The proposed law would be the most sweeping statewide pet-sterilization law in the country and is aimed at reducing the estimated 500,000 unwanted dogs and cats that are destroyed in California animal shelters each year. It would require all cats and dogs to be sterilized by the age of 4 months or the owners would face a $500 fine.
The measure passed the Assembly by a single vote this month and will go to the Senate next where the outcome is uncertain, despite widespread support from celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Lionel Richie. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has not commented on whether he supports the bill. The American Kennel Club is so against the act that it has reportedly threatened to move the nation’s second-largest dog show after Westminster out of California. The show netted the local economy nearly $22 million last year and attracted up to 30,000 visitors.