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Marin, Sonoma County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

Animal Welfare

By Patrick WM Connally

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 6; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate
Animal Welfare

As an 18 year old living in Fairfax forty years ago, I remember signs in the stores with a cute embarrassed looking dog and the words "Watch your step in Fairfax". Marin and Sonoma Counties have a strong love affair with dogs and other animals. Some anthropologists speculate that our relationship to dogs or ability to have a relationship with another species is what separated us from other big brained primates like the Neanderthals. One of my goals as Assembly person is to keep dogs and cats part of the average person's life. I would not support legislation that made companion animals so expensive only a very few people could afford to have them. But we do have a major and costly problem with pet over-population. Over 50% of puppies born are put down because of over population and commercial puppy farms just keep popping them out.

One of the areas California has been moving in is better treatment of domestic animals and livestock. As Assembly person I would continue the political momentum by -

1. Legislation that would remove companion animals from the legal classification of livestock. The state could then move forward to stop commercial breeding. We do need resonsible breeding for the next generation and I have respect for many responsible breeders who work to improve dog breeds not make a profit off puppies.

2. Establish ownership through universal micro-chipping. Animal Control would be able to consider any dog without a micro-chip a stray. When police investigate dog fighting for example, micro-chipping would give investigators a useful tool. Authorities could take the dogs into custody if there is no micro-chip or establish ownership if there is. Micro-chipping all California dogs would help relieve shelter over-crowding as Animal Control would be able to contact owners more successfully and in shorter time. I just don't think universal spay/neuter is a good idea as it would create a big incentive for puppy mills to operate outside our state borders for easy importation. I do support inexpesive and easy spay/neuter of pets.

3. Legislation that would not allow a momma dog to be breed no more than three times in her life. As most reputable breeders will tell you, birthing take a toll on the health of the dogs.

4. Outlaw the commercial and retail sales of companion animals. This strategy gained San Francisco wide praise for reducing puppy mills and overpopulation by outlawing pet stores from selling puppies. Animal Shelters, rescue non-profits, and responsible breeders would ensure the next generation.

5. Continue to support humane farming practices.

6. Support catch, spay/neuter feral cats and release. It has been a humane strategy to cut back on feral cats. Trapping and putting down feral cats does not seem to reduce the population of homeless cats. but opens up more space for new cat colonies.

7. Begin investigation into getting rid of non-native feral animals such as pigs.

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