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Post Info TOPIC: Mandatory Spay/Neuter - Importation (3)

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Mandatory Spay/Neuter - Importation (3)

Importation Issues

This is where the number of dogs imported into Santa Barbara County from
other counties, states and countries plays an important role, and why it is
highly probable that these imported dogs completely offset any theoretical
gains made by mandatory sterilization.

No data is available to show the exact number of dogs brought into Santa
Barbara County each year to satisfy a burgeoning demand for small, cute and
friendly dogs, but the number is likely staggering.

ASDA has verified that no fewer than seven private shelters and rescue
groups in the county import dogs from other areas, and a well-developed
network shows a steady stream of traffic into the county from other areas.
This can be verified by looking up rescue pipelines on Yahoo groups, which
are organized by each Interstate highway in the nation. Search for the
number of the Interstate under categories such as "I-5 transport," "I40
rescue," or "I-10 rescue transport," and you can track how this network
enters California and the destinations of many of the dogs.

Another organization, called the Canine Underground Railroad, also is a
communications network for the interstate and international rescue pipeline
that leads straight to Santa Barbara's doorstep. This group boasts 250
underground railway relay stations across America, and some are in Santa
Barbara County.

An October 27, 2007, report by ABC News described the issue succinctly:
"Even though dog overpopulation is rampant in some states, particularly in
the South, successful spaying and neutering programs in the Northwest,
California and the Northeast have created a dearth of adoptable puppies, say
local shelters."

Blogs from the Canine Underground Railway also consistently point to the
high demand for "adoptable" dogs in many rescue shelters, and the continual
necessity to fill rescue kennels with adoptable dogs from other areas.

ASDA does not criticise these rescue groups, and in fact admires the
dedication of these people to save lives of innocent dogs by helping them to
find good homes.

On the other hand, this trend puts the alleged "pet overpopulation problem"
in Santa Barbara County in a completely different perspective. It is
impossible to argue logically that there are too many unwanted dogs in Santa
Barbara County, when hundreds and possibly thousands of dogs are brought
into the county every year to meet the demand for pets.

It also points out that any gains in either voluntary or mandatory
sterilization in the county are very likely to be offset if not reversed by
increases in the number of dogs brought into the county by private shelters
and rescue groups.

The rescue movement was begun as a humanitarian commitment to animal
welfare, but it also has become driven by the market economy. It requires a
steady supply of small, cute and friendly dogs for adoption in order to pay
for the facilities and programs to help other dogs.

This is a central and pressing issue described in detail in discussions by
shelter and rescue managers on blogs and message boards connected to the
Canine Underground Railroad website, and also from another rescue pipeline
called the Best Friends Animal Society.

A leader of the Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue in Elverta, CA, describes the magnitude of the number of dogs being brought into California
from just one pupular breed, and by just one shelter. "We rescue between
350-500 dogs per year, many of whom come from distant shelters and are
transported by our Golden Taxi Team," she said on one blogsite.

"The feeling I'm getting anymore is not an altruistic, helpful endeavor," a
manager at another California rescue said. " These are business decisions,
the need to provide a commodity (cute dogs and cats) to the local community
so you've still got the public walking through your doors."

A manager of a public shelter complained bitterly about the cometition from
out-of-state imports. ". Because of the success of our spay/neuter program,
we do not have puppies waiting to be adopted," she said. She was referring
to a voluntary low-cost program.

A 1994 study by the American Veterinary Medical Association found that
shelters and rescues accounted for 10-to-14-percent of all pet ownership.
More recent findings shows that this has grown to more than 21-percent.

An article published by the pro-rescue group Animal People analysized that
increase: "Most of the increase appears to reflect the declining numbers of
unintentional litters given away by families and friends, but breeders also
seem to be feeling the competition from shelters and rescuers who are
increasingly astute about using paid ads to boost adoption demand and using
the Internet to arrange humane relocations, so that adopters can find the
dogs they want."

We believe that the precipitous rise in shelter importations (more properly
called "humane relocations") dramatically emphasizes the futility and
pointlessness of any mandatory spay and neuter program, and also points out
the strong potential to cancel out current successful efforts of voluntary
pet sterilization and increasing public awareness.

In plain English, there is a strong demand for small, cute and friendly
dogs, and also dogs of popular breeds, and it is in the nature of America's
values to fulfill that need in the marketplace by whatever means are

Some of those means are brutally inhumane, a Border Patrol analysis of dog
smuggling into California from Mexico shows.

  Christina Ghimenti
PawPrint Boxers
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