Pet Overpopulation, Politics And Mandatory Sterilization Spay Usa

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Information about Pet Overpopulation, Politics And Mandatory Sterilization Spay Usa

Published on December 21, 2008

Author: jlandsman

Source: slideshare.net

Pet Overpopulation, Politics & Mandatory Sterilization : “The Perfect Storm” Presented by: Dianne Mercer-Sauve, Director Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control 06/07/09

Dog/Cat “Overpopulation – A Myth? 600,000 companion animals in Palm Beach County * 450,000 dogs/cats – 270,000 unaltered * 2/3’s of all households have at least one pet * 45 % of all pet owners have more than one pet * Majority of animals (excluding feral cats) arriving at shelters are owned 06/07/09

600,000 companion animals in Palm Beach County

* 450,000 dogs/cats – 270,000 unaltered

* 2/3’s of all households have at least one pet

* 45 % of all pet owners have more than one pet

* Majority of animals (excluding feral cats) arriving at shelters are owned

What is Pet Overpopulation? “ It is only natural that as the human population rises, so does the number of companion animals. This does not mean that pet-overpopulation is a myth. If we accept that there are now more humans, and subsequently more animals, but that there are not enough people willing to adopt this increase in animals, then it is reasonable to say that there are too many unwanted animals. This in and of itself, defines pet overpopulation.” 06/07/09

“ It is only natural that as the human population rises, so does the number of companion animals. This does not mean that pet-overpopulation is a myth. If we accept that there are now more humans, and subsequently more animals, but that there are not enough people willing to adopt this increase in animals, then it is reasonable to say that there are too many unwanted animals. This in and of itself, defines pet overpopulation.”

The High Cost of Pet Overpopulation Over $2 billion spent annually by local governments to shelter and subsequently euthanize 8 to 10 million unwanted dogs and cats Impounded, unaltered pets are a financial burden to all taxpayers Most breeders yield financial gain while flying under the radar of local, state and federal governments Most impounded, unaltered pets will have subsequent impoundments, which mean taxpayers continue to fund breeding 06/07/09

Over $2 billion spent annually by local governments to shelter and subsequently euthanize 8 to 10 million unwanted dogs and cats

Impounded, unaltered pets are a financial burden to all taxpayers

Most breeders yield financial gain while flying under the radar of local, state and federal governments

Most impounded, unaltered pets will have subsequent impoundments, which mean taxpayers continue to fund breeding

PBCACC’s budget is 10.5M annually More than ½ million dollars spent at PBC Animal Care and Control on veterinary care for injured or sick unwanted animals each year. $387.00 per animal spent at ACC to house, treat, adopt and/or euthanize each sheltered animal at PBCACC 1M spent each year on low cost s/n efforts Intake of sheltered animals continues to rise approx 4% annually Human population of PBC remained level during this time 06/07/09

PBCACC’s budget is 10.5M annually

More than ½ million dollars spent at PBC Animal Care and Control on veterinary care for injured or sick unwanted animals each year.

$387.00 per animal spent at ACC to house, treat, adopt and/or euthanize each sheltered animal at PBCACC

1M spent each year on low cost s/n efforts

Intake of sheltered animals continues to rise approx 4% annually

Human population of PBC remained level during this time

Which means? That the number of unwanted animals is growing faster than the population That increased spending on s/n efforts is not decreasing the numbers of unwanted animals being born 06/07/09

That the number of unwanted animals is growing faster than the population

That increased spending on s/n efforts is not decreasing the numbers of unwanted animals being born

Impounds in PBC since 1976 06/07/09

Animals Adopted 1976 - 2007 06/07/09

Where do our animals come from? 06/07/09

Euthanasia of Unwanted Dogs and Cats in PBC PBCACC sheltered nearly 30,000 animals FY2007 18,248 were euthanized More than 75,000 animals euthanized in last 5 years 14,733 cats sheltered in FY2007 12,151 cats euthanized in FY2007 – nearly 85 % 4,137 dogs euthanized in FY2007 – nearly 45 % 06/07/09

