Rhode Island Approves Mandatory Cat Spaying, Neutering Bill

A provision is included for low-income pet owners to receive subsidies.

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Rhode Island House lawmakers have approved a bill that would require cat owners to spay or neuter their pets if they are more than six months old, unless the owners have a permit or a breeders license.

The House passed the measure on a 54 to 6 vote on May 11, one day after the state Senate approved the bill 36 to 0. The bill could be sent to the governor by the end of the month.

Rep. Charlene Lima, D-Cranston, said the bill would reduce the number of cats euthanized annually in Rhode Island by up to 65 percent.

But some animal rights advocates, while wanting to reduce the states cat population, have argued that the bill could prompt abandonment of healthy pets if their owners can't afford the costly birth-control procedures.

Supporters say the bill could save thousands of cats from being euthanized, save birds preyed on by alley cats and ease overcrowding in animal shelters.

The bill has a provision for low-income pet owners to receive subsidies for low-cost spay and neuter surgery. It also exempts farmers.

Posted: May 13, 2006, 5:00 a.m. EST

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Rhode Island Approves Mandatory Cat Spaying, Neutering Bill

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Reader Comments

Karen    Bellingham, MA

6/18/2009 4:58:50 AM

I'm totally in favor. I'd like to see 'less' breeder licenses, too. Not enough of a need imo.

Sandra    Stockton, CA

8/13/2008 7:08:48 PM

I am in favor.

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