Truth in Neutering

Opponents of spay/neuter laws for dogs and cats are like opponents of health-care reform: They repeat the same false statements over and over, as if repetition equals truth. Thus it is with last week’s letter opposing spay/neuter laws [“Don’t Force Neutering,” 11/5/09]. First of all, the letter writer claims that since Lompoc’s law was passed, more dogs have entered the Lompoc shelter, not fewer. But Lompoc’s shelter accepts dogs from all over central Santa Barbara County; only a small percentage comes from Lompoc city, where the law is in effect. Using the shelter’s numbers to judge the ordinance is thus impossible.

Secondly, the letter claims that shelter numbers went up in L.A. because of its spay/neuter ordinance. In fact, L.A.’s ordinance went into effect just as the foreclosure crisis hit-leading to shelters swarming with animals everywhere, with or without a spay/neuter ordinance. (It’s the economy, stupid.)

And finally, the proposed ordinance doesn’t mandate spaying or neutering-only that you have to get a vet certificate as part of licensing. The vet certificate is mandatory; spaying/neutering is not.

Why is it that opponents never mention communities with successful programs? There’s San Mateo County (a 39 percent drop in shelter animals), Santa Cruz County (60 percent drop), and Lake County (10 percent drop in the first year).

Oh, and by the way, of the four dogs in the photo accompanying last week’s article on this topic, two were euthanized due to overcrowding [News, “Gonads Be Gone,”]. Funny how that never comes up either. - Paula Kislak, DVM and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association councilmember

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