Rhode Island takes a stand on spaying and neutering

Funny_face"Gov. Don Carcieri signed a law Friday making Rhode Island the first state to require cat owners to spay or neuter their pets. Cat owners must spay or neuter pets older than six months unless they pay $100 for a breeder's license. Violators can be fined $75 per month."

The idea is to try to reduce the number of kittens that get dumped off at the local pound. I'm wondering, is this the first state to mandate something like this?

How will they would actually implement the law? Likely only when the neighbors complain about all the kittens popping up perhaps?

Read the rest of the article here.

CNN.com - Congress considers pets' place in disaster plans - May 22, 2006

Katrina_rescue_by_dave_saville_2 Some of the worse pictures of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath were of the pets that were left behind to fend for themselves. We also heard of so many people who refused to evacuate because the hurricane shelters would not take pets. No doubt numerous lives, both pets and their people, were lost because they had no place to go together.

To remedy that, the House of Representatives just passed a law that requires "state and local preparedness offices to take into account pet owners, household pets and service animals when drawing up evacuation plans. Offices that fail to do so would not qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency."

About time. Now, will this be in place for this hurricane season, which starts in, oh say nine days (June 1)?

Link: CNN.com - Congress considers pets' place in disaster plans - May 22, 2006.

Along a similar vein, there's another very interesting blog entry in The Bark's blog about the new Louisiana Evacuation Bill.

The new bill calls for animals to be evacuated with their families as long as there is no danger to human life, for animal shelters to be provided “side by side” with human shelters wherever possible, for pets to be allowed on public transportation or given separate transportation, and for a tracking system to identify and locate displaced pets.

The sad part about the legislation seems to be the petty and childish response of the Louisiana State Veterinarian’s Office.

The Louisiana State Veterinarian’s Office is working to block out-of-state licensed veterinarians from helping animals in the event of a disaster. Specifically, the state vet’s office has stated that they “will never again allow out-of-state vets to come in” and help save animals stranded and dying as a result of a disaster, even if in-state vets are in critically short supply.

What on earth are they thinking? Did they not notice what happened last year and since then? Check out the article for more details.

It just makes me sag just to read it. Doesn't this make you mad?

2006 Animal Welfare Bill in the UK

Rpca One of the presentations at the first International Pet Insurance Conference I attended last month was given by Peter Craske who is with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in the UK [warning - some of the images on this website are pretty disturbing as you can imagine]. He gave us the state of affairs on animal welfare in the UK and the European Union, which was very interesting.

Peter talked about the new bill coming out in the UK in October 2006 called the Animal Welfare Bill. According to the RSPCA website:

As well as increasing the penalties for those who inflict the most serious cruelty offences, the Animal Welfare Bill introduces the new welfare offence. This will introduce a 'duty of care' on pet owners to provide for their animal's basic needs - such as adequate food and water, weterinary treatment when required, and an appropriate environment in which to live.

Peter said that this is extremely important for the RSPCA as it allows them to step in before an act of cruelty occurs, not after as they have to now (and you can imagine how awful that must be for the people of the RSPCA who see attrocities every day.) 

This new law, "the most significant piece of animal welfare legislation for nearly 100 years", has major implications for British pet owners. For example, tail docking for dogs other than working or gun dogs is banned, and so is declawing.

While pet insurance is not mandated by the law to provide the veterinary treatment mentioned above, the RSPCA feels responsible pet parents should have pet insurance as part of their duty of care to their pet.

Why do we care about this in the US? Because you can be sure that animal organizations in the US will be pushing for a similar bill this side of the pond. Do you think that something like this legislation could pass in the US?

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