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Press Conference

Los Angeles Mandatory Spay & Neuter Ordinance Hollywood Press Conference
Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bob Barker, Other Animal Enthusiasts Celebrate Los Angeles Spay/Neuter Ordinance Passage

Hollywood icon Bob Barker earlier today joined members of the Los Angeles city council, Los Angeles department of animal services, actress Elaine Hendrix, celebrity dog coach Tamar Geller and other supporters to celebrate the city's passage of the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance that went into effect yesterday.

In front of his star on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, Barker applauded the Los Angeles city council for passing the legislation that requires the sterilization of dogs and cats by the time they are four months old. The City of Los Angeles is to date the largest municipality in the country to pass the ordinance intended to decrease the number of unwanted dogs and cats.

"I am so proud of our city council," said Barker, the retired longtime host of "The Price is Right" and well-known spay/neuter advocate. "Once again, Los Angeles leads the way. It's the first major city to pass a spay/neuter ordinance, and already Chicago, Dallas and San Antonio have passed spay/neuter ordinances of their own. Houston and New York City are now considering similar ordinances."

In addition to easing overcrowded animal shelters with unwanted dogs and cats, proponents of the measure point to the myriad health benefits associated with sterilization. Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Brea-based Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), told supporters that sterilization is an effective measure that pet owners can take to protect their pets from cancer, the number one killer of dogs and cats.

"Sterilization at a young age nearly eradicates the likelihood of developing mammary, ovarian and uterine cancers," Dr. McConnell said. "There are also positive behavioral effects of sterilization, including reducing testosterone-driven tendencies such as aggression, roaming and urine marking." McConnell said those reasons are why VPI, the nation's oldest and largest pet insurer, has increased its spay/neuter benefit allowances by 53 percent to help defray the cost of associated medical bills.

"The ordinance allows the department of animal services to target resources towards the worst offenders whose irresponsibility threatens public safety and fills our shelters with unwanted dogs and cats," said Councilmember Alarcón, the ordinance author. "Our spay and neuter ordinance, which has already become a model for the nation, will reduce the number of animals that are euthanized and move us closer to our ultimate goal of being a no-kill city."

Ed Boks, general manager of the Los Angeles department of animal services, said now that the measure is in full effect, it will help with the department's crowded shelters, which were home to an estimated 50,000 unwanted animals last year.

"I want to thank the entire community for helping us get the word out. Bob Barker and every city council member and so many others. It takes a village to make LA 'no-kill' and the village has certainly responded this time," shared Boks.




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