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North Carolina continues to be under attack at the local level with anti-breeder proposals.

 

Henderson County has proposed an addition to their animal ordinance making it mandatory to spay/neuter at 4 months or purchase an Unaltered Animal Permit for *$100 per animal per year*. The County has secured a small grant from PetSmart Charities to spay/neuter about 200 animals for low-income residents once this law passes. Animal Control does NOT record the reasons that animals are surrendered; they record only the numbers of strays picked up vs owner turn-ins.

 

Public meeting to be held August 14th at 5:30. If you cannot attend, CALL or email the county commissioners with your objections. Your county may be next.

 

PROPOSED ORDINANCE:

 

§ 66A-25 Spaying and neutering requirements. Unaltered animals permit required. No person shall own or harbor any dog or cat over the age of 4 months that has not been spayed or neutered unless such person holds an unaltered animal permit issued for such animal by the Animal Services Center, or any successor agency authorized by law to issue such a permit, except: (a) persons who own or harbor service dogs or police work dogs; (:rolleyes: individuals who are non-residents of Henderson County and reside temporarily therein for a period not to exceed thirty days; © animal shelters and veterinary hospitals; and (d) Exemptions. Upon a written report from a licensed veterinarian stating that the life or health of the animal may be jeopardized by surgery, the Animal Services Center shall grant a written 30-day extension of the period within the altering would otherwise be required. Further extensions may be granted upon additional veterinary reports establishing the necessity for such extensions.

 

A. Adopted Animals. No dog or cat may be released for adoption from the Animal Services Center unless such animal has been surgically spayed or neutered. People who choose to adopt animals that are under 2 months or under 2 pounds must pay a $100 refundable deposit insuring they will spay or neuter the animal when it is old enough or weighs more than 2 pounds.

 

B. Obtaining an Unaltered animal permit. Owners of unaltered animals must register their animal with Animal Services and pay the fee. The form may be mailed or dropped off at the Animal Services Center along with the fee. Each year after the initial registration, Animal Services will send out registration renewals which owners must send back with the accompanying fee. Owners must provide proof if they no longer need to pay the fee because 1) their animal has been altered; 2) the animal is deceased; 3) the owner no longer owns the animal.

 

C. Fee. The fee for an unaltered animal permit shall be $100.00 per year per animal.

 

TALKING POINTS:

 

· Costs for animal control have greatly increased in areas that pass this type of legislation

 

· MSN and breeder permitting punishes responsible pet owners and breeders while ignoring irresponsible animal owners

 

· MSN and breeder permitting are tactics of the animal rights movement to end breeding of animals and pet ownership

 

· MSN and breeder permitting negatively impacts feral or stray cat caretakers

 

· MSN will have little or no impact on claims of public health and safety problems caused by unwanted animals which can be better dealt with by enforcing existing laws

 

· MSN and breeder permitting fail to address the problem of pet retention. It is undisputable that the number one reason for owner surrender is related to pet behavior and health problems, or the owner’s lack of time or ability to care for the pet.

 

· The emphasis must be placed on pet retention if animal control and shelter intake is to be lowered. Those pets relinquished had an owner who chose not to keep them.

 

 

 

 

COMMISSIONER CONTACT INFO:

 

Henderson County Board of Commissioners

100 N. King Street

Hendersonville, NC 28792

Phone: (828)697-4808

Fax: (828)692-9855

 

William Moyer, Chairman wmoyer@hendersoncountync.org

 

Charlie Messer, Vice Chairman cmesser@hendersoncountync.org

 

Larry Young young@hendersoncountync.org

 

Mark Williams mwilliams@hendersoncountync.org

 

Chuck McGrady cmcgrady@hendersoncountync.org

 

Enforcement Officer: Toby Linville Tlinville@hendersoncountync.org

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Wolf

 

North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance (NCRAOA)

 

www.ncraoa.com

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Apparently this is the new tactic the animal rights crazies are taking, to try to get local ordinances forcing spay/neuter passed. There is a similar proposal coming before the LA County Board of Supervisors SOON (see PetPac.net) which deserves everyone's opposition.

