A bill called California Healthy Pets Act (AB1634) is being proposed which would require the spaying or neutering of most cats and dogs by the time they are four-months-old. If pet owners do not get their pet spayed or neutered, they will be charged a fine.
The pets that are exempt from this law are: purebreds that are registered with the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, the American Breeders Association or the International Cat Association (how about designer dogs like labradoodles or mutts?) and whose owners have a special permit, service dogs, police dogs, and pets whose health is at risk. Local animal control agencies will be enforcing the act and the fines collected will be used to offer more free or low-cost snip snip programs.
Supporters of the act say that altered pets live longer and healthier lives, reduce the danger of stray animals, rabies bites and dog bites (intact dogs are three times more likely to bite humans) and will save taxpayers’ dollars (CA governments spend about $250 million a year to shelter or euthanize animals).
Opposition — mostly breeders — to this bill says that it will force them to go underground and won’t have any impact on the number of strays. Some are worried that pets that get spayed/neutered too young are more probable to have cancer or hip dysplasia.
This legislation is not new. Rhode Island already has a law for mandatory spaying/neutering for cats and New Mexico is proposing a similar bill. Can’t we just all get along?