AB 1634

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AB 1634 was a controversial bill[1] (authored by Democrat Lloyd Levine) in the California State Legislature which would require that dogs and cats in California be spayed or neutered by 6 months of age. The bill provides limited availability for purchased "intact permits" and a small number of exemptions. The bill passed the California Assembly by the narrowest of margins on June 6, 2007,[2] but was deferred by Assemblyman Levine on July 11, 2007 when it became apparent that it would not pass in the California Senate Local Government committee where it had been assigned.[3] Levine has stated his intention to reintroduce the bill in 2008.[4] The sponsor of the bill, Social Compassion in Legislation, has introduced a new spay/neuter bill, Senate Bill SB 250.[5]

Bill supporters and bill opponents both claimed a large number of followers, and the 2007 hearings on the bill in Sacramento resulted in some of the largest and most passionate crowds of the year in the Capitol. The bill generated the most letters and calls of any California legislation in 2007.[6]

Support and opposition[edit]

AB 1634 was generally supported by animal shelter directors and workers,[7][8] animal rights groups,[9] animal rescue groups,[10] Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,[11] humane societies,[12][13][14] and the Los Angeles city government.[15] The bill has received an enormous amount of media attention.

The bill was generally opposed by pet owners,[16][17] breed clubs,[18][19][20] breeders of working dogs,[21][22] search-and-rescue dog associations,[23][24] K9 law enforcement associations,[25][26][27][28] organizations that provide guide dogs for the blind and service dogs for the disabled,[29][30][31][32] California's agriculture industry,[33][34] animal rescue groups,[35][36] leaders in the No Kill movement,[37] and many veterinarians.[38][39]

Supporters of the bill claim that legislative action is needed, because about 400,000 animals are euthanized (killed) in California's shelters each year,[40] that animal shelter services cost California taxpayers $250 million a year,[41] that a dog born in California currently has nearly a 1 in 4 chance of being ultimately euthanized in a shelter,[42] that similar laws in individual communities in California have been successful, proving the validity of the mandatory spay/neuter concept,[43] and that spay and neuter improve animal health.[44]

Opponents of the bill claim that erroneous shelter statistics are being used to support the bill,[45] and that the experiences where mandatory spay/neuter laws have been implemented show that they increase costs to the taxpayers,[46] and increase shelter impound and euthanasia rates,[47][48] that non-punitive No Kill programs have proven to be more effective solutions,[49][50][51][52] and that official state shelter statistics indicate that impound and euthanasia rates have been generally trending downward in California for more than 30 years,[53] that passage of the bill would harm breeding programs for pets, guide dogs and service dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, police dogs, military working dogs, hunting dogs, and working herding and livestock guardian dogs, and that spay and neuter have adverse health impacts that need to be weighed against the benefits,[54][55] therefore spay and neuter should be decisions made between the owner in consultation with their veterinarian based on the health needs and circumstances of each individual patient, rather than one that is dictated by the state,[56][57][58][59] and, finally, that a majority of veterinary medical associations in California oppose AB 1634.[60]


