Position Statements

Domesticated and Companion Animal Welfare

The East Bay SPCA believes that people who choose to keep an animal dependent on their care are responsible for the animal for the duration of its life. This includes preventing neglect and cruelty, and providing a good quality of care. At the very least, the animals should be provided with:

• Appropriate food and water
• Veterinary care when needed
• Appropriate shelter from the elements

Positive Reinforcement Training

The East Bay SPCA endorses and uses positive reinforcement in training and handling all companion animals and especially with dogs. We believe that training that relies on dominating pets is outdated. We use scientifically proven positive reinforcement methods like clicker training. Shock or prong collars, “choke” chains, or physical corrections might change an animal’s behavior in the moment, but this type of training addresses symptoms and not underlying behavioral issues. This type of training can also lead to rising levels of frustration and aggression in animals, increasing risk of danger of injury for them and their guardians/trainers. To learn more about our training programs, click here.

Pediatric Spay/Neuter

The East Bay SPCA supports early-age spay/neuter for dogs and cats. The State of California requires that all dogs and cats leaving shelters, humane and/or rescue organizations are spayed or neutered. (Food and Agricultural Code 30503.) Sterilization is appropriate if:
• The animal is at least 8 weeks of age
• The animal weighs at least 2 pounds
• The animal is deemed healthy by a veterinarian
• All proper surgical protocols are used

Cat Welfare

The East Bay SPCA is dedicated to the health and welfare of cats. Guardians are expected to provide a good quality of life, and allow the cat to live primarily indoors; outside with supervision.

Abandoning animals is a criminal offense, Penal Code 597. Cats left to fend for themselves experience poor health, shortened lifespans, and negatively impact indigenous wildlife.

Feral colonies should be supported by an assigned care giver, whose role it is to feed, monitor health, and ensure all colony members are spayed or neutered. In the case that a feral cat is tractable, it may be deemed not feral and measures should be taken to re-home it.

Learn more about what you can do regarding to help stray cats, feral cats, and kittens

Responsible Animal Adoption

The East Bay SPCA spearheaded the movement banning animal sales from Craigslist (in 2006). The East Bay SPCA does not support the acquisition of companion animals by mail order or over the internet unless sellers can provide assurance of good animal welfare, and safe transport for non-local buyers.

Responsible Breeders (Avoiding Puppy Mills, Pet Shops and Backyard Breeders)

The East Bay SPCA urges members of the public to adopt pets through legitimate local shelters and rescue organizations as a first option. If this is not possible, The East Bay SPCA encourages the public to purchase a pet only from a reputable and responsible breeder. For more information on responsible breeding, click here.

Classroom Pets

The East Bay SPCA opposes the keeping of any exotic or wild animal as a classroom pet. Domesticated animals can be kept in classrooms provided that;
• The animal is not permitted to breed
• There is an assigned guardian of the animal
• The animal is not left alone over weekends, holidays or breaks
• The guardian of the animal is fully versed in its appropriate care
• The animal is handled only when under supervision of the guardian, and as is appropriate for the species

Backyard and Guard Dogs

The East Bay SPCA does not support the acquisition of dogs for the sole purpose of guarding or those that will live outdoors (in the backyard) only. Dogs that are not able to come inside the family home suffer from social deprivation; dogs are social animals that desire the attention and affection of humans. If not properly socialized into a home, these dogs are more likely to develop concerning and aberrant behavior and are thus more likely to be relinquished to a shelter.

Tethering of Dogs

The East Bay SPCA supports California Health and Safety Code 122335, which bans the tethering of dogs for more than three (3) hours per 24-hour period. Dogs exposed to tethering in excess of three (3) hours per day may be impounded by the City shelter and the owner cited.

Non-Therapeutic Alterations

The East Bay SPCA is opposed to any physical alteration of an animal’s body for cosmetic or behavioral reasons, except for procedures that are veterinarian performed to alleviate suffering. Tail docking, ear cropping, de-barking and declawing are strongly opposed as the risk of these elective procedures can lead to infection, ongoing pain and suffering, and even death.

Euthanasia and “No Kill”

The East Bay SPCA is opposed to the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals.

While “no kill” is a popular phrase in today’s animal welfare environment, we do not find its use responsible. We discourage the use of the phrase “no kill” as it is often misunderstood and hides the problems of safety, overpopulation and responsible ownership that our communities face. Instead, we want to be very clear to our supporters and the public how we make the difficult choice of euthanasia when it is absolutely required.

The East Bay SPCA will euthanize an animal whose poor health cannot be solved humanely by our highly skilled medical staff or consulting specialists or an animal whose condition puts other shelter animals or workers at risk. We also will choose euthanasia when an animal has negative behaviors that are beyond our ability to correct, such as unmanageable aggression toward other dogs or people. This is especially true if the animal presents a safety hazard to potential adopters or the community.

In fact, keeping such animals while thousands of healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized because there is no place to keep them could be considered an unconscionable decision. To see our animal statistics tables dating back five years, click here.

We Serve Vegetarian Foods

In keeping with the trends of societal changes, the East Bay SPCA went vegetarian in October, 2014. This means that any meals or food purchased by the East Bay SPCA for staff lunches, VIP events and board meetings will be vegetarian fare.
We respect that dietary choices are quite personal, and we do not intend to dictate what anyone eats. However, as an animal welfare organization, we have now better aligned with our mission by implementing a vegetarian menu for all East Bay SPCA events.

Vegetarian cuisine and options abound, especially in the Bay Area. We hope everyone enjoys the new food choices that we offer, and welcome any feedback or suggestions!

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