PBCACC sheltered nearly 30,000 animals FY2007

18,248 were euthanized

More than 75,000 animals euthanized in last 5 years

14,733 cats sheltered in FY2007

12,151 cats euthanized in FY2007 – nearly 85 %

4,137 dogs euthanized in FY2007 – nearly 45 %

121,051 Unwanted animals euthanized since 2000 84,033 dog and cats 21,711 feral cats 15,307 bunnies, pocket pets, exotic birds, horses, and/or other animals 06/07/09

121,051 Unwanted animals euthanized since 2000

84,033 dog and cats

21,711 feral cats

15,307 bunnies, pocket pets, exotic birds, horses, and/or other animals

Cats and Euthanasia More than 30 % of cats sheltered are feral – 3,480 in FY2007 99 % of feral cats were unclaimed and euthanized More than 75 % of friendly cats went unclaimed and/or unadopted 06/07/09

More than 30 % of cats sheltered are feral – 3,480 in FY2007

99 % of feral cats were unclaimed and euthanized

More than 75 % of friendly cats went unclaimed and/or unadopted

Those euthanized in 2007 would amount to 35 miles of animals if placed nose to tail… The number of unwanted animals euthanized in the last 30 years, in Palm Beach County alone, would span the length of our State. 06/07/09

Sterilization Efforts in PBC Private s/n costs range from $200.00 to $400.00 PBCACC offers low cost or free s/n - $15.00 & has historically spent 1M annually PBCACC s/n pit bulls at no charge PBCACC performed 5,525 surgeries in FY2007 More than 8 organizations offer low cost s/n in County with costs ranging from $15.00 to $100.00 PBCACC funded 500K annually to animal welfare organizations for last 5 years to encourage low cost s/n 06/07/09

Private s/n costs range from $200.00 to $400.00

PBCACC offers low cost or free s/n - $15.00 & has historically spent 1M annually

PBCACC s/n pit bulls at no charge

PBCACC performed 5,525 surgeries in FY2007

More than 8 organizations offer low cost s/n in County with costs ranging from $15.00 to $100.00

PBCACC funded 500K annually to animal welfare organizations for last 5 years to encourage low cost s/n

Spay Neuter Ordinance Options Presented to County Leaders Mandatory spaying and neutering of all dogs and cats in Palm Beach County with exclusions such as medical, registered show dog/cat, or permitted breeding Mandatory spaying and neutering of any animal leaving any shelter as a result of being impounded Mandatory spaying and neutering of all cats in PBC and any dog impounded at any shelter Mandatory spay and neutering of all cats and dogs in Palm Beach County with no exclusion except medical 06/07/09

Mandatory spaying and neutering of all dogs and cats in Palm Beach County with exclusions such as medical, registered show dog/cat, or permitted breeding

Mandatory spaying and neutering of any animal leaving any shelter as a result of being impounded

Mandatory spaying and neutering of all cats in PBC and any dog impounded at any shelter

Mandatory spay and neutering of all cats and dogs in Palm Beach County with no exclusion except medical

Breeding of Cats/Dogs in PBC Up to 50% of dogs sheltered in PBC are purebreds Nearly 70% of all dogs and cats in PBC shelters are not sterilized Most unsterilized female dogs/cats in shelters show physical signs of breeding For every 10,000 dogs brought to PBCACC, approx 3,000 are claimed by an owner For every 10,000 cats brought to the PBC shelter ONLY 200 are ever claimed. Cats make up approx 60 percent of the shelter population It is estimated that more than 70 % of all animals at shelter are relinquished by their owner 06/07/09

Up to 50% of dogs sheltered in PBC are purebreds

Nearly 70% of all dogs and cats in PBC shelters are not sterilized

Most unsterilized female dogs/cats in shelters show physical signs of breeding

For every 10,000 dogs brought to PBCACC, approx 3,000 are claimed by an owner

For every 10,000 cats brought to the PBC shelter ONLY 200 are ever claimed.

Cats make up approx 60 percent of the shelter population

It is estimated that more than 70 % of all animals at shelter are relinquished by their owner

Breeding? Reproduction? Birthing? A recent “sweep” in the western communities of PBC resulted in 44 dogs impounded: None were sterilized All females had signs of recent birthing One female had puppies All were sick, emaciated and/or injured 06/07/09 “ A word by any other name means the same….pet overpopulation.”

