Increasingly, municipalities throughout the United States are contemplating, and some are actually enacting, local laws that severely restrict or even prohibit the breeding of cats and dogs. Sometimes, these laws are enacted in conjunction with other laws providing for mandatory spaying and neutering.
Needless to say, there is substantial opposition to these types of laws, especially from organized breeders and associations, such as the American Kennel Club, which have a huge financial stake in the breeding of cats and dogs. Among their other arguments against anti-breeding (and mandatory spaying and neutering) laws, the opponents claim they are unconstitutional.
Based on these findings, the anti-breeding laws provide for a moratorium on the breeding of cats and dogs, and if that doesnt reduce the overpopulation problem in that municipality then sub-sequent a mandatory spaying and neutering program is provided.
Important to the constitutional question is the Declaration of Intent found in typical anti-breeding laws:
The Board of Supervisors of the Town of Wherever hereby finds and declares that it intends to provide for the public health, safety, and welfare, through a moratorium on the breeding of cats and dogs owned, harbored, or kept in this municipality in order to bring the population of abandoned and stray animals to an acceptable level for protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Further, if the moratorium does not achieve this goal, a program for mandatory spaying and neutering will be instituted in order to attain an acceptable population level.
To understand why anti-breeding laws like this one will be held constitutional if defended properly it is necessary to understand something about the American system of government.
When the United States was founded, the Constitution created a new federal government possessing substantial power. Concern was expressed about whether any power was left to the states. To address this concern, the Tenth Amendment to the federal Constitution reserved to the states what are commonly referred to as police powers not in the sense of law enforcement, but rather powers to legislate for the publics health, safety, welfare (and morals.) All state constitutions, in turn, delegate this police power from the state to municipalities, which gives the latter power to pass laws related to the public health, safety, welfare (and morals.)
But those laws, like all legislative enactments made by every level of government federal, state, municipal must pass the test of constitutionality.
Laws affecting rights so fundamental that they are expressly protected by the federal and state constitutions e.g., speech, religion, self-incrimination, due process are tested by a very strict standard: in effect, these laws must be designed to protect or advance an extremely important governmental interest (e.g., protecting the nation from terrorists), and be virtually the only way to accomplish that goal.
On the other hand, laws not affecting such fundamental rights are tested for constitutionality by a lesser test: is there a problem properly within the governments area of concern, and is the enacted law a rational way to deal with that problem? Put another way, it is a question of ends and means.
Since anti-breeding laws do not affect fundamental rights expressly given constitutional protection, they are to be tested by this lesser standard.
Clearly, the number of unwanted cats and dogs causes significant social problems: senseless killing, health risks, wasted taxes, and more. Clearly, these problems raise important issues of public health, safety, welfare and even morals. In other words, the end is entirely appropriate constitutionally.
Thus, the next (and last) question is one of means: are the anti-breeding ordinances a rational way to deal with the problem? The short answer is obvious: if there are too many unwanted cats and dogs, its certainly rational to prevent the breeding of any more to prevent the population from growing, and to leave it to attrition to actually reduce that population.
The more profound answer is that the overpopulation problem is a moral outrage. Municipalities have the constitutional power and the moral duty to solve it to alleviate, if not eliminate, visiting the sins of irresponsible owners, especially breeders, on innocent animals. When it comes to anti-breeding laws, the end certainly does justify the means constitutionally and morally.
National Homeless Animals Day has come to symbolize a day of hope regarding the fate of millions of animals considered homeless and unwanted due to the irresponsibility of their caretakers.
