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Old 02-08-2005, 10:31 AM
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dawnell dawnell is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: yellow springs
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Default cosmetic surgery ban for pets

Calif. Town May Ban Cosmetic Pet Surgery

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - Leaders in this tiny city known for its progressive views are seeking to ban cosmetic surgery for pets.

West Hollywood's mayor plans to introduce a motion Monday that would prohibit ear cropping, tail docking, debarking, defanging and other surgical procedures performed on animals for "noncurative" reasons.

Such procedures, supporters say, hurt the animals to satisfy their owners' tastes. Already law in many European countries, the ban would be the first of its kind in the United States, said Mayor John Duran.

It's not the first time this 2-square-mile city surrounded by Los Angeles and Beverly Hills championed animal rights.

It already has laws forbidding cat declawing and designating its residents as pet guardians rather than pet owners. Last year, the city started regulating pet-grooming companies by mandating that animals have fresh water and local businesses report injuries related to grooming within 24 hours.

"We recognize we have an opportunity to provide leadership on public policy," said City Councilman Jeffrey Prang, co-sponsor of the motion. "Somebody always has to be first. Animal welfare is something West Hollywood feels strongly about."

Mark Hiebert, head of emergency medicine and surgery at TLC Pet Medical Centers, was dismayed the city might enact another law that could infringe upon the decisions of veterinarians and pet owners.

Darla Dorr, former president of the Los Angeles Doberman Pinscher Club who has raised the dogs for 40 years, rejected the idea that ear cropping was cruel.

Given proper care, the puppies are soon "racing around the house as if nothing's been done," she said.

If the measure passes, the city attorney will draft an ordinance that will become law 30 days after the City Council gives final approval.

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