Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another "Half a Loaf"

Colorado Springs is the county seat of El Paso County, Colorado. The county is the most populous of the 64 counties in the state.

Recently, by a 3-2 vote of the county commissioners, the following law was adopted: “It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, trade, barter, lease, rent, give away, or display for any purpose a pet animal on any public street, road, highway, alley, sidewalk, or any other public place, or in open areas where the public is invited by the owner or person controlling such areas, including commercial parking lots, outdoor special sales, sap [sic] meets, flea markets, parking lot sales, or similar events.”

Violation can result in a fine.

ISAR certainly approves of the law’s intention, and has long disapproved of, and fought against, so-called “roadside sales” of companion animals.

That said, however, the El Paso County law raises once again the problem we have addressed in the past: “Half a loaf.” (Half a LoafHalf a Loaf, Revisited and The "Half a Loaf" Problem Rises Again)

While Section (a) of the law, quoted above, could have been better drafted, it would probably get the job done standing alone.

The problem is that it doesn’t stand alone. Section (b) is shot through with exceptions which take much of the punch out of Section (a).

Section (b) does not apply to:
1. Agents of state licensed pet stores.
2. Events for the sale of agricultural livestock.
3. Shelters.
4. Sales of pet animals on private property who have the owner’s permission.

Cumulatively, these exceptions allow for many animals to be sold at the “roadside,” gutting to a considerable extent the intent and express language of Section (a).

Although ISAR has long approved of, and fought for, mandatory spay/neuter laws, several years ago we opposed one introduced into the California legislature because it, too, was gutted by exceptions (Mandatory Spay/Neuter Beat Goes On.)  We believed that its enactment would have allowed the opponents of mandatory spay/neuter to resist further, proper legislation on the ground that the pro-mandatory spay/neuter forces had already received enough and that no further laws were necessary or appropriate.

Since the El Paso law was narrowly passed on a 3-2 vote of the county commissioners, it is unlikely that a tougher law without some or all of the Section (b) exceptions would have been enacted. So the majority obviously accepted the exceptions.

In other words, they accepted “half a loaf.”

In ISAR’s view, that is not “better than none.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ISAR gets out the word about our Stop Devocalization Project

As our friends and supporters know, we have recently created a stand-alone project aimed at prohibiting the barbaric practice of devocalization. Because ISAR is truly an international organization, our newsletter, blog and eBulletin goes out to our friends and supporters not only in the United States, but worldwide.

Last month we received a supportive email from a Swedish veterinarian who wrote that "As a veterinarian I am ashamed that some of my American colleagues are taking part in this unnatural and unhealthy modification of healthy animals to make them suit their owners. Fortunately this is illegal in Europe. USA should follow."

We could not agree more!

Monday, December 10, 2012


ISAR wants to call your attention to a lawsuit filed recently in the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, Indio Division. It is entitled ADVANCING THE INTERESTS OF ANIMALS v. CITY OF INDIO, ET AL., Case Number INC 1207510. The attorney for Petitioner is Diane C. Blasdel of the Rancho Mirage law firm Ealy, Hemphill & Blasdel, LLP.
The action seeks mandate, declaratory judgment and a temporary and permanent injunction in connection with acts of commission and failures to act at the Indio, California, animal shelter which are alleged to violate several California statutes.

ISAR wholeheartedly supports the lawsuit's goals.

For more information please click HERE.