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Tag: mandatory

L.A. to halt low-cost spay-neuter program

Citing a budget shortfall, Los Angeles animal control officials say they will end a voucher program that enabled residents to get low cost spaying and neutering for their dogs.

The program started last year, when the city voted to require all Los Angeles dogs and cats be neutered or spayed, with the exception of show animals, law enforcement and service dogs, and those deemed too old or sick for the surgery.

L.A. Animal Services General Manager Ed Boks says the agency was compelled by the city to make up a budget shortfall of $414,000. Ending the spay and neuter vouchers will save about $150,000, he said.

Animal welfare advocates, and some city council members, are displeased with the decision to end the program, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Councilman Dennis Zine’s office said he ”strongly opposes the recent decision made by the department to halt the voucher program” and will move later this week for the council to reinstate the program.

Chicago reconsiders mandatory sterilization

Mandatory pet sterilization is back on the table in Chicago, and this time the City Council sponsor says he expects his proposal, revised to lessen the fines, to win approval.

Under the new proposal from Alderman Ed Burke, a third offense for not neutering or spaying a pet before they turn 6 months old would trigger a fine of $100 per month. His earlier proposal called for a $500 fine.

A mandatory spay/neuter law was proposed last summer, and former TV game show host Bob Barker came to Chicago to support it, saying it would cut down on the numbers of stray dogs and cats euthanized each year.

But the Chicago and Illinois State Veterinary Medical Associations opposed the measure, saying decisions about sterilization were best left to pet owners and their veterinarians, according to the Chicago Tribune. The proposal never came to a vote.

The proposal is expected to be voted on at a committee meeting Thursday.

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.”