Los Angeles Passes Pet Sterilization Law

Dog cat

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

48 Responses to “Los Angeles Passes Pet Sterilization Law”

  1. Charlie says:

    Passing a Law for Spay/ Neuter is fine. BUT the county better have some FREE or REDUCED PRGRAMS AVAILABLE. I believe more people would spay and neuter their pets IF it were more affordable. The cost at vets offices are out of control. We run a Free and reduced program in our county and people use it. Our shelter takes in dogs from other shelters because it works so well.

  2. G in INdiana says:

    If the fines are greater than the cost of a spay or neuter, it might work. In my county a spay or neuter costs roughly $100. The article above also mentions subsidized sterilization programs. When we lived in L.A. we had out dog spayed using one and that was a long time ago.

  3. anon says:

    Since no amount of education, shelters, rescue work, pleading and the daily drain of tax dollars to kill the unwanted animals has stopped irresponsible people from making the problem of pet overpopulation worse every year, maybe hefty fines will make the difference.

    Let them as are causing the problem pay some of the freight for dealing with it, nothing else has worked.

  4. Merlin Marshall says:

    Why wouldn’t you spay or neuter a guide dog?

  5. Max says:

    Spay and neuter at four months is not healthy - growth plates will not close by then, and more dogs will suffer from cancer due to early s/n - they are far more likely to get bone cancer as well as hemangioscarcoma and a host of other serious problems. The endocrine system is about a great deal more then just reproduction.

    these laws will serve to drive good responsible breeders out, yet will encourage importing thousands and thousands of dogs, and smuggling even more into the country to ‘meet the need’ for adoptable puppies in shelters - dogs that are not bred for good health or temperament - just for a fast buck.

    those smuggled or imported pups come from mills that are far worse then the mills here in the states - they bring with them disease and the results of poor breeding practices - rabies anyone?

    The Animal rightists want to end pet ownership completely- this law and others like it will succeed in doing just that.

    the head of H$U$, Wayne Pacelle, is on record -
    “We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. … One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.”

    take heed -

  6. PupDaddy says:

    Sounds good on paper but some debate the health issues of spaying and neutering dogs so young. There is growing evidence that neutering large breed dogs too soon affects their longterm bone growth and may be a contributing factor to bone/ hip problems. Do an internet search on this topic and you’ll find some convincing reasons to wait a little longer for larger dogs to be neutered. Certainly the abandoned pet population is a huge problem but the longterm health of the animal needs to be factored in to the decision about when to spay and neuter.

  7. janet says:

    I’m with Max and Pup Daddy. I have had purebred male dogs since 1960, (one at a time) and none has ever sired a litter. They were all perfect gentlemen too.

  8. mikken says:

    Max wrote -
    “These laws will serve to drive good responsible breeders out, yet will encourage importing thousands and thousands of dogs, and smuggling even more into the country to ‘meet the need’ for adoptable puppies in shelters - dogs that are not bred for good health or temperament - just for a fast buck.”

    This is very true. This law will only serve to encourage puppy and kitten millers while punishing responsible breeders who seek to improve/preserve their breeds.

    Charlie’s right saying that what is needed is more PROGRAMS to help folks spay and neuter. Nathan Winograd proved that when the programs are available and the people know about them, they’ll use them.

  9. Diella says:

    I’m a bit on the fence with this law..while spaying an neuturing is a good thing… I’ve never heard a vet or anyone else for that matter say it was ok to spay or neuter a dog or cat under the age of 6 months. I always thought 6 months was the earliest. I really wonder how they came up with this 4 months law…that would be an interesting read.

