It’s impossible to discuss Skyline Dog Fanciers of San Mateo County without first discussing Responsible Dog Breeders of San Mateo County, because that is where the organization was founded.
On October 25, 1990, the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) held a press conference to announce that they had urged the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to propose an ordinance that would guarantee the safety of pets in the county.
The Ordinance, according to the AG’s press release, was intended “to put a halt to all deliberate breeding of dogs and cats until there were no more pet overpopulation.” The program showed an adorable shaggy little dog being put down, and the statement that over 10,000 dogs and cats are killed every year.
Anything to do with puppies or kittens is enough to make anyone cry, and this tiny bit of sadness caught on like wildfire. Soon it was being rebroadcast across the nation, and by morning, the print media had it plastered all over their front pages.
The phones were ringing in San Mateo County that morning, and both Tim Mathiesen (Nebriowa Pembroke Welsh Corgis) and Jim Boso (Glengloamin West Highland White Terriers) called Betty-Anne Stenmark (King’s Mtn. Dandie Dinmont Terriers).
Numerous purebred dog fanciers showed up for the 3 open hearings that fall, thanks to RDB/SMC’s emergence as a major presence in the county and the hundreds of people who turned out. Many of the RDB/SMC were on television, interviewed by reporters, and our brilliant Doggy Picket Line.
While most of our customers were vacationing, we staged a sit-in inside their storefront. It was successful, and they could not open until 6 p.m., after which they were allowed to sell alcohol. We wanted to know why the protesters outside congregated there instead of going home before heading out with some colorful swag for the evening news.
It took the Task Force five months to complete its mission, and during that time, politics on the Board of Supervisors evolved. In reality, both Tom Nolan (who proposed this ordinance) and Anna Eshoo were running for congress in California’s congressional primaries, looking to distinguish themselves from each other.
Finally, the parties and attorneys arrived at an acceptable agreement that would meet the needs of all involved. The Ordinance, in essence, would state: “All pets in San Mateo County will be spayed or neutered unless you don’t want to or are exempt.” It was critical to Tom Nolan that the word “mandatory”.
Since this poorly conceived ordinance was first put forward, a lot has occurred across the country to educate pet owners and encourage responsible pet ownership, as well as promote spaying and neutering of household pets.
The American Kennel Club now has a full department dedicated to encouraging improved pet ownership habits. San Mateo’s ordinance, for example, is one of many that have sprouted up around the country, but because of what was done here, most of the copycat laws have been amended and purebred dog sports have been allowed to “remain intact.
The members of RDB/SMC fought a war together and survived, becoming close friends as a result. Meetings had grown to be too much of a good time, so we opted to form an all-breed dog club to promote the Sport of Purebred Dogs in San Mateo County.
We rebranded ourselves as the Skyline Dog Fanciers of San Mateo County. There had previously been no all-breed dog club in the county, which is why we changed our name to Skyline Dog Fanciers of San Mateo County. The San Mateo Kennel Club was a private club.
Skyline began holding breed fun matches, and the club was granted recognition and permission to conduct Plan B-OB Matches, then Plan A-OA Matches, culminating in full recognition.
In 1995, the AKC recognized and licensed Skyline Dog Fanciers of San Mateo County.