A recent “sweep” in the western communities of PBC resulted in 44 dogs impounded:

None were sterilized

All females had signs of recent birthing

One female had puppies

All were sick, emaciated and/or injured

Mandatory Spay/Neuter - Arguments Those for mandatory s/n say: Will reduce the number of unwanted animals That killing animals as population control is unethical Reducing unwanted animals will benefit public health and safety Mandatory S/N will result in a decline in those breeds most subjected to cruelty That many people will never S/N unless required That government has a responsibility to address this legislatively Individuals against say: That POP is a myth That show dog/cats cannot be sterilized That mandatory s/n penalizes responsible owners That mandatory s/n will result in an influx of unwanted animals at shelters That cats represent the biggest problem That government has no way to enforce mandatory s/n 06/07/09

Those for mandatory s/n say:

Will reduce the number of unwanted animals

That killing animals as population control is unethical

Reducing unwanted animals will benefit public health and safety

Mandatory S/N will result in a decline in those breeds most subjected to cruelty

That many people will never S/N unless required

That government has a responsibility to address this legislatively

Individuals against say:

That POP is a myth

That show dog/cats cannot be sterilized

That mandatory s/n penalizes responsible owners

That mandatory s/n will result in an influx of unwanted animals at shelters

That cats represent the biggest problem

That government has no way to enforce mandatory s/n

Breeding Regulation – Pros and Cons Supportive Arguments Will reduce # of unwanted animals Will eventually reduce # of animals euthanized Would eliminate “honor” system for breeders operating under radar Would require all breeder apply for and obtain permit and be registered Would allow Division to deny permits to breeders with known violations of inhumane care Would allow Division to hold all breeders to same standards Areas of Concern Division unable to predict when numbers of unwanted animals would decrease May require an increase in monitoring and enforcement staff May require an increase in inspection/permits staff May cause an initial increase in euthanasia 06/07/09

Supportive Arguments

Will reduce # of unwanted animals

Will eventually reduce # of animals euthanized

Would eliminate “honor” system for breeders operating under radar

Would require all breeder apply for and obtain permit and be registered

Would allow Division to deny permits to breeders with known violations of inhumane care

Would allow Division to hold all breeders to same standards

Areas of Concern

Division unable to predict when numbers of unwanted animals would decrease

May require an increase in monitoring and enforcement staff

May require an increase in inspection/permits staff

May cause an initial increase in euthanasia

Breeding Regulation Options Presented to County Leaders Require Breeding permit for any breeding of dogs or cats countywide with stiff penalties for non-permitted breeding Require Breeding Permit for breeding of dogs and countywide and limit number of permits issued. Stiff penalties for non-permitted breeding. Ban all breeding countywide for dogs and cats. Ban all breeding of dogs and cats for a limited number of years. 06/07/09

Require Breeding permit for any breeding of dogs or cats countywide with stiff penalties for non-permitted breeding

Require Breeding Permit for breeding of dogs and countywide and limit number of permits issued. Stiff penalties for non-permitted breeding.

Ban all breeding countywide for dogs and cats.

Ban all breeding of dogs and cats for a limited number of years.

Final Staff Recommendation Implementation of ordinance to require Spaying and Neutering of all cats and dogs countywide with exclusions for veterinarian documented medical exemption, registered show dogs/cats, and/or permitted and approved breeders who apply for and obtain a license to breed; and Require Breeding Permit for all dogs and cats countywide with penalties for non-permitted breeding. 06/07/09

Implementation of ordinance to require Spaying and Neutering of all cats and dogs countywide with exclusions for veterinarian documented medical exemption, registered show dogs/cats, and/or permitted and approved breeders who apply for and obtain a license to breed; and

Require Breeding Permit for all dogs and cats countywide with penalties for non-permitted breeding.

