Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday signed into law an ordinance that requires most dogs and cats in the city to be spayed or neutered by the time they are four months old.
The ordinance intends to reduce the number of animals in shelters and eventually eliminate the thousands of euthanizations conducted in Los Angeles’ animal shelters every year, which costs the city about $2 million a year.
Villaraigosa said, “Animal experts agree spay and neutering is the best long-term solution for the problem of pet overpopulation. This is not only the best thing to do, it is the right thing to do.”
Councilman Tony Cardenas added, “We will, sooner rather than later, become a no-kill city and this is the greatest step in that direction.”
Some animals are exempt from the ordinance including animals that have competed in shows or competitions, guide dogs, animals used by police agencies and those belonging to professional breeders.
Owners who do not comply with the law will receive information on subsidized sterilization services. They have 60 days to spay or neuter their pet, and if they fail to comply, they could be fined $100 and ordered to serve eight hours of community service. A third offense could result in a $500 fine or 40 hours of community service.
Bob Barker, a supporter of the law, happily stated, “The next time that you hear me say, ‘Help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered,’ I can add, ‘It’s the law in Los Angeles.’”
Source: Associated Press