  10. Max says:

    Janet - I’ve owned, and own both males and female dogs intact for their entire lives - healthy, happy, well adjusted animals - and never produced a single puppy either. Scandinavian countries keep their dogs intact as the general rule - and do not suffer a ‘pet overpopulation’. It’s called being responsible. Apparently our law makers feel Americans are too stupid or childish to be able to behave responsibly - but overlook the glaring fact that many of the dogs and cats in shelters are coming from smuggling from out of country mills, street strays imported from other nations - feral cats, (we actually need some of these to keep rodents in check!) as well as old, terminally ill dogs turned in by owners who cannot afford their care.
    These laws punish the responsible - and do nothing to end mill production (under USDA jurisdiction), or punish/end illegal smuggling of dogs.

  11. Linda's Cats says:

    # Merlin Marshall says:
    February 28th, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Why wouldn’t you spay or neuter a guide dog?
    ===
    Couple of reasons. Guide dogs and other working dogs are highly intelligent and are picked from groups of dogs for their personalities, mindset, and behaviors. You WANT to breed them if you can, for those are desirable traits.

    Also, as mentioned above, when you spay or neuter animals, they are not fully grown. A condition that is fine in house pets, but on that is problematic for working animals, as they have more physical demands placed on them and need their full growth and hormone balance.

  12. Anon says:

    Hey Max,

    Out of curiousity (and for my own education), where did you get the information on the increased instances of cancer in dogs that are neutered early on? In my family, we have always practiced early spaying and neutering either by our own decision or because many of the animals were adopted and the shelters require alteraion prior to adoption.

    I will certainly change my practices if it is to the benefit of the animals, but we haven’t had any issues in the past. Right now we have a 12 yr old rescued male Pit that was neutered at 5 months and he’s as healthy as can be.

    Please let me know.

    Thanks!

  13. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    So basically, responsible cat and dog companions have to get spayed/neutered several months too young, but puppy mills and dog fighting rings are allowed to keep on as before.

    Gee, why on earth would anyone find anything wrong with that?

    The only thing we would add would be a requirement that all employees of the city of Los Angeles also have to be neutered.

  14. Max says:

    Sure Anon - I’ll cite just a few tho - there are many more then these -

    http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/c.....11/11/1434
    Risk for bone sarcoma was significantly influenced by age at gonadectomy. Male and female dogs that underwent gonadectomy before 1 year of age had an approximate one in four lifetime risk for bone sarcoma and were significantly more likely to develop bone sarcoma than dogs that were sexually intact.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/en.....med_docsum

    Two studies suggest that risk of prostatic adenocarcinoma is increased in neutered, compared to intact male dogs.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/en.....s=10225598
    Tumors occurred with similar frequency in males and females, but the relative risk for spayed females was >4 times that for intact females. For HSA, spayed females had >5 times greater relative risk than did intact females. The risk for castrated males was slightly greater than that for intact males, which had 2.4 times the relative risk of intact females. Thus, neutering appeared to increase the risk of cardiac tumor in both sexes. Intact females were least likely to develop a cardiac tumor, whereas spayed females were most likely to develop a tumor.

  15. Max says:

    Sure Anon - I’ll cite just a few though - there are many more then these -
    (had to shorten the links - this reply would not accept the original long url)

    http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/c.....11/11/1434
    Risk for bone sarcoma was significantly influenced by age at gonadectomy. Male and female dogs that underwent gonadectomy before 1 year of age had an approximate one in four lifetime risk for bone sarcoma and were significantly more likely to develop bone sarcoma than dogs that were sexually intact.

    http://tinyurl.com/36p69m

    Two studies suggest that risk of prostatic adenocarcinoma is increased in neutered, compared to intact male dogs.

    http://tinyurl.com/34ejo7
    Tumors occurred with similar frequency in males and females, but the relative risk for spayed females was >4 times that for intact females. For HSA, spayed females had >5 times greater relative risk than did intact females. The risk for castrated males was slightly greater than that for intact males, which had 2.4 times the relative risk of intact females. Thus, neutering appeared to increase the risk of cardiac tumor in both sexes. Intact females were least likely to develop a cardiac tumor, whereas spayed females were most likely to develop a tumor.