Sounds pretty easy, Right?? Wrong…The outcry from the public came on a national level. Elected officials were flooded with negative e-mails and a call to fire the animal control director 06/07/09

Wrong…The outcry from the public came on a national level. Elected officials were flooded with negative e-mails and a call to fire the animal control director

What Were Some of Our Mistakes in Spite of Our Success? USING THE WORD MANDATORY! Underestimating pet owners opinion of “right of property” Not realizing that political commitment is often fleeting in an election year Over-estimating “buy-in” from staff 06/07/09

USING THE WORD MANDATORY!

Underestimating pet owners opinion of “right of property”

Not realizing that political commitment is often fleeting in an election year

Over-estimating “buy-in” from staff

What Were Some of Our Better Moves? NEVER, ever, lying to the media Building on established credibility and trust Allowing transparency with media at all times Monitoring e-mail chatter and countering with effective political strategy Embracing assistance from varying philosophies Switching from using the word “mandatory” to the phrase “ordinance of choice”… 06/07/09

NEVER, ever, lying to the media

Building on established credibility and trust

Allowing transparency with media at all times

Monitoring e-mail chatter and countering with effective political strategy

Embracing assistance from varying philosophies

Switching from using the word “mandatory” to the phrase “ordinance of choice”…

So, what finally passed? 06/07/09 Who says neutered dogs have no balls??

May 2008, PBC’s Sterilization and Breeding regulation Ordinances passed with a 5 to 1 vote Ordinance requires dog/cat owners to s/n unless the pet falls into an exclusionary status. An owner may opt out of sterilization but must pay higher fees and may not breed unless a breeding permit is applied for and approved. 06/07/09

Ordinance requires dog/cat owners to s/n unless the pet falls into an exclusionary status. An owner may opt out of sterilization but must pay higher fees and may not breed unless a breeding permit is applied for and approved.

How Does it Work? Offers clear choice for pet owners to sterilize or not Offers 90-day Amnesty for Hobby-Breeders to register with Division Hobby-Breeders who register and obtain permit within 90-day Amnesty shall be exempt from annual permit fee and will receive 2 “unaltered” tags at no charge each year. Excludes registered Hobby-Breeders, Show/Competition dogs/cats, service dogs, service dogs-in-training, law enforcement dogs, and/or any dog or cat with a medical exclusion including old age 06/07/09

Offers clear choice for pet owners to sterilize or not

Offers 90-day Amnesty for Hobby-Breeders to register with Division

Hobby-Breeders who register and obtain permit within 90-day Amnesty shall be exempt from annual permit fee and will receive 2 “unaltered” tags at no charge each year.

Excludes registered Hobby-Breeders, Show/Competition dogs/cats, service dogs, service dogs-in-training, law enforcement dogs, and/or any dog or cat with a medical exclusion including old age

Ordinance Highlights, continued Pet owners who opt not to sterilize their pets, but do not plan to breed, may purchase an “unaltered” tag and sign an affidavit “not to breed” 06/07/09

Pet owners who opt not to sterilize their pets, but do not plan to breed, may purchase an “unaltered” tag and sign an affidavit “not to breed”

And, one of my personal favorite regulations… Any impounded dog or cat whose owner opts to redeem it intact must pay the following: $300.00 redemption fee $75.00 unaltered tag fee $30.00 impound fee $15.00 per day board $190.00 citation for “at-large” $150.00 fee if declared a breeder OR… Allow PBCACC to sterilize the pet and pay only $50.00 for sterilization 06/07/09 Off with Their Balls!

Any impounded dog or cat whose owner opts to redeem it intact must pay the following:

$300.00 redemption fee

$75.00 unaltered tag fee

$30.00 impound fee

$15.00 per day board

$190.00 citation for “at-large”

$150.00 fee if declared a

breeder

OR…

Allow PBCACC to sterilize the pet and pay only $50.00 for sterilization

Is this a “mandatory” spay/neuter ordinance? No – the proposed ordinance offers each pet owner the ability to keep their pet intact This ordinance offers financial incentives to residents who sterilize their pets and financial disincentives to those residents who contribute to the problem of unwanted pets 06/07/09

No – the proposed ordinance offers each pet owner the ability to keep their pet intact

This ordinance offers financial incentives to residents who sterilize their pets and financial disincentives to those residents who contribute to the problem of unwanted pets

Was the intent of the ordinance to raise revenue? No – the purpose of the ordinance is to hold pet owners accountable, including those owners who choose to breed dogs and cats. Responsible Hobby-Breeders are being offered an Amnesty period in which to register Responsible breeders who register will have permit fees waived so long as they remain in compliance 06/07/09

No – the purpose of the ordinance is to hold pet owners accountable, including those owners who choose to breed dogs and cats.

