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    People For Ethical Treatment of Animals Tells LB Council: Don't Pass Ordinance Relaxing Dog Breeding Ban

    (December 12, 2005) -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has emailed and faxed a letter to LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill, cc'd to the LB City Council, urging the City not to relax its current dog breeding ban.

    Saying it would be "nothing short of shameful for a progressive city like Long Beach to begin allowing people to breed more animals," the December 12 correspondence from Teresa Lynn Chagrin, Animal Sheltering Advisor in PETA's Domestic Animal and Wildlife Rescue & Information Department says that "for every good home found for a dog or cat purposefully bred for someone's profit, a dog or cat at the local shelter must be killed. A relaxation on the City’s breeding ban will cause suffering and death to more animals while making a few breeders a few bucks. The trade off is grossly unfair."

    The proposal to repeal LB's dog breeding ban first appeared on the November 1 City Council agenda as a "consent calendar" (non-discussion item), and a new ordinance -- which would allow dog breeding once per year per family with a City Hall permit -- was approved by the Council on November 22 (motion by Vice Mayor Jackie Kell, second by Councilman Baker) two days before Thanksgiving...despite local opposition from Friends of LB Animals.

    At the Nov. 22 meeting, Councilman Frank Colonna expressed concerns about changing LB's dog breeding ban and tried to (his words) "make lemonade out of lemons" by attaching an amendment requiring that the new ordinance return to the Council for review in six months.

    However opposition from local animal activists has continued to build. On December 3, animal advocates held a "Town Hall" style meeting at LB's dog zone beach, sponsored by LB animal advocate Justin Rudd, at which multiple speakers opposed the new ordinance allowing dog breeding. Several speaker indicated they were preparing for for battle at the December 13 Council meeting, at which a second Council vote is scheduled. At that time, a Council majority could enact the new ordinance into law...or on motion by a dissenting Councilmember and a majority vote could send it to a Council committee for further study. In its November 1 memo first agendizing the proposed change, LB city management said enacting a change in LB's dog breeding policy was not time critical.

    The change in LB's dog breeding law is supported by the LB Kennel Club, whose president says having an enforceable LB ordinance regulating dog breeding is preferable to the current ban on the books, which some have called unenforceable as currently written. The LB Kennel Club's president has also confirmed to that efforts to change the ordinance stem in part from a desire to maintain convention business for LB from the American Kennel Club, bringing the city economic and publicity benefits. posts the full text of PETA's letter below:

    December 12, 2005

    The Honorable Beverly O'Neill
    Mayor of Long Beach
    333 West. Ocean Blvd., 14th Floor
    Long Beach, California 90802

    Dear Mayor O’Neill:

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an international nonprofit organization with more than 850,000 members and supporters dedicated to the protection of animals. Our headquarters is being flooded with e-mails and telephone calls from area residents who are deeply distressed by news that Long Beach officials are considering relaxing the City’s lifesaving ban on dog breeding, municipal code sections 6.16.080 and 6.16.190. We share their concerns and urge you to work diligently to keep the current code intact to protect animals from suffering and death.

    The city’s current code is the only sensible one when one considers the facts:

    • Approximately 20,000 animals are admitted to the Long Beach Bureau of Animal Control every year.

    • Reportedly half of them must be euthanized for lack of good homes.

    • National statistics document that 25%-30% of all animals who end up in animal shelters are purebreds, animals purposefully bred and brought into this world by those who make money selling them.

    While 20,000 animals annually end up at the City’s animal shelter every year, countless others die on the streets -- they are hit by cars; attacked by other animals; succumb to the elements, disease, and infections; and wither away unnoticed from neglect in apartments, houses, and private backyards. Mayor O’Neill, I have worked at municipal and private animal shelters for nearly two decades. I have scraped animals near-death off the road after they were hit and left for dead. I have been handed by their owners animals with injuries that had been neglected for weeks or months -- maggot-infested wounds, open draining tumors, and infected broken bones. I have received animals over the counters of animal shelters by people who didn’t want them any longer because the animals were -- too old, too young, too small, too big, too dumb, too smart -- and the list of excuses goes on and on. I have watched in disbelief as these same people headed for the adoption areas before even completing the paperwork signing their old friends over, eager to find a "better" animal. I have had to euthanize thousands of animals solely because no one wanted them. In the midst of the heartbreaking crisis facing dogs and cats, domestic animals who depend on us for nearly every need, it would be nothing short of shameful for a progressive city like Long Beach to begin allowing people to breed more animals.

    We urge you to consider the immense costs of each and every unwanted animal brought into the community. Please consider that for every good home found for a dog or cat purposefully bred for someone’s profit, a dog or cat at the local shelter must be killed. A relaxation on the City’s breeding ban will cause suffering and death to more animals while making a few breeders a few bucks. The trade off is grossly unfair.

    On behalf of our tens of thousands of members in California, thank you very much for your serious consideration in this urgent issue and for all your hard work for the citizens of Long Beach.

    Very truly yours,

    Teresa Lynn Chagrin, Animal Sheltering Advisor
    Domestic Animal and Wildlife Rescue & Information Department

    Related coverage:

  • "Town Hall" @ Dog Zone Draws Speakers Re Proposed Dog Breeding Ordinance

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