Huntington Beach, Calif., Moves Closer To Mandatory Spay, Neuter Program

The City Council voted in favor of drafting an ordinance that would require pet owners to alter and microchip their cats.

Posted: September 10, 2007 5 a.m. EDT

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Huntington beach voted to require all pet owners to spay, neuter and microchip their pets
A California City Council voted by 4-3 in favor of drafting a resolution that would require pet owners to spay, neuter and microchip their cats and dogs.
In a controversial decision, the Huntington Beach City Council voted by 4-3 in favor of drafting a resolution that would require pet owners to spay, neuter and microchip their cats and dogs.

The purpose of the ordinance would be to reduce uncontrolled breeding of both cats and dogs, to more humanely manage the city’s pet population and reduce the strain on Orange County Animal Care Services’ resources, according to a staff report prepared by Huntington Beach Police Chief Kenneth W. Small.

A spay and neuter exemption would apply if special circumstances were met, which are: a veterinarian deemed the surgery unsafe; the animal is used for law enforcement purposes; the animal is a service animal and assists the disabled; or if the pet is deemed a “competition” animal.

The proposed ordinance defines a competition animal as a pet that is used to show, compete or breed and is recognized by—and registered with—an approved dog or cat breed registry.

Those in violation of the ordinance would be fined $150, and up to $500 if the violation continued to go uncorrected. The legislation would allow pet owners a one-year grace period before any fines would be issued, which would give the city time to evaluate the effect of the ordinance and allow the public time to prepare, the staff report states.

Opponents of the ordinance say this legislation creates a “nanny government” and infringes on individuals’ rights. Those in favor of the ordinance said this legislation would reduce the number of animals euthanized.

“The goal is noble, no one wants to see [animals] suffering,” said Councilman Don Hansen, who voted against the ordinance, “but I don’t think it’s going to be effective … And it’s very intrusive.”

Small will finalize the language of the ordinance when it will return to the city council for a vote.

--Heidi Hatch, Associate News Editor for CatChannel.com

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Huntington Beach, Calif., Moves Closer To Mandatory Spay, Neuter Program

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Reader Comments

Lydia    Huntington Beach, CA

11/6/2007 8:50:04 AM

Yes!!! I am thrilled to hear the Council has moved closer to a mandatory Spay/Neuter Program and those opposed should spend one day (just one day)volunteering at a local shelter or as an observer in the room used for euthanasia. (Ignorance is bliss) Perhaps then, their persective would change. Better yet, adversaries of the ordinance should try driving outside of their pristene gated communities for a view of neighborhoods where "responsible" dog ownership is not practiced. If the Councilman thinks mandatory spay/neuter is intrusive, I assure him the cost of our local shelters is VERY instrusive and already shared by all.

Sherry    Olympia, WA

9/11/2007 12:34:03 AM

I think this is a great idea and if this program works, other places should definitely look into it. But I want to know how keeping pet population from growing is invading our privacy! The pet population is too large as it is and this is keeping it from growing. Owning a pet is a privilege...not a right - if you don't want to follow the rules, you don't get to play.

Samantha    Edmonton, AL

9/10/2007 11:48:53 PM

this sounds to be a good rogram in a much needed comuntity

Judy    Lexington, NC

9/10/2007 10:46:29 PM

I do not agree with this a an ordinance. I have only one cat and he has been neutered because I believe it is the right thing to do. Not because the government told me to do it. Make people responsible and not let their animals run at large.

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