Responsible Hobby-Breeders are being offered an Amnesty period in which to register

Responsible breeders who register will have permit fees waived so long as they remain in compliance

Can the ordinance be successful? Local agencies Yes. Through commitment and enhancements that will encourage and enable people, especially low income residents, to sterilize their pets AND With enhancements targeted to ensure success 06/07/09

Local agencies

Yes. Through commitment and enhancements that will encourage and enable people, especially low income residents, to sterilize their pets AND

With enhancements targeted to ensure success

Enhancement 1 $500,000.00 voucher program targeted to residents on public assistance This program will fund a minimum of 5,000 sterilizations each year Will offer all veterinarians ability to participate 06/07/09

$500,000.00 voucher program targeted to residents on public assistance

This program will fund a minimum of 5,000 sterilizations each year

Will offer all veterinarians ability to participate

Enhancement 2 West County shelter to become “free” sterilization clinic (opening Oct, 1 2008) Ability to perform a minimum of 3,500 sterilizations annually 06/07/09

West County shelter to become “free” sterilization clinic (opening Oct, 1 2008)

Ability to perform a minimum of 3,500 sterilizations annually

Enhancement 3 Expand days of operation of Spay Shuttle Ability to perform 2,500 surgeries annually 06/07/09

Expand days of operation of Spay Shuttle

Ability to perform 2,500 surgeries annually

Enhancement 4 “ Op Around the Clock ” 24-hour marathon to sterilize cats Will be held 3 times annually 2 events held so far this year with over 800 cats sterilized 415 cats in 24 hours 06/07/09 Spay Me

“ Op Around the Clock ”

24-hour marathon to sterilize cats

Will be held 3 times annually

2 events held so far this year with over 800 cats sterilized

415 cats in 24 hours

Enhancement5 Encourage PBC School District to support humane education in the public school system Encourage schools to require graduating students perform community service in a public or private animal shelter 06/07/09

Encourage PBC School District to support humane education in the public school system

Encourage schools to require graduating students perform community service in a public or private animal shelter

Enhancement 6 Establish “Citizens Animal Patrol” to assist with public education on the importance of spaying and neutering and to encourage responsible pet ownership 06/07/09

Establish “Citizens Animal Patrol” to assist with public education on the importance of spaying and neutering and to encourage responsible pet ownership

Summary: The stuff I shouldn’t tell you… You cannot be worried about your job with this issue You will be personally and publically vilified You will receive threats You may not receive support where you most expected it Expect to be lonely 06/07/09

You cannot be worried about your job with this issue

You will be personally and publically vilified

You will receive threats

You may not receive support where you most expected it

Expect to be lonely

Summary: The Stuff I want to tell you… Never let them see you sweat Never let them see you cry Never let them see you angry You can make a difference You must let go of ego Your confidence will be contagious “ The worst failure is the failure to try” 06/07/09

Never let them see you sweat

Never let them see you cry

Never let them see you angry

You can make a difference

You must let go of ego

Your confidence will be contagious

“ The worst failure is the failure to try”

Summary: As it relates to the law Ordinance offers choice Ordinance offers Hobby-Breeders ability to register with lifetime fee waiver + 2 free tags annually Ordinance offers reasonable exclusions Enhancements will ensure success Proposed ordinance is logical step to reducing unwanted animals Holds pet owners accountable 06/07/09

Ordinance offers choice

Ordinance offers Hobby-Breeders ability to register with lifetime fee waiver + 2 free tags annually

Ordinance offers reasonable exclusions

Enhancements will ensure success

Proposed ordinance is logical step to reducing unwanted animals

Holds pet owners accountable

Would I Do It Again? 06/07/09 YES

06/07/09 Did I get spayed yet? Do you have Questions? Save A Life – Spay & Neuter Save A Life – Adopt a Shelter Pet

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