Over a decade ago, ISAR, realizing the need to bring widespread public
attention to the overwhelming crisis of pet overpopulation, created and
sponsored National Homeless Animals Day. Always observed as the
third Saturday in August, National Homeless Animals Day strives
to bring an end to the senseless killing of healthy animals by educating
the public on the importance of spaying and neutering their pets and adopting
their next pet from a shelter. Each year animal rights/welfare organizations
and concerned citizens mark the day by coordinating Candlelight Vigils
to call attention to the tragedy of pet overpopulation and the effects
being felt right in their own communities. More than any other event,
National Homeless Animals
If you would like to become part of the spay/neuter solution, we urge you to coordinate a Candlelight Vigil on National Homeless Animals Day. Organizations throughout the United States and abroad, are invited to send for ISARs free vigil planning packet which contains all of the necessary information to hold a successful event. Vigil packets will be mailed during the first week in June.
This is the common message the entire animal rights/welfare community is trying to convey to the general public. What better way to communicate the tragedy of pet overpopulation and the importance of spaying and neutering than by plastering the message along busy roads and highways all across the nation, where the public will see and act upon it?
Twice annually, ISAR offers animal rights/welfare organizations the opportunity to educate their local community on the tragedy of pet overpopulation and the spay/neuter solution through our nationwide billboard campaign.
In full color, at an impressive 12x25 feet shouting the spay/neuter message, your billboard will be impossible to ignore. Depicted on the billboard is a brown dog and tiger/white kitten with the text Americas Dogs & Cats are DYING for you to be responsible. Spay/Neuter. IT STOPS THE KILLING. In addition to ISARs logo and 800 phone number, there is room across the bottom for the sponsoring organizations name and phone number to be printed.
By compiling and submitting orders twice a year, ISAR is able to keep the printing cost to a minimum ($100.00 for the first billboard, $50.00 for each additional one with the same imprint, which includes shipping). Sponsoring organizations are responsible for the cost of posting their billboards. Contact your local outdoor advertising agency for information on available space and costs. Organizations registered as not-for-profit may receive discounted or donated space, since the outdoor advertising company may take a deduction as a charitable contribution.
A recent example: The Dallas-based Metroplex Animal Coalition took advantage of the opportunity to spread the spay/neuter message, while advertising their own organizations free spay/neuter program, by purchasing thirteen billboards to be placed in key areas throughout their community. The Dallas Metroplex is very pleased with their billboards and is excited about the posting, which will be completed within the next few weeks.
Many organizations find it beneficial to promote their billboard campaign with press releases to the local media, in conjunction with their own flyers and handouts. ISAR offers supporting materials such as camera-ready display advertisements, brochures, fact sheets and celebrity recorded public service announcements.
The deadline for ordering ISARs 2003 summer billboards is July
15th. The billboards will be shipped to the sponsoring organizations
outdoor advertising company during the first week in August, just in time
to promote the National Homeless Animals Day Candlelight Vigil.
That is exactly what Cats Angels, Fernandina Beach, FL, did last
summer. Not only did their billboard shout the spay/neuter message, but
it also provided an excellent source for promoting their own National
Homeless Animals Day Vigil. With the first line of text for their
name and phone number, the second line was used to advertise their candlelight
Outdoor advertising is one of the most powerful opportunities to reach a large audience. ISAR offers all animal rights/welfare organizations the necessary tools to educate their local communities on the tragedy of pet overpopulation and the spay/neuter solution. ISARs billboards, coupled with our celebrity narrated public service announcements and spay/neuter literature and Model Legislation, make it possible for you to reach your targeted audience with our common message: Spay/Neuter. IT STOPS THE KILLING.
Please email us at Contact@isaronline.org to place your billboard order. For more information on ISARs billboard campaign, or our other programs, please visit our website at www.isaronline.org or email us at email@example.com. ISAR urges all participants of the billboard campaign to provide us with feedback about the impact this advertising has had in their communities.
Spay/Neuter Postage Stamp Activities
On September 20, 2002, while the United States Postal Services First Day of Issuance Ceremony was underway, Zion Grove, PA, Post-master Diane Drogalis was busy celebrating the day by hosting her own unveiling of the new spay/neuter commemorative postage stamps.
Ms. Diane Drogalis, has been a long time ISAR member and active supporter of ISARs nationwide and worldwide campaign for spay/neuter postage stamps.
