California Landlords Banned from Requiring Pets to Have Declaw and Debark Surgery
A new law protects cats and dogs and helps renters in California. Read more below!Published October 1, 2012
It makes absolutely no difference what your political persuasion may be; whether you’re a DemoCAT, a RePUPlican or an Independent, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) deserves major kudos for recently signing an important animal welfare bill aimed at protecting cats and dogs.
According to the Paw Project, both cat lovers and dog devotees residing in the great state of California finally can breathe a sigh of relief. On September 26, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1229, a bill which prohibits landlords from requiring tenants to declaw their kitties or have their dogs debarked as a rental condition. In doing so, Governor Brown made California the first state in the country to pass this compassionate and animal-friendly legislation.
Introduced by Senator Fran Pavley (CA-D), the bill was sponsored by the Paw Project, whose mission is “educating the public about the painful and crippling effects of cat declawing.” SB 1229 also bans landlords from any type of advertising discouraging pet guardians with cats with claws and dogs with vocal cords from applying. Additionally, landlords who violate these restrictions will face a fine of up to $1,000 for each pet involved.
Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Conrad, the director of the Paw Project said, "We're grateful to Senator Pavley and Governor Brown for their leadership on this important animal welfare legislation. SB 1229 will create the means to protect tenants from being forced to choose between securing housing for their families or having their pets undergo unnecessary, costly and life-altering surgical procedures."
Over 37 countries around the world and several cities in California have already banned feline declawing. It is the amputation of the last joint of each of the cat’s toes and is a procedure that’s been the subject of controversy in the United States and Canada.
Debarking, or devocalization in animals (generally dogs), is a surgical procedure in which vocal cords are cut by an incision made in the throat. The surgery is performed in order to reduce the sound of barking. As a result of possible surgical scarring, dogs can develop obstructed airways. This procedure is generally banned throughout the country, and is already illegal in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
While this law provides major protection for cats and dogs and prevents pet guardians from being denied housing unless their pets are declawed or debarked, opponents point out that the law does not prohibit landlords from refusing to rent to dog and cat guardians by simply instituting a “no pet” policy. This said, landlords do have the option of charging a “pet deposit” to defray the cost of any damage to their property.
What are your thoughts about the California law banning landlords from requiring tenants to declaw or debark their pets? Share your views in a comment.