 

Our strategy should be to counter-organize locally and keep our houses clean.

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Has anyone ever taken one of these laws to court? I mean, the government can't make me paint my car yellow, why should they be able to force me to have my pet undergo surgery? I don't really oppose the general idea of s/n laws, BUT I think an absolute s/n law is just a ridiculous law that is probably backed by PETA, the same people known to release dogs out of their airport kennels and think eating beef is a sin. . ..

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I am neither a crazy nor a PETA member and I support this type of legislation. I think 4 mos. is a little early to require the speuter to occur, but I do support a higher registration fee and penalties for not spaying/neutering/registering/licensing.

 

As in some jurisdictions, where you must pay a fee if you choose not to carry auto insurance, paying the higher license fee and a penalty if you don't helps to pay for the infrastructure that must deal with the consequences of uninsured drivers and the pet overpopulation problem.

 

I would hope but can't guarantee that the money from the higher license fee for unaltered animals would go towards low cost spay neuter programs and education.

 

I don't think PetSmart would fund something that would eliminate the pet population and put them out of business.

 

I don't think the legislation is "anti-breeder" but rather anti pet overpopulation. If you are a responsible breeder, putting $100 into your breeding dog is nothing compared to the care and supervision you should be putting into it and would help to discourage those recreational backyard breeders who want Princess to experience the miracle of life and post ads for the pups in the newspaper and give the offspring to whomever has the cash.

 

(let the attacks and flaming commence) :rolleyes:

 

The above is my opinion only.

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That would be $100 per dog per year and that cost would be divided by all the pups produced each year. In the case of a commercial breeder the added cost per pup would be negligible while the added cost per pup for a low volume breeder could be significant.

 

Here's a hypothetical condition.

 

3 intact females and 1 intact male

 

Commercial Breeder (1 litter each female every year)

Fees: 4 x $100

Pups: 3 females x 6 - 8 pups

Added cost per pup: $17 - $22

 

Low Volume Breeder (1 litter every other year)

Fees: 4 x $100 x 2 years

Pups: 6 – 8 pups

Added cost per pup: $100 - $133

 

Pups are about $500 each; there is a significant increase in cost per pup for the low volume breeder. So how are these fees NOT anti-breeder (or more specifically anti-low volume breeder)?

 

Mark

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Has anyone ever taken one of these laws to court? I mean, the government can't make me paint my car yellow, why should they be able to force me to have my pet undergo surgery? I don't really oppose the general idea of s/n laws, BUT I think an absolute s/n law is just a ridiculous law that is probably backed by PETA, the same people known to release dogs out of their airport kennels and think eating beef is a sin. . ..

 

Except that in this case it isn't mandatory spay/neuter. You have a choice; sterilize your pet or pay a higher licensing fee. I think this is a much more sensible approach although, in this case, I think the amounts are too high. I live in St. Paul MN. Annual licensing fee for an intact dog is $50 and $10 for one that has been spayed or neutered. There are discounts for dog owners over the age of 62. By making the license for altered dogs cheap, and the fines for not licensing a dog high, you encourage compliance. Similarly make the license for an intact dog higher but still reasonable, and the fines for having an unlicensed intact dog even higher, and you encourage compliance and responsible pet ownership.

 

This is the only approach that is going to stave off mandatory spay/neuter laws like the one in California. The "you can take my dog's testicles when you pry them from my cold dead hands" approach aint' gonna work - at least not in urban areas.

 

And, while the government can't make you paint your car yellow, they can require you to pay a license fee to drive it on the public highway and they can require that you maintain it in a manner that makes it not a danger to everyone else on the road or fine you for not doing so.

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Mark,

 

I don't think the puppies created through breeding is going to be affected that much. The way it's worded, it's for puppies over the age of 4 months. But I'm sure some breeders will use that excuse.

 

The problem I have with it is I think it's incomplete. Where is the money that's collected going to go? Are they going to hire new people to help enforce the existing laws? Are they going to use it to help lower the cost of s/n?

