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An AKC Legislative Alert
Spay/Neuter Bill Introduced in Oklahoma

[Wednesday, January 28, 2004]

Oklahoma Bill Requires Spay/Neuter and Breeder Licensing

Purebred dog fanciers in Oklahoma may soon find it too expensive to participate in their sport. Scheduled to be introduced on February 2nd by Sen. Sam Helton, the “Dog and Cat Ownership Responsibility Act” (SB1130) would make it illegal to own or keep intact dogs and cats without a license. Three classes of licenses include:

“Intact license,” which permits an owner to keep an unaltered animal at a cost of $100 per pet, per year.


“Noncommercial breeders license,” authorizing owners to have a dog or cat that produces one litter, whether intentional or unintentional. Owners must have no more than 3 licensed animals per household, and the cost of the license will be $100 annually for each animal.


“Commercial breeders license,” which at a cost of $1000 permits owners to have a dog or cat that produces more than one litter per year.


The State Department of Health will establish procedures for obtaining the licenses. Licensed breeders must display their permit number to the public and provide pet purchasers with copies of the Dog and Cat Ownership Responsibility Act. Violators will face fines of $500 and/or up to six months in jail, and all litters will be forfeited to animal control authorities.


As part of our concern for the welfare of dogs, the American Kennel Club understands the desire to address irresponsible breeding practices and pet population concerns in Oklahoma. However, the AKC opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans and mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of responsible breeders and owners.


The provisions set forth in SB1130 will hurt responsible hobby breeders, those who have worked all of their lives to share well-tempered, sound dogs with other families. If breeding regulations are enacted, these small breeders may be forced out of existence, denying puppy purchasers a conscientious, knowledgeable, source of purebred dogs. Additionally, hundreds of fanciers who show but do not breed their unaltered animals may have no choice but to give up their enjoyment in the sport. Immediate help is needed to fight this unfair legislation!


What You Can Do:

Contact the bill sponsor and voice your opposition to SB1130:
Senator Sam Helton
State Capitol Building #425
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: 405-521-5563
Fax: 405-521-5573
[email protected]


Watch AKC’s Web site for further updates. SB1130 will likely be referred to a committee in early February, and the Canine Legislation department will post more details at that time.


For more information on this or other legislative issues, please contact the Canine Legislation department ([email protected]).
 
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Betsy, I'm curious as to how you feel about this issue. This is one issue on which I can truly see both sides.
 

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Spay/nueter bills make so just puppy mill will be producing litters or byb that just ingnore breed restrictions. In all cases it is ussual a bad idea to legislate that which is continue to improve through education. In many parts of the country shelters are actually importing dogs. That is the case here in the North East

Shelters import prospective adoptees

Importation of foreign stray animals into US shelters
threatens health, sustains ‘overpopulation’

Massachusetts in particular is a magnet and a distribution center for relocated surplus pets and strays, but other states with empty shelter runs are picking up the cause as well. This is not a phenomenon that can be brushed off lightly as a passing phase. If you examine the evidence and connect the dots, the steady influx of foreign strays reveals an evolving plan.
Redefining pet overpopulation: The no-kill movement and the new jet setters
Nationwide, studies show that during the last 30 years shelter intakes and euthanasias have decreased by 70-90 percent or more in many cities, particularly those located on the east and west coasts. One consequence of this remarkable development is a steep decline in the number of shelter dogs available for adoption in many parts of the country.
Michael Tefts
 

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Gee, thanks for asking, Beverly, I think. ;) I don't have a fully thought out position on this type of legislation. My initial reaction is to oppose it, unless it were to be vigorously enforced, which I don't believe has a snowball's chance of happening.

Responsible breeders would register and be adversely affected by these fees. BYB's wouldn't register, and I'm not clear on whether the fee for commercial breeders would be $1000/breeding animal/year or a flat $1000 for however many breeding animals a commercial breeder could fit on his/her property. My understanding is that this proposal has been defeated, so it's moot in Oklahoma at the moment.

I'll start a new thread with a cross-posted letter to AKC that makes some interesting points.
 
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