In March, The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) co-sponsored a bill mandating the sterilization of all owned
dogs and cats in the state, but has changed its support to take a neutral position because of its members' negative reaction.
The initiative stirs intense debate among breeders and citizens favoring less government oversight and those determined to
lower the state's euthanasia numbers.
Veterinarians are sharply divided.
Critics claim the changes water down the bill, but currently, AB 1634 prohibits ownership of an intact pet more than 6 months
old unless a local permit is purchased. In the Assembly's version, the waiver is available only to licensed breeders, legitimate
show dogs or cats, obedience guide and disability dogs as well as therapy, working or police dogs. The Senate bill permits
any owner to buy an intact permit. Fee revenues would help administer the program, enforced by animal-control authorities.
Violators would face $500 civil penalties. Temporary exceptions would be made for animals not healthy enough to undergo surgery,
based on a veterinarian's letter.