 

And since the analogy of cars came up, personally, I feel anyone who wants a pet should have to take a course in pet responsibility, like you do if you want your drivers license. How many parents get pets for their kids to teach them some responsibility and end up taking care of the pet themselves? If people had to pay for a class (with the money going to a s/n clinic to reduce the price) and then received a discount card afterwards for all future vet visits (and proof of going to the class), I feel more pets will receive more medical care and a better educated home.

 

IMO, owning a pet is a privilege, just like owning a drivers license. While doing some research not too long ago, I read NC is ranked the 3rd highest kill state. That is something I'm not proud of. Something needs to be done.

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We have higher license fees for intact dogs where I live in PA, but that's still different from a mandatory s/n.

 

I'm not saying I don't support some type of legislation encouraging the average pet owner to spay/neuter, but I think the fees there are a BIT high!

 

 

What if someone just wants to keep a potentially nice dog intact, but may not breed it more than once? Like a working BC person who is only a hobbyist or only has a small farm, or even an ACK person - who has another breed, say :rolleyes:

I have no issue with these things, and I do agree that it's a matter of education and enforcement. If they don't enforce any of this, it won't matter anyway!!!

 

I would much prefer to see something like higher (but still affordable) license fees for intact dogs, some sort of litter fee/license (this would hurt commercial breeders more than small-time/hobby ones), but without all the mandatory s/n wording. They could still put in place laws about s/n for strays, etc....

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Mark,

 

I don't think the puppies created through breeding is going to be affected that much. The way it's worded, it's for puppies over the age of 4 months. But I'm sure some breeders will use that excuse.

 

 

How do you get puppies without intact adults which will now cost more money to keep? The longer you keep each adult intact without breeding the more the puppies from that adult will cost. In other words, the added cost per puppy from high volume breeders will be less than the added cost for low volume breeders since low volume breeders don't breed every intact adult every year.

 

Some day Renee and I would like a puppy out of her Bette (qualified for Nursery and Open this year); but we won't breed for several years due to our current number of dogs. With these laws every pup from Bette will have added onto it the cost of keeping her intact until we breed (we'd already have 2 years of cost in her).

 

The only ways to cover the cost of these fees are to breed more, alter good working dogs that won't be bred enough to cover the costs, or add the costs to the puppy price.

 

Mark Billadeau

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And, while the government can't make you paint your car yellow, they can require you to pay a license fee to drive it on the public highway and they can require that you maintain it in a manner that makes it not a danger to everyone else on the road or fine you for not doing so.

 

Your logic is skewed here. Everyone pays the same car licensing fees or are at least dealing with the same licensing fee "schedule" (ie, fee rates). But poor and irresponsible drivers don't pay more car fees/licenses...they get fined for illegal driving or pay higher insurance rates. The insurance rate is NOT directly linked to owning the car. It is directly linked to the replacement costs of the car or damages caused by the poor driving.

 

Owning an intact dog has NOTHING to do with responsible ownership. NOT CONFINNG your dog at the appropriate times, et al. defines whether someone is skilled and knowledgeable about their dog's reproduction capability.

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Your logic is skewed here. Everyone pays the same car licensing fees or are at least dealing with the same licensing fee "schedule" (ie, fee rates). But poor and irresponsible drivers don't pay more car fees/licenses...they get fined for illegal driving or pay higher insurance rates. The insurance rate is NOT directly linked to owning the car. It is directly linked to the replacement costs of the car or damages caused by the poor driving.

 

I wasn't making an analogy merely suggesting that as a society, through our government, we make rules that may in fact govern what one may do with one's private property.

 

Owning an intact dog has NOTHING to do with responsible ownership. NOT CONFINNG your dog at the appropriate times, et al. defines whether someone is skilled and knowledgeable about their dog's reproduction capability.

 

That may be true, but unless all owners of intact dogs can ensure that all other owners of intact dogs behave in a responsible manner, the probability of some cost to the society due to the existence of intact dogs increases. One way of mitigating that risk is to "tax" all owners of intact dogs at a higher rate.

