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LA now requires most cats & dogs to be spayed or neutered

by Therese on February 26, 2008

in Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Pets

20080226kittens.jpgMost cat and dog owners in Los Angeles will now be required to have their cats and dogs spayed or neutered.

It’s now the law, pet owners who live in Los Angeles must have their dogs and cats sterilized by the time the animals are 4 months old.

The ordinance, signed into effect Tuesday by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating the thousands of animals that are euthanized in the city’s animal shelters every year.

“We will, sooner rather than later, become a no-kill city and this is the greatest step in that direction,” Councilman Tony Cardenas said as he held a kitten at a City Hall news conference.

One of the ordinance’s sponsors, Councilman Richard Alatorre, brought his two pet Chihuahuas to the event to be neutered.

The ordinance does exempt some animals, including those that have competed in shows or sporting competitions, guide dogs, animals used by police agencies and those belonging to professional breeders.

The average pet owner, however, must have their dog or cat spayed or neutered by the time it reaches 4 months of age (as late as 6 months with a letter from a veterinarian).

First time offenders will receive information on subsidized sterilization services and be given an additional 60 days. If they still fail to comply they could be fined $100 and ordered to serve eight hours of community service. A subsequent offense could result in a $500 fine or 40 hours of community service.

Read more here.

I certainly believe in spaying and neutering pets, but I think it should be voluntary. I’m not sure laws like this are the solution. It seems to me this could have some very undesirable results. If people aren’t responsible pet owners to begin with, I doubt seriously they are going to rush in to have their pets sterilized. Instead, many are more likely to skip going to the vet for fear of being “turned in.”

And how on earth will this law be enforced anyway? As it is, animal control officers are already stretched beyond their limits.

I simply don’t see it working for many reasons.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Fuzzy Logic February 26, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I hate to see it because 4 months is REALLY young..

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jan February 26, 2008 at 6:49 pm

The worst part of the law is that it doesn’t stop large breeders (puppy mills) from continuing to breed inferior and unsocialized dogs to be sold in pet shops. These are the dogs that are so often dumped in shelters.

You’re right that it will not be enforceable.

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