Mandatory Spay-Neuter Approved in Southern California City

Laguna Woods City Council OKs proposal, which would make it illegal for cats to run loose unless they are sterilized.

Posted: April 21, 2009, 3 a.m. EDT

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Tabby cat
New regulations in Laguna Woods, Calif., would make it mandatory for cats 6 months and older to be altered.
A plan for mandatory spay-neuter regulations has been approved by the city of Laguna Woods in Orange County, Calif.

The ordinance preliminary approved April 15 by the City Council applies to the sterilization of cats and dogs 6 months and older. The issue will come back to the City Council for formal approval in May. The proposal establishes the following:

  • Local laws prevent dogs from running loose in the city; the proposed ordinance would make it illegal for cats to run loose in the community unless they are spayed or neutered.
  • Citation penalties are $100 to $500, depending on frequency of violation. Such fines would be in addition to any fine levied for the primary violation.
  • Any unaltered animal impounded by Animal Services would need to be spayed or neutered before it could be released, according to a city report. The owner or custodian of a cat or dog that is unable to be spayed or neutered without a high chance of suffering serious bodily harm or death because of age or health risks must get written confirmation of that fact from a California licensed veterinarian, the ordinance states.

In addition, dog owners may obtain an unaltered dog license, issued by Animal Services if the manager determines that certain conditions are met. For example, if the dog participates in competitions, is used by a law enforcement agency, or is a qualified assistance dog.

Owners of unaltered cats older than 6 months must have the animal spayed or neutered, or provide a certificate of sterility, or show that the cat is a competition cat.


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Mandatory Spay-Neuter Approved in Southern California City

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Reader Comments

Maggie    Pelham, AL

8/31/2009 6:21:04 AM

Awesome. I totally support mandatory spay neuter. I wish it would happen everywhere. I live in Birmingham, Alabama and rescue abandoned and ferral cats. It is so sad. If people did the right thing, were resposible, and spayed their animals, then we would not need this law, but sadly many are not ethical and responsible. I wish Alabama would be the first southern state to pass such a law. I understand their is currently a law in the house. My goal is to start doing whatever it takes to get this law passed in spite of the ignorance here. Any suggestions?

Marina    Havertown, PA

4/21/2009 7:30:17 PM

This program should be enacted everywhere in the world

Jeff    Tucson, AZ

4/21/2009 7:13:31 PM

Good idea but who's gonna enforce it?

Nicole    somewhere in, AZ

4/21/2009 5:48:47 PM

This is great news. A smart way to deal with an arising and huge problem. Maybe one state with safely lower the feral cat population and a state will not have overcrowded shelters. Once this is in tow, I would like to see ALL California shelters becoming no-kill. Ecspecially to feral cats. Just spay/nueter and return the poor wild cats.

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