  16. HH says:

    Sterilizing a large breed dog at 16 weeks is the equivalent of giving your 4 year old daughter a total hysterectomy: in no way can either grow up to maximum health and longevity. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the field’s most prestigious congregate, claimed as of Jan. 2008 that the individual health of the individual dog must take precedence over population concerns. Since when did wrongly informed activists dictate medical practices in L.A.?

    Also, the law is designed to be punitive retribution, not problem-solving. It can only affect the already responsible owners of dogs, and will never affect those who let their aggressive dogs run in packs. I live in an immigrant neighborhood, and can vouch for their practices of importing multiple (and diseased) dogs from Mexico. These dogs run loose, not those of the dog enthusiasts who will be sought out for punishment. Remember, it’s on record that the City Council wants “no wiggle room” for anyone with intact animals, no matter if no laws have been broken.

    For those who haven’t read the entirety of the law’s text, the so-called exemptions are not doable. Unaltered permits (a $100 on top of unaltered $100 licensing) are allied with breeders permits (a third fee of over $100) per annum and are allied with kennel permits in some parts, with are NEVER granted in L.A. due to zoning setbackk restrictions. So it solely is designed to punish the responsible pet owners, a symbolic gesture to distract from lack of leash law enforcement, the genuine problem in L.A.. All those pit-crosses in the shelters are grown dogs, not puppies.

  17. Gary says:

    Far more important than passing spay/neuter laws and regulations would be the outlawing of the importing of dogs from other states and countries by humane societies. That this happens provides ample evidence that over population is a myth.

  18. Don Earl says:

    Good legislation should be enforcable. I don’t see how this one is. What are they going to do, send AC officers out to visually inspect pets?

    I think it’d be a fair assumption the folks responsible enough to license their pets, are also likely to have their pets altered. And, assuming this is true, is there anything about licensing that is connected to altering? I’d guess something along those lines could be implemented with new licenses, but what about everyone else?

    The most obvious defect is everything is business as usual at the puppy mills.

    I don’t know how valid the arguments against early spay/neuter are. I do know these kind of studies typically target a predetermined answer, are commissioned for the sole purpose of arriving at that conclusion, and are often skewed beyond recognition in the process. Most days you can find a study published by the opposition that proves the exact opposite.

    This sounds more like a scam to raise taxes through license fees than anything resembling true reform. Everything stays the same, except for the part that is unenforcable, which means it stays the same also.

  19. John says:

    If you can’t afford to spay or neuter your pet, as the vast majority of RESPONSIBLE pet owners do, then you should not take on the responsibility of owning a pet. While pet ownership is a right and a blessing, it is also a responsibility. Irresponsible people should not been entitled to the priviledge of pet ownership if they are unwilling or unable to accept all of the responsibilities.

  20. Anonymous says:

    All this commotion against the early spay and neuter law. Well, as true or untrue some of these comments are - and considering the sources, I would bet on a majority of those against are breeders - there is still the cruelty that unwanted dogs and cats face daily, including being incarcerated in our Los Angeles hell-hole shelters / being euthanized, often times abusively, for simply being unwanted / attempting to survive off of street garbage / avoiding being road kill by Los Angeles traffic among other things. I have had cats all my life and had them spayed or neutered early either by decree of the foundation from where they were adopted or from a city facility where they were rescued. Most importantly for this discussion, all my cats have lived to anywhere from 16 years of age to 20 years of age and all died of “old age” ailments. The problem is THE WHOLESALE KILLING OF UNWANTED ANIMALS AND THAT MUST STOP. It is out of control. It is a sad society when the busiest among us is the person who is in the business of euthanizing healthy animals.

