April 27, 2007
The end of mutts?
I've always enjoyed purebred dogs, but a lot of people I know swear by mutts. And I can understand why, because some of the nicest dogs I have ever known have been mongrels.
Man's best friend does not have to look pretty in a show ring, or come with a pedigree.
Few people stop to consider where mutts come from. I don't think I need to be pointing this out to my readers, so I'll try to put this succinctly: mutts result from sexual intercourse between two dogs not of the same breed who still have functioning genitalia.
California Assembly Bill 1634 ("Mandatory Spay and Neuter for Dogs and Cats") reminds me why California is often called the state where nuts come from. For whatever crazy reason they don't seem to know where mutts come from.
I suppose that in this instance Coco might a bit of an advantage over mongrels, because there's an exemption in the bill for purebred dogs which are shown or used for breeding purposes in professional kennels. But if you don't show your dog and you're not a licensed breeder, it's off with the nuts! And out with the ovaries! Or else!
This is not only madness, it's based on the erroneous premise that there is a "dog overpopulation" crisis. As I pointed out in a long post on the subject, this is simply not so; puppies are in such short supply that even animal shelters can't get enough. Puppies are being smuggled across the border from Mexico. Thus, to the extent that this law's rational basis is to amelioriate "dog overpopulation," it is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy as well as an unlawful restriction on private property.
I often wonder whether legislators think about the longterm consequences of laws like this. Actually, AB 1634 will create quite a monopoly for breeders of pure bred animals who have enough money to get a business license and the requisite licenses which will be required. Puppy prices will shoot way up, and ordinary people who want puppies will either be forced to buy purebed dogs at premium prices, or else resort to underground breeders. And the animal shelters! If they think times are tough now supplying puppies, imagine a world of no more dogs capable of reproduction except purebreds in professional kennels! The shelters might have to resort to illegal mutt breeding.
If I had more energy, I could go on ranting about this all day, but I honestly had no idea that the bill had generated so much momentum. They're steamrolling it through before people have a chance to think it over. It's easy for rich celebrities to support; they can afford thousands of dollars for designer dogs. But ordinary people? Forget it. The days of the family dog and the family mutt will soon be gone.
To the animal rights activists, this is just a step in the direction of no more pets.
It's a pretty big one, too.
I have to say I'm shocked that it's gotten this far. This is a hell of a piss-poor way to treat man's best friend. Animal "rights"? Are you kidding? Legislation like this actually makes me feel a bit ashamed to be a human.
My thanks to regular reader (and longtime Officially Privileged Commenter) Ironbear for alerting me to the progress of AB 1634. Interestingly, Ironbear also reports that "the AKC/UKC and various breeders associations seem to have done a lousy job of getting this issue and the opposition to the bill any publicity."
Not to sound conspiratorial but I do hope they don't consider this a business opportunity. But the fact is, mandatory spaying and neutering will not end the demand for pet dogs. If only registered purebred breeders can breed dogs, that means a huge increase in the number of new litter registrations, individual registrations, and so on.
(I guess we should be glad they don't restrict human breeding in this way....)
posted by Eric on 04.27.07 at 04:38 PM
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