 

If it's an analogy you want; any given male driver under 25 may be a good driver who always obeys the rules but as a group, males under 25 are far more likely to have an accident. As a result, they pay higher insurance premiums. As a group, owners of intact dogs are more likely to contribute to a town/county/state's pet overpopulation problem. So, as a group, they are going to pay higher licence fees.

 

It's the fatal flaw in libertarianism. If everyone was smart and responsible, you wouldn't need laws and regulations infringing upon the disposition of personal property and upon personal freedom, but they're not and so you do. If everyone was a responsible pet owner who prevented unplanned litters, and only bred high quality offspring for which they had pre-screened responsible, educated, and aware buyers then laws like these would not be popping up like mushrooms after a rain, but many owners of intact dogs are idiots, or greedy and unscrupulous, and therefore the cost of owning an intact dog will go up.

 

You may argue, "charge higher fees only to those who are irresponsible puppy millers, or who give pups up to shelters". That would be a fairer way to go but try imagining how to administer such a program. It would be a nightmare of appeals and lawsuits, so much easier to just implement a gonad tax across the board.

 

Pearse

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I'm not opposed to paying higher fees to keep intact dogs--I already do that. But I think making those fees prohibitively high is just going to push people underground (as in, I've always been one to license my dogs and follow the rules, but honestly if someone wanted to charge me a lot of money to keep a few intact dogs, I'd try to find a way to keep my dogs under the local government's radar). In the county in which I used to live, the licenses were tied to rabies vaccination. What a brilliant way to discourage people from getting rabies vaccines for their dogs. (In one case, since I was also using a vet in another state, I just got the pup vaccinated there, since I wouldn't dream of *not* vaccinating, but I'm sure there are plenty of folks who would just skip the vaccines.)

 

I know there's not an easy answer, but I do agree with Mark's reasoning regarding how it will end up costing the sometime breeder a lot more than it will the more miller type breeder.

 

J.

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How do you get puppies without intact adults which will now cost more money to keep? The longer you keep each adult intact without breeding the more the puppies from that adult will cost. In other words, the added cost per puppy from high volume breeders will be less than the added cost for low volume breeders since low volume breeders don't breed every intact adult every year.

 

You're right, Mark. Because every dog and cat we ever get is spayed or neutered, that never crossed my mind.

 

I had to take my cat in for her post-surgical check-up (hernia operation-she was spayed yrs ago) and mentioned this to her vet. She said she could see both sides of the issue. Her main question & objective would be 'Where would the money go???' She said the main reason we have so many kill shelters is because most of the kill shelters aren't state funded. Would the money go to the kill shelters so they can have the funds to improve their shelters so they won't have to kill?

 

How would the ones who want to keep their dogs & cats intact feel if they knew the money they were paying was going towards saving lives? Would that make a difference? I'm not asking to start an argument. I'm only asking out of curiosity because I'm one of those people who will only own a s/n pet and there are 2 sides to every story. I don't mind being 'educated' by the keep intact people. (Just be nice, please.)

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If it's an analogy you want; any given male driver under 25 may be a good driver who always obeys the rules but as a group, males under 25 are far more likely to have an accident. As a result, they pay higher insurance premiums. As a group, owners of intact dogs are more likely to contribute to a town/county/state's pet overpopulation problem. So, as a group, they are going to pay higher licence fees.

 

Thank you!!! That's exactly my thinking but I could never come up with a good analogy!!! INHERENTLY any given male under 25 may or not be a bad driver, but they bear the cost of their irresponsible peers.

 

If responsible low volume breeders don't want to bear the costs associated with their irresponsible high volume, reckless peers then perhaps putting more energy into education than into fighting mandatory spay/neuter laws is a way to help the situation. Do we see under 25 year old males out there educating their peers in order to reduce their insurance costs? Nope.

 

Fight puppy mills and commercial high volume breeders if you feel they are getting an unfair break, or propose an alternative that discourages high volume breeding such as a flat fee per intact animal plus a per puppy tax or something along those lines. I called AC at this county and there's presently no limit on the number of animals a resident can own. Working for limits based on space might be one way to fight the high volume breeders.

