|Editor's Note -- Dog Owner's Rights Under Attack
The introduction of crop and dock ban bills, breed specific legislation,
and mandatory spay/neuter ordinances is rampant across the United States.
From Los Angeles County, CA and Albuquerque, NM to San Antonio, TX and
Louisville, KY, local governments are embracing mandatory spay and neuter
ordinances as a panacea to deal with perceived pet overpopulation issues.
So far in 2006, we have seen the consideration of an ear cropping ban
bill in Vermont and the introduction of a crop and dock ban bill in
New York state. Breed specific legislation, banning the ownership and/or
breeding of certain breeds, plagues dog owners in scores of communities.
The need for a resolute dog fancy committed to protecting the
right to own and breed dogs has never been greater.
Our own complacency constitutes a serious threat to responsible dog
ownership. It is all too easy for a dog owner involved in breeds not
cropped or docked to have the view that crop and dock ban bills do not
affect me or my breeding program. The same attitude can dismiss the
relevance of breed specific legislation if your beloved breed or breeds
are not included in a proposed breed specific ban in your community.
Mandatory spay and neuter ordinances may provide exemptions, usually
for “competition/performance/show” dogs, so again the outlook
can be that my dog is in a “special class” and my right
to breed is exempted and protected under mandatory spay/neuter ordinances.
But exemption from mandatory spay and neuter requirements comes at
a high price. Albuquerque, NM requires an annual $150 intact animal
permit and a $150 litter permit, while Los Angeles County, CA features
a $60 intact animal license and a $175 litter permit if you choose to
breed a bitch. But the greatest cost to dog fanciers is not
monetary, instead mandatory spay/neuter and crop/dock bans and breed
specific legislation singly and collectively threaten the rights of
The menace of repressive dog legislation is not a complex issue, instead
it reduces to a simple question: who should make the decisions regarding
dog ownership and breeding - the responsible dog owner or the government?
If your answer is that owners and breeders should make those decisions,
then every piece of negative canine legislation introduced becomes an
issue requiring active opposition by everyone in the purebred dog community.
The common bond between all dog fanciers is our love of the purebred
dog. Dog fanciers have shared interests and we also have a shared
responsibility to protect the right to own and breed dogs.