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To fix or not to fix Fido? Give Simitian your answer

By rgordon
Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 at 4:56 pm in Uncategorized.

Got something to say about AB 1634, the proposed law that would require you to get your dog or cat fixed? Judging from the volume of calls and email he’s received about the bill, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, thinks you might.

Simitian sits on the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, which is expected to hear the bill sometime in the next few weeks. According to his staff, he’s gotten more than 100 emails and dozens of phone calls and letters on the matter. Some 15 to 20 constituents also brought it up during his recent “sidewalk office hours.”

To give his constituents of the human type (unlike the ones shown below) a chance to voice their perspective on the bill – and give his inbox a reprieve – Simitian will hold a public forum in Palo Alto on June 23.


“A lot of folks in my district have reached out to my office about AB 1634,” Simitian said in a statement. “I want to give my constituents a forum where they can share their perspectives with me.”

The California Healthy Pets Act, sponsored by state Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, would prohibit anyone from owning a cat or dog over the age of four months that has not been spayed or neutered, unless that person has a permit to keep their pet intact. Registered purebreds, certain classes of guide and service dogs, law enforcement dogs, and animals too old or sick to undergo the procedure would be exempted. Fines would be used to fund low-cost spay and neuter programs.

The bill was passed by the Assembly a week ago.

The forum will start with invited speakers delivering prepared remarks in support of and opposition to the bill. The floor will then be opened to public comments, where each speaker will have up to two minutes to present.

To brush up beforehand, the Insider found and in support of the bill and and in opposition.

The forum will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Palo Alto City Hall Council Chambers, 250 Hamilton Avenue. To RSVP or for further information, call Simitian’s district office at (650) 688-6384 or e-mail with “RSVP to AB1634 Forum” in the subject line. Include your name, address and phone number.

Per the policy of the City of Palo Alto, only service animals are allowed inside City Hall. Woof!

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16 Responses to “To fix or not to fix Fido? Give Simitian your answer”

  1. Susan Marshall Says:

    I fear that Mr. Simitian is in for a rude awakening when he tries to hold his forum. I attended hearings in Sacramento for AB 1634 (I am for the bill) and what I discovered was that some people in opposition to the bill are angry, and violent. One opposition member actually choked / hit one of the pro-bill folks in the hallway. The opposition purposefully ‘rushed’ the doors into the hearing rooms, crushing some small folks and injuring the shoulder of an older supporter.
    The ‘pro’ pep-rally held at the Capitol several weeks ago drew an alarming number of pitbull wielding characters who, and apologies for being stereotypical, looked like gang members… so much so that the staff member of an unrelated Legislator called the campus security just to ensure that things did not deteriorate.
    The opposition to this bill has a very vocal minority (hopefully a minority) who have made angry, scary insinuations on some chat boards. All the nastiness that I saw happened within the confines of the Capitol, I can only imagine how bad things may get at and around the city hall. From my experience, the potential for violence (especially outside the chambers and the building) will be very high… I would suggest to Mr. Simitian that he gather public opinion in some other way, or at the very least, insist that a large force from the local police department is present. I wish I could say that I was kidding, but I am not. This really is not a good idea.

  2. Paulie Says:

    I don’t think this is the best way for Mr. Simitian to get informed. I am in support of the bill, but this does not seem to be the best use of anyone’s time.

  3. Celia Says:

    Everyone has a story to tell. The way I hear it those in support of the bill are following people home from dog shows and trying to steal their dogs. Why not stick with the real issues.

    I oppose this bill because it punishes the responsible breeders and will not affect those who already ignore licensing laws. The only dogs available will be poorly bred puppy mill dogs that grow up in a cage alone and never learn to socialize with people or other animals.

  4. Marj Garritson Says:

    I am a responsible dog owner and I believe that pet owners should have the choice to spay or neuter their animals without having to possess a state-issued permit. This is an example of the government overstepping its bounds, and for this reason I oppose AB 1634.

