I have included the text of my letter. There are some things that could have been phrased better, but if having the text to crib from helps you get a letter out - do it!!
Dear Representative Galvin:
I am a resident of Canton, MA, a dog owner, and a member of the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners. I am VERY distraught by the changes proposed in H5092 (formerly H1948). I feel these changes are anti-responsible owner.
I am involved in performance sports with my dogs. It is generally recommended that dogs are left intact (un-neutered/un-spayed) until growth plates have closed. This is to prevent future injuries and is supported by research. Research also shows that in addition to the structural benefits there are life-long health benefits in delaying both spaying/neutering or leaving the dog intact. Growth plates close typically around 14 months of age for small and medium size dogs and a minimum of 18 months for large breed dogs. One of the new components of this revised bill would have responsible dog owners paying $500 annually for the right to keep their dog intact. Does it matter whether the choice is an educated choice? According to the law, no.
One of my males is intact, one is neutered. I will not be neutering my intact male unless forced. Why? I am a responsible owner. My dog is never unattended, my dog has no behavioral problems that warrant neutering, and I do not want to risk putting him under anesthesia unwarrantedly. Unfortunately this fee is going to ensure that people do not license their dogs correctly due to the financial hardship they will face.
I am also extremely concerned by the idea of state mandated vaccination schedules. Dr. Jean Dodds is one of the foremost authorities on the subject and has recommended minimal vaccinations – less that your typical veterinarian recommends. There is bountiful research to suggest that the over-vaccination of our pets have contributed to the overall decline in pet health. State mandated vaccination schedules will only punish the educated owner who has done their research and knows the science behind a minimal vaccine schedule, not the average owner who does what their vet tells them to do.
Allowing towns and cities to impose breed-specific ordinances guarantees MORE dogs will be euthanized. Breed specific legislation is ineffective, costly to residents and unfair to responsible dog owners. The following organization are all AGAINST breed specific legislation:
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- The American Kennel Club (AKC)
- The United Kennel Club (UKC)
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA
- Dog Legislation Council of Canada (DLCC
- American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS
- National Animal Control Association (NACA
- Maryland Veterinary Medicine Association
- Humane Society of the United States (HSUS
- American Canine Foundation (ACF)
Please suggest that the bill is returned to study, or in the alternative back to the Joint Municipalities Committee for consideration and public comment on the policies contained in HB 5092. Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, Julie Garland-Powers