Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chabin bill to effectively sterilize cats and dogs goes to governor

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – A bill by Rep. Tom Chabin, D-Flagstaff (District 2), that allows veterinarians more options for sterilizing cats and dogs has been sent to the governor for her signature.

Chabin’s HB 2137, allows for sterilization by other means, such as medicinal sterilization. This allows Arizona to “expedite the successful introduction of methods to non-surgically sterilize dogs and cats and to support the distribution and promotion of these products to humanely control cat and dog populations worldwide,” as stated by the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs.

“This bill is another tool and cost-effective method for veterinarians,” Chabin said. “I’m happy to highlight an NAU professor while helping Arizonans’ pets find good homes and their owners find jobs at the same time.”

According to statute, Arizona law requires that all dogs or cats being released for adoption or released to its owner from a county, city or town pound or from an animal shelter to have been surgically spayed or neutered first.

Dr. Loretta Mayer, Assistant Research Professor at Northern Arizona University, who developed the medicinal method and supports the bill, said it improves the health and welfare of cats and dogs in the state.

With the signing of the bill, Mayer will start clinical trials for FDA approval for a product that is being used in other parts of the world. That product will soon be manufactured in Phoenix, and her company will create more than 100 new jobs in Flagstaff.

The bill was also amended to include an ordinance holding dog owner’s responsible for a “dog-on-dog” attack. Glendale residents Richard and Sally Andrade have been working to pass such a law after an unleashed pit bull attacked and killed their dog Fabian two years ago. No current law holding pet owners criminally liable for “dog-on-dog” attacks exists. Since Fabian’s death, there have been more than 900 similar “dog-on-dog” attacks in Maricopa County alone, the couple said.

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