  5. mike Says:

    Opposition violent? HA! Not likely! It’s the supporters who have ties to the radical PETA and their domestic terrorist organization the ALF. Anybody who is for this bill either hasn’t read it and thought it out at all or has drunk the PETA Kool-Aid in overdose proportions. This bill is not about the pets. It’s about more government, more government revenue, and ending pet ownership. Opposition includes the AKC, CFA, NRA, LPC, CCI, most police, herding, and working dog groups, and vets who actually have a clue. Supporters are the radical animal-rights extremists like HSUS, PETA, SPCA, and the clueless vets who also haven’t read the bill and aren’t ethical enough to realize that different breeds need different dates. I too oppose this, and I’m no breeder. I am a breed rescuer, all of which would be put out of business by this bill sicne we could not afford the instant $500 fines!

  6. mike Says:

    Oh, yeah, we’re not a minority, either. We are the MAJORITY. Levine keeps changing the pet and cost numbers. He, like Susan Marshall above, are LYING to advance their agenda. The opposition to this bill has ALL of the facts on our side.

  7. Sue Says:

    Kudos to Mr. Simitian for providing an opportunity for his constituents to present their views on this important issue.

    … and shame on Susan for trying to imply that the people who are in opposition to this ill conceived bill are violent. Why would a reasonably person in support of the bill even bother to attend an opposition rally (unless perhaps you were up to no good)?

    Susan, if you are afraid to attend because you fear for your life, then perhaps you either need to stay home, or bring a good protection dog with you. Oh wait… you support AB 1634 and I can’t remember a castrated dogs ever having the drives to actually do protection work… ohhhhh welllll. I guess you just ought to stay home then.

    AB 1634 is bad legislationand is misleadingly named. Early neutering and spaying is not healthy for dogs and can cause life threatening problems for dogs, as well as death due to complications from the surgery and anesthesia. Levine has made absolutely no provision to compensate dog owners if their puppies die because of state mandated suegery.

  8. Jan Says:

    Wow, what a spin Susan has. She should be working for a legislator.. wait.. maybe she is .
    I attended the oppostion rally in Sacramento. If men in suits and women in neat dresses and pants and shorts can be considered “gang memebers” and therapy dogs can be considered “pit bulls” and people who are handicapped can be considered “wielding” their dogs then so be it. If police protection due to a rumor that our peaceful and LEGAL rally was about to be disrupted by the people in the “other group” so be it.

    Senator Simitian, have no fear. We OPPOSE AB 1634 and we appreciate the opportunity to tell you why we fell so strongly on this issue. Thank you.

    By the way, the only “gang” I belong to is the AARP

  9. Diane Amble Says:

    Senator Simitian: The people in opposition of this draconian bill are families, grandmothers, working people that are the backbone of America. America, mankind for that matter, would never had made it this far without the loyal, hardworking dogs that are as much a part of our lives and culture as the automobile. This is a bill that is already draining your citizens’ enrgy, finances and causing stress to those of us that cherish our freedom. Why allow such a bad bill to go any further? It is ludicrous to think it will pay for itself. You can look to your own county of San Mateo. When it tried mandatory S/N it failed badly. Where are the funds going to come from for enforcement? There will certainly be NO funds leftover for what is really needed: low/cost S/N. Every community that has provided low/cost S/N clinics has done so understanding the real needs, not smoke and mirrors from radical animal rights groups.

  10. Jerri Hobbs Says:

    Responsible hobby breeders such as myself require all pet buyers to spay/neuter their
    animals without ever breeding them. We are caring, careful and take great pride in our
    animals and in their owners. Like so many laws passed in a spurt of stupidity, this law
    will not impact the people who are not already aware and working for the quality of life
    for all animals and animal owners. PETA and the HSUS want to wipe out companion animals
    and they want the taxpayers to pay for it while they sit back and live like potentates on
    the money well meaning people pour into their coffers. As far as violence goes, perhaps
    you should check out the number of violent crimes against property and people laid on
    their doorstep. And talk to some of the volunteers in New Orleans who were not allowed
    to use most of what had been donated to HSUS for the care of the animals even tho they
    had to wear their tee shirts with the the initials prominatly displayed whenever they
    were being filmed. Ask them about the healthy dogs that dissapeared by the dozens in
    the dark of night. These sponsers don’t care about anything but their own bottom line.

