingo of a not entirely dissimilar issue, licenses for intact dogs are available on a "may issue" rather than a "shall issue" basis?

  7. "May" indeed.

    And at any price desired.

    Currently $150/year/dog in Sacramento County, ferinstance -- if you can get one.

    I've had as many as three SAR dogs/trainees that were unaltered.


    Also has the shockingly unpredictable consequence of wiping license compliance to near-zero and discouraging rabies vaccination.


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