Mandatory Spay and Neuter Surgeries

California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine introduces the California Healthy Pets Act, which would make spay and neuter surgery mandatory for cats and dogs.

Posted: March 06, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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(Stock photo)
The California Healthy Pets Act would require all cats and dogs to be spayed or neutered. (Stock photo)
California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) recently introduced the California Healthy Pets Act (AB 1634). The proposed legislation will require all cats and dogs more than 4 months old to be spayed or neutered unless the owner obtains an intact animal permit. Pet owners that do not comply with the provisions of the proposed bill might be liable for a civil penalty of $500 for each animal that is not altered.

The law would help curb pet overpopulation and reduce the numbers of cats and dogs euthanized in California each year, Levine said.

“We simply have a huge problem in the state with pet overpopulation,” he said. “It’s a huge public safety and public health issue.”

Some cat and dog enthusiasts, including organized breed organizations, say the bill contains provisions that could adversely impact responsible breeding programs. The American Kennel Club notes that the bill language does not specify a set fee for acquiring a permit for an intact animal, leaving that amount to the discretion of local jurisdictions.

City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s office drafted the bill, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa strongly supports it. Los Angeles County already has such a law on the books, as does the state of Rhode Island.

To view the complete version of the California Healthy Pets Act, click here.

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Reader Comments

Carrie    Madera, CA

3/12/2007 9:29:08 PM

I administer a private spay/neuter voucher program in Madera California where our shelter kill rates are over 70%. We advertise the program everywhere we can and our County social services department sends our flyers in food stamp/medi-cal mailers several times a year. After 3 years the litters of puppies & kittens are still pouring into the shelter, most being euthanized. I now believe that if we do not get something in place to make it prohibitive for people to have unaltered pets, in spite of very low cost spay/neuter ($15 for cats and $20 for dogs) that we will keep slaughtering innocent animals by the thousands.

Judie    Orange, CA

3/7/2007 11:48:46 PM

In 2005 California euthanized over 400,000 dogs and cats. The statistics show we killed almost 2 cats for every dog. We needed a spay and neuter law years ago to prevent this mess we're in. It's not the end solution to the problem, but it's a good first step in turning this atrocity around.

CF    PC, FL

3/6/2007 7:57:06 PM

This bill should come with education and a clear language to avoid confusion.

Ellen    Attleboro, MA

3/6/2007 6:06:40 PM

I agree that getting your cat spayed or neutered is a good idea, unless it is a breeding cat. I do not think however it should be mandatory, with such a high fine. I think there should be more education as to why pet should be spay or neutered.
There is also a concept that a cat should perhaps be a tad older than 4 months

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