Since 1999, Postmaster Drogalis has spearheaded the effort in Zion Grove by circulating ISARs petitions and collecting thousands of signatures in support of a spay/neuter commemorative postage stamp. Along with setting up a webpage to collect signatures for ISARs stamp campaign, Ms. Drogalis also initiated a local school project where students gathered hundreds of signatures on ISAR petitions in favor of a spay/neuter stamp. Ms. Drogalis was also active in ISARs letter writing campaign, contacting government officials in hopes of swaying the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee in favor of a spay/neuter stamp. At her Zion Grove post office, Ms. Drogalis organized a community celebration to commemorate the issuance of the long anticipated spay/neuter postage stamps. The event drew much media attention and many local people who wanted to show their concern for the overwhelming pet overpopulation problem.
This event offered local residents their first opportunity to purchase the long awaited spay/neuter postage stamps with a special pictorial cancellation, entitled Litter-less Station, designed in part by Ms. Dro-galis. The special cancellation was available for 65 days from unveiling, before the plates were destroyed.
During the open house, there were pets available for adoption by the Hillside SPCA in Pottsville, PA. Food and refreshments were served, including two large cakes depicting the images from the spay/neuter stamps. By holding raffles for pet goodie baskets and stamp imprinted t-shirts (donated by Ms. Drogalis) they were able to raise $1400.00 to benefit the Hillside SPCA.
Veterinarian Dr. Michelle Mattera of Mountain Shadow Veterinary Hospital, Schuylkill Haven, PA, spoke of the importance of having pets spayed and neutered. Speaking of pet overpopulation, Dr. Mattera was quoted as saying I call this a disease of neglect and one litter is too much Points ISAR agrees with, and which are the basic foundation that ISAR stands on Spay/Neuter. It stops the killing.
The Zion Grove post office sold more than 2000 spay/neuter postage stamps on the first day of issuance. These 2000 stamps alone, when applied to mail, will spread the spay/neuter message to a large audience and possibly save countless lives. With the usual number of commemorative postage stamps printed by the Postal Service averaging 80-100 million, think of the impact the spay/neuter stamp will have with 250 million printed (one kitten and one puppy). Ms. Drogalis was quoted as saying, Were (also) continuing the USPSs longstanding involvement in raising awareness of important social issues
ISAR applauds the efforts of Ms. Drogalis and all of our other members, who worked so hard to make the domestic spay and neuter postage stamp a reality. We believe through education, legislation, and direct action campaigns (such as National Homeless Animals Day, ISARs Billboard Campaign, our petitioning for a United Nations Postage Stamp) we can win the war on pet overpopulation. If you would like to take a more active role in ending the needless killing, please contact ISAR to start making a difference in your community.
Public Service Announcement Update
Millions of animals are put to death each year because people neglect to spay or neuter their companion animals. Much of this horrible tragedy can be prevented. Through media communications, ISAR continues to advance our campaign to educate the public on the many benefits of spaying and neutering.
ISAR is currently trying to recruit celebrities to record audio or video PSAs that urge the public to combat pet overpopulation by having their pets spayed or neutered. If any of our supporters are acquainted with a public figure and would be willing to help us spread the message of spaying and neutering to large audiences by way of PSAs, we would appreciate our introduction.
ISAR would like to thank our supporters for contacting their local stations urging them to air our Bob Barker and Brandon Mckennah public service announcements, which urge the spaying and neutering of companion animals. It is extremely effective when listeners and viewers contact their local stations to ask that they play the Bob Barker and Brandon Mckennah tapes. If the stations agree to do so, please contact ISAR with the stations name, address, phone number and the persons name to whom the PSA should be addressed. Please be sure to specify whether it is a radio or television station.