  21. Madeleine says:

    All this commotion against the early spay and neuter law. Well, as true or untrue some of these comments are - and considering the sources, I would bet on a majority of those against are breeders - there is still the cruelty that unwanted dogs and cats face daily, including being incarcerated in our Los Angeles hell-hole shelters / being euthanized, often times abusively, for simply being unwanted / attempting to survive off of street garbage / avoiding being road kill by Los Angeles traffic among other things. I have had cats all my life and had them spayed or neutered early either by decree of the foundation from where they were adopted or from a city facility where they were rescued. Most importantly for this discussion, all my cats have lived to anywhere from 16 years of age to 20 years of age and all died of “old age” ailments. The problem is THE WHOLESALE KILLING OF UNWANTED ANIMALS AND THAT MUST STOP. It is out of control. It is a sad society when the busiest among us is the person who is in the business of euthanizing healthy animals.

  22. The Lioness says:

    I’m with Max, Diella, and HH: I am concerned about sneutering animals so young. In males and females, I have to wonder if all parts are sufficiently developed/dropped/big enough to be located and safely removed?

    I have tried to get my animals altered before 6 months, and my vets always said to wait.

    ~The Lioness

  23. Max says:

    Gary -

    too right! if we are so overpopulated with unwanted pets then why are we importing them by the hundreds of thousands?

    check out -

    http://www.abcnews.go.com/Heal.....amp;page=1

    not to mention the mills puppies smuggled into this country -

  24. DeAnna Scott says:

    There seems to be a prevailing attitude that all pet owners are allowing their pets to breed indiscriminately, produce puppies and then place them in shelters. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Animal rights extremist are disseminating this propaganda to abolish all ownership of domestic animals. There are millions of responsible pet owners with both voluntarily altered and unaltered animals. It is wrong to take away the rights of all these American citizens for the irresponsibility of a few.

    Some facts:
    o If all animals are altered then there will soon be no domestic pets, no service dogs, no therapy dogs, no search and rescue dogs, no show dogs, no companion dogs. The limited breeder exclusions will not produce enough animals to meet the needs of families and the service industry.
    o Mandatory spay neutering (MSN) takes away the rights of citizens to make healthy decisions for their pets.
    o Spaying and neutering is major surgery – PETS CAN DIE from these procedures.
    o Spaying and neutering is irreversible.
    o Spaying and neutering at too early an age can cause stunted growth, urinary incontinence, leakage, and other lifelong problems.
    o Many of the MSN laws allow animal control to conduct a search of your property and seizure of your pets without a warrant if they think you might not be in compliance with the law.
    o Most of the proposed MSN laws are not budgeting for compliance, leaving the cities and counties to foot the bill.
    o Most of the proposed MSN laws are not budgeting for low-cost spay/neuter clinics leaving people to face potentially huge vet bills or forcing them to relinquish their pets.
    o Lack of responsible breeders will force people who want a certain breed to go out of state or buy off the internet where they have no idea the health, care, socialization, or temperament of the animal they are getting.
    o Gang bangers and drug dealers are not going to become law-abiding citizens and neuter / spay their pit bulls.

    Animal rights activist are touting MSN as a way to reduce shelter populations.
    o Many shelters currently do not have enough adoptable dogs and are importing them, along with rabies and other diseases, from other states and countries. (Animal shelters count these as in-takes.)
    o Many owners leave dogs at shelters because they do not want to make the decision to have older dogs with health problems or dogs with temperament issues euthanized. (These count as intakes and add to the euthanasia statistics.)
    o Shelters in cities with MSN have higher euthanasia statistics, higher operating costs and lower licensing than surrounding areas.
    o Educating pet owners to voluntarily alter their pets or be responsible for their unaltered pets IS WORKING. Shelter intakes have declined dramatically in the last 20 years. (This is why there is a shortage of adoptable dogs in some areas.)

  25. Sammy says:

    We have plenty of dog laws on the books to cover pet related issues. Forcing people to spay and neuter their pets or pay a fine or purchase a high dollar permit to have intact dogs by breeders violates Constitutional Rights and Religious Rights of many. With the insanity of these laws I am asking where are our legal minds at? Why have they not stepped forward?

