Posted Jul 12, 2007 03:27 am CDT
A proposed California bill that would have required pet owners to spay or neuter their animals or face a $500 fine has been tabled following an outpouring of support–and concern–from tens of thousands of state residents.
The huge response has prompted law-makers to stop and think before proceeding, reports the Los Angeles Times. Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), who sponsored the legislation and says he has received hate mail about it, removed it from consideration today but says he hopes to resurrect it in January. The new version may limit the fine to owners of unaltered animals who are picked up while running loose or are involved in other law violations in addition to simply being unaltered.
Proponents–including Bob Barker, host of the television show “The Price Is Right”–say the bill would help control irresponsible breeding that leads to large numbers of unwanted animals being euthanized, as an earlier ABAJournal.com post discusses. More than 450,000 unclaimed cats and dogs reportedly are put to death annually in California shelters, costing taxpayers some $300 million
However, others–including the American Kennel Club and the owner of several canines who starred in the “Lassie” television show–object to a so-called nanny state approach, in which a neutering law they see as overbroad would be enforced against many responsible owners who take care of their pets.