It was natural for Lassie to make the trek to Sacramento on Tuesday afternoon to help the opponents fight the bill. But Lassie, who lives in Southern California with her owner, Robert Weatherwax, was motivated beyond helping her fellow canine; this time, Lassie had her own mane to save. You see, under this bill the Lassie line would become extinct. Because of a facial coloring imperfection, Lassie does not meet the American Kennel Club’s requirements to be considered a purebred. Her owner would not be able to acquire the intact permit, thus the line would end at Lassie 9. And, as thousands of people who have benefited from Lassie and other breeds that help human beings will tell you, ending future Lassies would be wrong. Now we can breath easy thanks to the diligence of the all the pet owners who took time off from their regular lives to protest this bad bill. We can also thank Lassie who once again saved the day – and not just for California pets and their owners, but for all Californians who deserve a life unfettered from government restraints and the right to make personal choices. Whether it involves pets or not. George Runner, R-Lancaster, represents the 17th District in the state Senate. Contact him through his Web site, http://republican.sen.ca.gov/web/17.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WITH the withdrawal of the so-called Healthy Pets Act on Wednesday – a bill that would intrude in the personal lives of all California pet owners – Lassie has saved the day. Worse than Timmy falling in a well, this bill would have created yet one more nanny law that dictates how Californians conduct their lives. The measure required pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs and cats at six months of age or pay a $500 fine. It allowed exemptions for breeders to acquire an “intact permit,” but those conditions were convoluted and ambiguous – and came with an undetermined price tag. So it came down to this: Owners of mutts would be forced to alter their pets because mixed breeds did not fall under the conditions of the exemption. Therefore, mutts would be extinct while breeders would be allowed to continue their practice, but only after enduring a financial shakedown by the government. By the way, this bill would have done nothing to save the hundreds of thousands of pets – many of them feral cats – that are destroyed every year in California. Smart people quickly figured out that this was just another nanny bill aimed at running every single detail of our lives and had nothing to do with saving pets. I am not surprised that pet owners of all types opposed this bill. Cat fanciers, dog breeders, pet-show participants, police canine trainers and others descended on the Capitol every time the bill came up for a hearing in a committee. By the time Assembly Bill 1634, by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, had reached the Senate this week, the momentum had swayed in favor of the opponents. The thousands of people who wrote letters and protested in person deserve much of the credit. But the secret weapon that sealed the victory was none other than Lassie, a beautiful collie who is ninth generation in the Lassie lineage. Lassie, like all the Lassies before her, is a dog gifted with the ability to help mankind in emergencies and help those who struggle to live independently.