    Our great country was founded by Christians and the Constitution was written by Christians who followed the teachings of a religion which says,
    26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
    29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
    30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

    We do have the God given right to have dominion over all life on this planet and now the ar radicals dare to step on our religious freedoms. Dominion means to have complete power and control. No it does not mean we are free to be cruel or abusive but we do have the God given right to have complete control over our pets.

    The ar radicals should not be given the right to have any laws passed requiring pet OWNERS to remove healthy organs from their pets bodies. I find it interesting that they have no problem with s/n but scream at the thought of cropping and docking.

    These zealots need to be stopped from stomping all over Americans Constitutional and Religious Freedoms.

    Why are Americans sitting back and allowing their freedoms to be taken away from them? Fight back! Stop the insanity.

  26. Linda's Cats says:

    Sighs, i agree that laws like this are ALWAYS designed to “look good” and make us oafs think the govt is “doing it’s job”. Gun registation laws, car insurance laws, etc., usually effect only those who are already in compliance.

    as you said, street dogs, puppy mills, dog fighters work illegally as it is. who would think that they would follow this law.

    and the average poor person who doesn’t “know any better” and / or cannot afford to sterilize their pets will just have loved pets taken from them, cause they are now even MORE not in compliance.

    and can’t you just wait for the first AC officer to go up and say, “ma’am, according to our records your dog is 4 months and 2 days old, and he is not steralized. here’s your 100 buck fine”. or worse “your dog who has a chronic illness and can’t really deal with surgery is not in compliance accourding to us. we are taking him, thank you”.

  27. Linda's Cats says:

    sammy,
    by the way, you made an important point. Some religions (the one i know of is Judiasm, but there are others) believe it is ethically and morally wrong to spay or neuter an animal.

    do they have to be in compliance, also, or must they not be pet owners, cause they don’t understand the complexities of owning a pet (rolls eyes.)

    As has been said, and far better than i will say it, EDUCATION WORKS. Stick your money there. encourage people to spay and neuter volunterially, before the first litter or after one litter.

  28. Lisa says:

    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.’”

    Really now why do people care what Bob Barker has to say? Will he ever just go away?

  29. Max says:

    Lisa - tried so hard to resist posting here again today -

    but I wonder why anyone ever listens to some Hollywood celeb who makes their living pretending…er…acting… ?

    Of course they are entitled to their opinions - but their qualifications as ‘experts’ are questionable at best.

    Bob, Pam and the rest…don’t live in my home, pay my taxes, or care for my responsibilities and I’ll thank them to keep their nose out of my business. I own my dogs and cats, and take good care of them - I have the right to choose medical procedures for them, with my vet, deciding what is in the best interest of my pet’s health.

    I doubt if Bob is going to come to my home or yours to clean up after an incontinent dog or weep with you when your dog dies of bone cancer.

  30. Chaoslillith says:

    You guys are overlooking something when it comes to puppy mills. When the AC officers are called in to shut one down they now can fine the hell out of the people without needing to go to court.

    I see tons of backyard bred dogs here in AZ, tons of people who do not spay their pets, have no intention of breeding them and then complain that they mark territory and are aggressive towards each other when they have two intact males and one intact female. They have NO IDEA what is causing the aggression. Sorry, people ARE stupid and should not be allowed to have pets unless they know what the hell they are doing. I had a lady come into my store and say she was not going to fix her female puppy because her husband wanted to breed that puppy with the intact male they had. However this lady had NO IDEA what the heat cycle involved, that the female dog would bleed, that the male would really try to get to the female when she was in heat and that they would probably have to separate the dogs. She looked astonished. Yeah, those people should not have dogs. Sorry. Just like people who keep betta fish in 1/2 gallon tanks and think that is just fine.

    I run into ignorant, stupid and lazy people all the time at Petsmart where I work. Trust me, some people should not be allowed to have pets. Especially since they seem to be too lazy to do any basic research on how to care for them.