  1. ^ "AB 1634, as amended July 3, 2007" (PDF). Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ AB 1634 bill history[dead link]
  3. ^ AB 1634 report in Sacramento Bee newspaper[dead link]
  4. ^ Report in Sacramento Bee[dead link]
  5. ^ [1] CA healthy pets website
  6. ^ Herdt, Timm. "AB 1634 report in Ventura County Star newspaper". Venturacountystar.com. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ AB 1634 support letter from CACDA[dead link]
  8. ^ AB 1634 support letter from Ed Boks[dead link]
  9. ^ "AB 1634 support page from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals". Blog.peta.org. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  10. ^ "AB 1634 support letter from". Save a Bunny. April 3, 2007. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  11. ^ "AB 1634 support from Monterey County SPCA" (PDF). Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  12. ^ "AB 1634 support letter from Silicon Valley Humane Society". Findarticles.com. July 9, 2007. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  13. ^ "AB 1634 support page with listed animal rescue and humane society groups". Cahealthypets.com. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  14. ^ AB 1634 support page of HSUS[dead link]
  15. ^ Meeting minutes of Board of Animal Services Commissioners, City of Los Angeles, 5/14/2007[dead link]
  16. ^ AB 1634 article from Los Angeles Times[dead link]
  17. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from American Dog Owners Association[dead link]
  18. ^ "American Kennel Club AB 1634 page". Akc.org. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Cat Fanciers Association legislative alerts". Cfainc.org. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  20. ^ Levine. "Assembly policy committee Bill Analysis". Leginfo.ca.gov. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  21. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from United Schutzhund Clubs of America[dead link]
  22. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from LV/DVG America[dead link]
  23. ^ "AB 1634 opposition letter from California Rescue Dog Association" (PDF). Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  24. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from Canine Specialized Search Team[dead link]
  25. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from United States Police Canine Association[dead link]
  26. ^ "Press Release about AB 1634 from the California Organization of Police and Sheriffs". Cops.cc. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  27. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from Western States Police Canine Association[dead link]
  28. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from North American Police Work Dog Association
  29. ^ "AB 1634 opposition letter from Assistance Dogs International, Inc" (PDF). Caninecompanions.org. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  30. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners[dead link]
  31. ^ "AB 1634 opposition letter from Canine Companions for Independence" (PDF). Caninecompanions.org. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  32. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from Paws'itive Teams[dead link]
  33. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from the California Farm Bureau Federation, California Cattlemen's Association, and California Outdoor Heritage Alliance[dead link]
  34. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from American Working Farmcollie Association[dead link]
  35. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter by National English Shepherd Rescue[dead link]
  36. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter by Bay Area Rescue Keeshonden[dead link]
  37. ^ AB 1634 opposition statement from Nathan Winograd[dead link]
  38. ^ "Petition list of California veterinarians opposed to AB 1634". Naiaonline.org. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  39. ^ "California veterinarians against AB 1634". Naiaonline.org. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  40. ^ "California Department of Health Services report for 2005 showing numbers for impounded and euthanized cats and dogs" (PDF). Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  41. ^ Gardner, Michael (April 23, 2007). "AB 1634 report by San Diego Union-Tribune". Signonsandiego.com. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  42. ^ AB 1634 support one in four analysis[dead link]
  43. ^ AB 1634 supporters claim about Santa Cruz County[dead link]
  44. ^ AB 1634 support claims about medical benefits[dead link]
  45. ^ "Microsoft PowerPoint - Big Lie Graphs.ppt" (PDF). Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  46. ^ "Santa Cruz Animal Services Budget before and after mandatory spay/neuter ordinance" (PDF). Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  47. ^ Study of mandatory spay/neuter laws by Animal Law Coalition
  48. ^ "AB 1634 report by Alley Cat Allies". Action.alleycat.org. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  49. ^ The Dark Side of Mandatory Licensing and Neutering Laws by the No Kill Advocacy Center[dead link]
  50. ^ No Kill by Nathan Winograd[dead link]
  51. ^ the No Kill Equation[dead link]
  52. ^ How San Francisco became No Kill[dead link]
  53. ^ "Long-term California shelter statistics for dogs" (PDF). Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  54. ^ "Long-term Health Risk and Benefits of Spay/Neuter in Dogs" (PDF). Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  55. ^ "Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete". Caninesports.com. Retrieved December 16, 2011. 
  56. ^ AB 1634 opposition points
  57. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter by Dr. John Hamil, DVM, past president of the California Veterinary Medical Association
  58. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter by Dr. Sharon Vanderlip, DVM
  59. ^ AB 1634 opposition letter from American Dog Owners Association[dead link]
  60. ^ http://www.dvmnews.com/dvm/News/Controversy-kills/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/451756

External links[edit]