Friday, April 24, 2009

My Ding A Ling...

While I am not suggesting people do not alter their pets, I am suggesting that perhaps care needs to be taken with the age of altering and that those who do alter their dogs understand there are medical risks that must be considered and additional care that needs to be taken.

Please read this link an abstract from "Orthopedic Practice" a human journal, this article is about the prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament injury in altered dogs :

To me this is suggestive that hormones play a role in connective tissue health with our dogs. I don't know what the answer is to - what will satisfy or perhaps balance health and social stigmas related to unaltered pet, but I do know as a society we need to look to finding answers and alternatives. I also know in my heart and mind the government has no business telling anyone what is right for their animals medically without first getting some of the bazillion questions answered that do relate to health over social stigma. Or maybe a better statement is - I know in my mind and my heart that as a society we need to look harder at education over easy fixes.

Later down the page here I will get into what I think some of the things we can do as owners of altered animals can do to better the health of our animals but first you are going to have to indulge me in some political points related to animal health first.

In some 33 states across our nation there are bills being heard by our legislators that have to do with legislation regarding companion animals, dogs and cats, but mainly dogs. In a very high percentage of these administrative laws (bills before our legislators) there is reference to how people keep their animals, sexually intact or sexually altered (spayed or neutered), restrictions imposed in these bills on how many intact animals one can own regardless of the persons ACTUAL intent for the individual dog.

Lets forget for a moment that in most states dogs are considered personal property the same as your car, your gun, your shoes because we undoubtedly do without question think differently about our dogs (right?) than we do these inadament personal items. Lets also put it in perspective -

Do we have laws that dictate how many cars one can personally own (cars can pollute our air) no we do not. At least in Oregon we do not...

Do we have laws that dictate how many guns one can personally own (guns in the wrong hands can be very dangerous) no we do not. At least in Oregon we do not...

On shoes well maybe we should have some laws about what trends can be recycled... I am 51 and there is no way I am going back to platform shoes just to be in...

So why dogs? Does our government spend more on housing unwanted dogs than we spend on storing unwanted confiscated cars guns and ugly shoes? Probably more on guns and cars than ugly shoes but you get my point, or I hope you do...

Stay tuned for my next installment nameless yet but will have to do with the medical issue I promise...


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


WA 5651 Passed both the Senate and House is now awaiting the Governor's signature. Here is the bill that will go into affect 1/1/2010 if the Governor signs:

History on the bill is here:

While most of this appears to be common sense there are still problems with the bill. No one disputes that dogs should be cared for in a humane manner and that humane deserves a definition, however dictating to someone how many dogs one can own based on sexual orientation is a breach of civil liberties. Dogs are private property and with that: One dog (1) or One Hundred (100) can be abused, denied humane treatment. So how do standards of care and numbers of dogs owned relate where laws should be concerned? Why does someone with 10 intact dogs need to require humane housing and someone with 1 or 9 does not? Why are those on this list exempt:

(4) This section does not apply to the following:

19 (a) A publicly operated animal control facility or animal shelter;

20 (b) A private, charitable not-for-profit humane society or animal

21 adoption organization;

22 (c) A veterinary facility;

23 (d) A retail pet store;

24 (e) A research institution;

25 (f) A boarding facility; or

26 (g) A grooming facility.

27 (5) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a commercial

28 dog breeder licensed, before the effective date of this act, by the

29 United States department of agriculture pursuant to the federal animal

30 welfare act (Title 7 U.S.C. Sec. 2131 et seq.).

If you live in WA state I urge you to write to Governor Gregoire ( ) and politely advise her that while you applaud the WA state legislators for their efforts, this bill needs to not be passed. It simply is flawed. The answers to the above questions as provided by the WA State Legislators in the form of WA5651 is insufficient, discriminatory, and possibly unconstitutional via civil liberty laws regarding personal property.

Gina Heitz

Woodburn Oregon

*who will not be affected by this in any way...