 

I also feel that legislation that specifically targets an animal found roaming at large for penalties would gain more support than something that blankets the entire intact population. An intact animal roaming is a greater risk than a responsibly penned and supervised intact animal. In reality, the AC officers in this county are not going to be doing a door to door search for unregistered intact animals. That would raise constitutional issues anyway. The people likely to be affected by the fines are the ones who are "discovered" because they are out and about with no owner attached. Those are the ones I think we all agree we want addressed. Perhaps if there was a stiff fine and mandatory microchipping of an intact animal found roaming on the first offense and then mandatory SN of the animal if found roaming a 2nd time would be more palatable for everyone.

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Your logic is skewed here. Everyone pays the same car licensing fees or are at least dealing with the same licensing fee "schedule" (ie, fee rates). But poor and irresponsible drivers don't pay more car fees/licenses...they get fined for illegal driving or pay higher insurance rates.

 

If it's an analogy you want; any given male driver under 25 may be a good driver who always obeys the rules but as a group, males under 25 are far more likely to have an accident. As a result, they pay higher insurance premiums. As a group, owners of intact dogs are more likely to contribute to a town/county/state's pet overpopulation problem. So, as a group, they are going to pay higher licence fees.

 

It's a good analogy, Pearse, but I think HighDesertSpice's is more apt, because AFAIK male drivers under 25 are not in any jurisdiction charged a higher fee to be licensed. Insurance rates are set by private companies based on profit considerations; they classify accordingly, and a customer may choose to accept the contract at a higher rate or not. But we expect more evenhanded treatment by the state, with penalties (and higher cost IS a penalty) based on actual wrongdoing, not membership in a class conferring guilt by association.

 

I pay a somewhat higher license fee for my intact dogs than for my neutered ones, and that doesn't bother me. I favor encouragement of spay/neuter, and a modest fee differential accomplishes that. But if the charge for intact dogs was raised to the point of being punitive, I would feel differently. Mainly, however, I oppose a law like that because I do think that paradoxically it would encourage more breeding -- people would feel pressure to breed their intact dogs in order to pass that cost on to consumers rather than bearing it themselves. Also, data tends to show that it pushes people to stop licensing their dogs, and even to stop vaccinating where rabies vaccinations are reported to the state. Also, I think it would make some good breeders of working dogs stop breeding. The fact that advocates of punitive license fees for intact dogs don't seem to care about unintended consequences like these is one of the reasons I believe they tend to be people who are just opposed to the breeding of dogs, full stop. [Along those lines, here is a quote from the campaign manager for AB1634, in a letter to animal welfare groups urging them to support the bill: "Do you really want to be on the side of the vivisectors, circuses, fur farmers, breeders, NRA, Cattleman’s Association and Farm Bureau?" Emphasis added. I simply don't have the hostile view of breeders that these people do. Breeders produce the dogs I love.]

 

If responsible low volume breeders don't want to bear the costs associated with their irresponsible high volume, reckless peers then perhaps putting more energy into education than into fighting mandatory spay/neuter laws is a way to help the situation.

 

I actually do spend quite a bit of energy and time on education. Fighting mandatory spay/neuter laws takes time away from that effort, but I will certainly fight mandatory spay/neuter laws because I want high-quality dogs to continue being produced, and that is what MSN wants to eradicate.

 

In reality, the AC officers in this county are not going to be doing a door to door search for unregistered intact animals. That would raise constitutional issues anyway. The people likely to be affected by the fines are the ones who are "discovered" because they are out and about with no owner attached.

 

Yes, but why should I be forced into the role of lawbreaker, laying low and hoping never to be discovered?

 

Perhaps if there was a stiff fine and mandatory microchipping of an intact animal found roaming on the first offense and then mandatory SN of the animal if found roaming a 2nd time would be more palatable for everyone.

 

It would certainly be more palatable to me. Maybe putting more energy into advocating a law like that instead of fighting for mandatory spay/neuter laws is a way to help the situation. :rolleyes:

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As well as the good and interesting points made here, the '4 months' bothers me. I do neuter my animals, but not that young. Where I live, we pay quite a bit more (but not as much as is proposed in NC) for an intact dog, but if, as I do, the owner neuters the dog during a particular year, the council gives a pro-rata rebate, so that for the remainder of the year the owner has actually paid only the amount for a sterilised animal. To me, that's a fair and sensible option which gives me as a responsible owner, the choice, at relatively low cost, to delay sterilisation.