ISARs Special Reports continue to be an effective component in our war on dog and cat overpopulation. Our fight to educate about the tragedy of pet overpopulation and the importance of spaying and neutering is reaching wider-and-wider audiences with the help of volunteers who have generously devoted their time to translate some of our Special Reports into Croatian, Romanian and Russian languages. ISAR gives special thanks to those volunteers recognizing the need to aid us in providing informative literature to those pet caretakers in the United States and abroad who do not speak English.
Because of their efforts, we now have available the following literature in Croatian: Pet Identification and Overpopulation; Model Euthanasia Statistics Statute; and Model Adoption Sterilization Statute; in Romanian: Dog and Cat Overpopulation; and Russian: About International Society for Animal Rights And Its Programs and Model Mandatory Spay/Neuter Statute.
Due to the significant amount of information that remains to be translated into foreign languages, we are in need of additional bilingual volunteers willing to translate and proofread our Special Reports and other literature. Any amount of help, whether it be translating, proofreading, or both, would aid us significantly in breaking through foreign language barriers and allow us to offer our information in a ready-to-use format for the many areas in need of ISARs information.
Continuing the Campaign for a U.N. Spay/Neuter Stamp
Pet overpopulation is a problem facing the entire global community. Millions of unwanted pets around the world face abandonment and ultimately death, simply because there are too many pets and not enough loving homes and caregivers to go around. ISAR is committed to bringing global awareness to the pet overpopulation crisis. One way in which we hope to expose the issue of pet overpopulation is through a United Nations spay/neuter stamp. An average of six sets of stamps are produced each year and put on sale for a 12-month period or until the limited supply runs out, making them collectors items as well as valid postage when mailed from a U.N. office in New York City; Geneva, Switzerland; or Vienna, Austria. The themes for the stamps reflect significant issues facing the world; past stamps have featured environmental issues and endangered species. As noted in previous newsletters, Anthony Fouracre, Chief of the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA), has stated that the UNPA is open to suggestions for future commemorative stamps and welcomes input from the public. To encourage the UNPA to address the global pet overpopulation problem, please write to Mr. Fouracre and express your support and interest in a United Nations spay/neuter stamp. He can be reached at the following address:
Or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Attn. Anthony Fouracre in subject line)
You can also help by signing ISARs One-Hundred-Thousand-Signatures Campaign for a United Nations Spay/Neuter Postage Stamp at www.isaronline.org and by writing a letter to your local newspaper editor and informing the public about pet overpopulation and the need for a UN spay/neuter stamp. Form letters are available from ISAR free upon request; please write, call, fax or email us for a copy.
The cost of a laser spay or neuter is slightly higher than a standard scalpel operation, but as demonstrated, the benefits are numerous and may merit the extra investment. On average, a laser spay will cost around $75 more than a scalpel spay. A laser neuter costs around $40-$50 more than a scalpel neuter and most veterinarians include preoperative tests, intraoperative anesthesia and medications, and post-operative care in their costs for both spays and neuters.
ISAR does neither endorses, nor does not endorse, this procedure. We merely call it to the publics attention as a method deserving of investigation.
Education is key to impacting any social matter and animal issues are no exception. ISAR acts as a resource for those who are interested in improving the lives of animals through use of educational materials and campaigns. Now, with the use of our new Humane Education Packet, ISAR continues its role as educator.
ISARs Humane Education Packet is aimed at children who are attending kindergarten through the third grade. The lesson plans offered in our Humane Education Packet tie into everyday curriculums and focus on the basics of animal care and the responsibilities involved in caring for an animal.
The lessons in ISARs Humane Education Packet correspond with topics pertaining to animals and animal care, while the creative worksheets in the packet, which feature original artwork, help teach children responsibilities that come with caring for them.
ISAR believes that educating young people is vital to a promising future for animals. Our Humane Education Packet is offered to educators interested in teaching children how to be respectful of animals and responsible while caring for them. If you are interested in obtaining ISARs Humane Education Packet, please contact Colleen Gedrich at ISAR by mail, phone, fax or email.
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