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Last day to spay if you live in L.A.

Effective tomorrow, if you own an unaltered dog or cat in Los Angeles, you’re technically an outlaw.

As the website of L.A. Animal Services has been telling citizens — via a digital countdown of the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the city’s spay/neuter law goes into effect Wednesday — time’s almost up.

The Los Angeles City Council approved the measure in February in hopes of stemming the number of unwanted and stray animals in shelters. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 3 million to 4 million animals are euthanized in shelters nationwide each year. About 15,000 are euthanized a year in Los Angeles, according to a report by the City Controller

Dogs and cats exempted from the ordinance, according to the Los Angeles Times, include those that are being trained for special activities, have medical excuses, are show dogs or belong to owners aspire for their animals to join the show circuit.

The ordinance also has a lenient grace period, allowing four months before it is enforced. Even then, owners who have been found not to be in compliance have 60 days to alter their pets or pay a $100 fine. A third offense results in a $500 fine.

A report by City Controller Laura Chick said it’s doubtful that L.A. Animal Services will be able to enforce the new law.

“No one is sure how spay and neuter canvassing or enforcement should occur. The department plans to rely primarily on voluntary compliance,” she wrote. 

Ed Boks, general manager of L.A. Animal Services, responded by saying his department would enforce the measure “to the fullest extent possible. Owners should not conclude that they can avoid compliance without consequence.”


Comment from MG
Time September 30, 2008 at 11:39 am

How are we going to have Mutts(the best dogs) if only breeding of Pure Bred dogs is allowed?
This is insane.
I would hazard a guess that most people don`t want Pure Breed dogs.
I certainly don`t.

Comment from MG
Time September 30, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Apparently a lawsuit has been filed to stop this.

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time September 30, 2008 at 6:21 pm

I think my favorite part of that link was the “Bark Obama” stickers. Gotta get one for my own blog.

Surely they can find a better way to encourage spaying/neutering than to make it legally mandatory. And how will they enforce it? With guy dogs you can kind of tell…but with the ladies?

(I’m actually partial to purebred dogs, but I certainly agree with you on this one.)