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Current Replies for Hard Lessons From Dallas Spay/Neuter Mandate
7/9/2009 2:39:00 PM
Posts: 36
Lessons From Dallas Spay/Neuter Mandate

Californians Could Face $50 million Unfunded Mandate
Based On Dallas Experience - MA, FL, IL & AZ Take Note

American Sporting Dog Alliance

This report is archived at

DALLAS, TX (July 7, 2009) – A year ago, Dallas City Council voted to enter the brave new world of a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance for dogs. That vote was based on the promise by animal rights group supporters of lower animal shelter admissions, a lower euthanasia rate, and an increase in licensing revenues to support the animal control program.

A year after the Dallas ordinance was passed, those promises have proven to be fraudulent, based on actual budget data from the Dallas Animal Control program that was obtained by the American Sporting Dog Alliance. In looking at all of the promises made in Dallas, the actual results have proven to be diametrically opposite of what City Council had hoped it was voting to do.

Now, the California Legislature is close to passing a statewide spay/neuter mandate, similar legislation is on the table in Massachusetts, and municipal ordinances are pending in Chicago and communities in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Florida. We ask citizens and lawmakers in those states to pay close attention to the Dallas experience.

Based on what happened in Dallas, municipal governments in California could be facing a de facto state mandate for $50 million in unplanned local spending, and their shelters would be overflowing with dogs facing a future without hope. We are making this evidence available to the California Assembly Committee on Appropriations, which has scheduled a July 15 hearing on Senate Bill 250. SB 250, which already has passed the Senate and is the closest thing possible to a statewide mandate to spay or neuter all dogs and cats.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance predicted adverse results in Dallas, based on the actual experiences of every city in America that has passed a mandatory pet sterilization ordinance. However, Dallas City Council chose to ignore the facts and fall for the hollow promises of animal rights activists, such as Robert “Skip” Trimble, the darling of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States.

A year later, the Dallas experience has proven to be a fiscal disaster, and a nightmare for anyone who loves dogs and the dogs themselves.

The Dallas experience provides reasonable evidence of what can be expected to happen in California if SB 250 is passed into law. Dallas has a population of 1.3 million people. California, at 36.8 million, is 28 times more populous than Dallas. Thus, a reasonable expectation can be obtained by multiplying the Dallas numbers by 28.

Here is a summary of what has happened in Dallas, and what is likely to happen in California, based on official Dallas budget documents:

· While animal rights activists were telling City Council that a spay/neuter mandate would reduce shelter admissions, the 2008-09 city budget called for a 10-percent increase in animal shelter admissions. The budget was designed to “increase the number of animals impounded by 10% to 37,000.” Thus, if AB 250 is passed, California municipalities can reasonably expect a 10% increase in shelter admissions, and this legislation would be an unfunded state mandate to pay for these additional animals. In California, it is illegal for the state to force municipalities to accept unfounded mandates, without full reimbursement for the costs.

· In the 2007-08 fiscal year, actual expenses for the animal control program were pegged at $6.4 million. The 2008-09 budget calls for spending $7.8 million, which is a $1.4 million increase, or 22-percent. Extrapolating from those numbers, Californians also might be expected to see a 22-percent cost increase to municipal government (and taxpayers), to about $39 million. That, too, would be a de facto unfunded mandate from the state.

· While expenses are escalating, license sale revenues have plunged in Dallas. The fiscal year loss of pet license sales is projected to be in excess of $400,000. That means the Animal Control Department will have to take care of more animals on less money. License sales drop because people who cannot comply with the spay/neuter mandate cannot obtain a license without proof of sterilization. This has been proven in every municipality that has tried a spay/neuter mandate, and now has been proven again this year in Dallas and Los Angeles, which recently passed a similar ordinance. Based on the Dallas experience, California municipalities can expect to see a corresponding $11.2 million drop in license sales. This, too, is a de facto unfunded mandate from the state.

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