 

We're also moving to compulsory microchipping for dogs (and in the future for cats).

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How would the ones who want to keep their dogs & cats intact feel if they knew the money they were paying was going towards saving lives? Would that make a difference? I'm not asking to start an argument. I'm only asking out of curiosity because I'm one of those people who will only own a s/n pet and there are 2 sides to every story. I don't mind being 'educated' by the keep intact people. (Just be nice, please.)

 

 

I'm looking at these laws from a different perspective than you. Pet people won't really be impacted that much by these laws since most would say that pets should be altered, they're not really breeding.

 

These types of laws have differential impacts on breeders based upon their volume. It makes no difference where the money goes; high volume breeders will be better able to bear the costs of these laws than low volume breeders. High volume breeders have more income (more puppies per year) to cover the additional costs than those that breed occasionally. Worse still, these types of laws favor breeding as soon as the dog is physcially able to produce pups; that way the adult dog that costs more to keep intact is paying for these fees as soon as it is able. Now ask yourself which type of breeder do you want to favor?

 

Mark

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I'm looking at these laws from a different perspective than you. Pet people won't really be impacted that much by these laws since most would say that pets should be altered, they're not really breeding.

 

These types of laws have differential impacts on breeders based upon their volume. It makes no difference where the money goes; high volume breeders will be better able to bear the costs of these laws than low volume breeders. High volume breeders have more income (more puppies per year) to cover the additional costs than those that breed occasionally. Worse still, these types of laws favor breeding as soon as the dog is physcially able to produce pups; that way the adult dog that costs more to keep intact is paying for these fees as soon as it is able. Now ask yourself which type of breeder do you want to favor?

 

Mark

 

I see what you're saying. And I agree with you on regular pet people won't really be impacted that much. I do feel though, that when it comes to puppy mills, they are probably already breeding asap because all they care about is the money.

 

In parts of Utah, households are only allowed to have a certain number of dogs. Do you think it might cut out at least some of the puppy mills if breeders are only allowed to breed say 1 breed and not 4 or 5?

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I see what you're saying. And I agree with you on regular pet people won't really be impacted that much. I do feel though, that when it comes to puppy mills, they are probably already breeding asap because all they care about is the money.

 

In parts of Utah, households are only allowed to have a certain number of dogs. Do you think it might cut out at least some of the puppy mills if breeders are only allowed to breed say 1 breed and not 4 or 5?

 

I think the limit would be more effective on number of dogs or number of litters rather than by breed. There are plenty of single breed puppy millers out there that would not be affected by a breed limit.

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Personally, I like litter licensing/fees. That way you'd tax people per litter, rather than per dog. That way even though the bitch owner could blame it on the roaming dog down the street, they'd still have to pay, and then maybe pay the money to spay the darn dog after that!

 

That also wouldn't hurt the small/hobby breeders so much. And I'd say go ahead, make it like $100 or so per litter. And make BIG fines for not reporting/licensing a litter. AND put limits on it! They could have a field day with something like that, and I probably wouldn't even be that upset. I don't know many really reputable breeders that have more than, say 3 litters per year. Who needs more than that? Or make it 5, whatever. . . .

 

But making it a crime just to own an intact animal is just silly. . .

 

I don't have a problem with reasonably higher license fees. We have them. I've paid them. But they're not $100 PER YEAR, in fact I think it was $50-70 LIFETIME! (with a microchip you can get a lifetime license here!)

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I don't particularly like dog limits, but then that's because I have right many dogs (most of them not breedable). I think taxing numbers of litters is an option, since that would directly affect large-volume breeders, but I don't know how you'd police it. And of course such a tax would never fly in states like Missouri where puppymilling is considered part of the ag lifestyle and big business to boot (with a correspondingly influential lobby).

 

ETA: I posted the same time as Rosanne and I want to second what she said.

 

J.

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