  11. Dana Smith Says:

    Senator Simitian:

    I am involved in Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR) efforts that have been very successful in humanely reducing the numbers of feral cats and improving their lives in managed colonies with responsible caregivers. This bill does not address the issue of TNR nor does it offer protection for feral cats and TNR volunteers. We often share responsibilies for trapping, transport, recovery, relocation and feeding. It would be impossible for all volunteers to have paperwork for all the spayed and neutered cats. New cats are abandoned and it sometimes takes a while to trap and spay and neuter newcomers. Ear tipping and notching may not be recognized as evidence of spay and neuter and it can be very difficult to tell if a cat has been spayed.

    Please do not support this bill until it is ammended to include protection for feral cats and TNR volunteers. The steep fines and cost of documentation of spay and neuter (re-visiting a vet) could be used to harrass feral cat colonies and TNR volunteers.

  12. Antoiinette Lawson Says:


  13. Joy Falk Says:

    As a 25+ year veteran Animal Services Officer AND past animal breeder, I strongly endorse this bill. The shear number of companion animals losing their lives is staggering. I was a field rescue person after the Katrina Hurricane event and I feel that more animals can be saved with this bill, than were pulled out of the destroyed houses in the gulf area. I know it may be apples and oranges, but,put simply, why is it o.k. to let animals die in shelters everyday and NOT after a natural disaster?
    * We educate in schools and other forums-education is NOT working.
    *We make animal registration cheaper for altered pets-incentives are NOT working.
    * In the 21st century it is ridiculous for this carnage of surplus animal euthanasia to continue. ****AB 1634 CAN WORK.

  14. Valerie Schomburg Says:

    I urge you to vote in favor of AB 1634. In my duties as an Animal Control Officer and as a filed rescue person, I have seen appalling suffering and needless deaths due to the current companion animal overpopulation problem in this state. This overpopulation crisis is at an all time high. This situation places tremendous emotional and financial toll on people and terrible, fatal toll on animals. Please take into consideration the needs of the weakest and most vulnerable party here, the ones whose lives will be the most affected by either the success or defeat of AB 1634. That has to be for the animals in the shelters.

  15. Michael Stevens Says:

    People, I know it says “Give Simitian your answer” at the top of this story, but I think that was talking about the forum he’s holding, not this page. I doubt that Joe Simitian is now using this website to get feedback from voters.

    Maybe somebody should change the headline?

  16. Dana Says:

    I wholeheartedly support early spay and neuter, but this bill is not the way to accomplish that. I am a responsible breeder who spays and neuters all my puppies prior to placing them in their forever homes. I require people to sign a contract that states if they can not keep a puppy for any reason they will return it to me and that they will never relinquish the puppy to a petshop or puppy mill. This bill hurts responsible breeders like myself, while supporting the puppy mills. It also discriminates against my dogs as I breed Australian Labradoodles which technically are “mixed breed” dogs. I have a waitlist for my dogs, and all this bill will do is cause the people interested in Australian Labradoodles to buy them from a breeder OUTSIDE of California. This bill discriminates against my dogs for not being “purebreds” and could effectively put me out of business, despite the fact that I am an extremely responsible and ethical breeder. I health test for hips (Pennhip & OFA), elbows, eyes (CERF and PRA), knees, thyroid, cardiac, vwd, DNA profile all my dogs to name a few, and have signed multiple codes of ethics with several labradoodle associations. I have a waitlist for my dogs and all my dogs are spoken for long before they are born. If you want to reduce the numbers of unwanted dogs, require breeders to do as I do and spay and neuter their family companion pups prior to placing them in their new homes, or at the very least require the new owners sign a spay and neuter contract. Putting me out of business will do nothing to help the problem and in fact, might increase it as buyers will look outside of California and buy their puppies from less responsible breeders!

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