  31. Robert Davis says:

    This bill doesn’t take into consideration the health of an animal by requiring at 4 months to be altered. As well, it takes away part of an individuals right to breed their own dogs for pets (either for themselves, family members of friends) and finally doesn’t really answer the issue of how to gain savings for taxpayers.

    First of all - it should be the owners choice to do the altering and although tax payers foot the bill for the dogs running lose and ending up in shelters, it is still an individual who should take the responsibility and make the choice for themselves. For example, my pure bred daschaund was not altered until he was 9 years old. I kept him intact in case I wanted puppies from him. I don’t believe it is right for a law to dictate that you would have to go to a breeder to have a puppy instead of allowing you to breed a dog and know your puppies are healthy and the parents were not in breeder cages.

    Second - You know I find it amazing that to get a job at most companies today you have to have pass a drug test - but to get welfare benefits you don’t have too…..maybe we should institute those checks on welfare recipients and stop payments for those that don’t pass drug screens - then we coud see some savings and not go after law abiding citizens right’s of pet ownership. Another check would be those that are having kids to just have kids to stay on welfare. I say kick them off the system and make them work or rely on their families. People should only need welfare temporarily or obtain disability benefits if they are truly disabled and cannot work. I guess these are the issues politicians don’t want to really address. With those cost savings we could fund better adoption drives and help fund the spaying and the neutering on a voluntary basis.

    Kind Regards,

    Robert

  32. Max says:

    It is my understanding that puppy mills will not be affected by any of these mandatory spay and neuter laws - puppy mills are under the jurisdiction of the USDA - just like livestock.

    so if your concern is stopping the horrendous conditions and over breeding of innocent dogs in mills - then don’t expect to do any good whatsoever with mandatory spay and neuter laws -

    the millers will continue business as usual.

    (Currently stupidity is not illegal either)

  33. anon says:

    The people who care about the health of their animals in the first place do not let the animals literally litter the place with unwanted puppies and kittens, yet, there they are, so bad that this law got put into place to deal with it.

    Death in some animal control gas chamber after being abandoned by the people you loved and trusted is one heck of a lot nastier than any health consequence of early spay and neuter.

  34. Sammy says:

    I would like for everyone to do one thing, go to your local shelters asap and report back to the rest of us how full these shelters are. Also be sure to find out where the animals came from, ie, are they locals or imported from other states and or countries. I think you all may be surprised at what you find out.

    One more thing, please tell me why people agree to have mandatory anything for an entire society because some folks are irresponsible. So we punish everyone is that it? Well then because teenagers who drink and drive cause more fatalities then we should have a law that states no teenager is allowed to drive, lets punish them all, same kind of thinking.

    And why is it illegal to profile or discriminate but the ar zealots are allowed to claim all breeders are horrible and we should ban breeding. Oh let me guess that is not discriminatory.

    What has happened to America?

  35. Denise says:

    I have had more than one vet tell me to spay/neuter becuase if the dog goes in to heat they have a higher instance of getting breast cancer (female) then one vet told me under to spay before 2years of age to prevent breast cancer. when i got my dog(pure bred) I had to sighn a spay/neuter contract. the breeder did not want her blood line comprimised. she wants her dogs to get loving homes and not be used for breeding. I would have had her spayed anyway. Some people that having animals say in the big cities like Detroit. The dogs starve they freeze to death and they are not cared for and they do breed and they have tons of dogs running free and its dangerous and they run in packs and they attack kids and also city workers it happens all the time. the people that get the animals don’t take care of them. even if they got the spay and nueter free they might not. they shouldn’t have animals and can’t afford them and don’t know how to take care of them. just watch animal cops Detroit. those dogs and cats are frozen to death and they have to pick them up right in the peoples back yard. They get these animals and just tie them out there with no shelter food or water. I am not sure what the answer is but I think the city of Los Angeles is just trying to cut down on the amount of animals they have to kill. its said those animals have a right to be loved but i have seen people have litter after litter and not spay or neuter. a lot of these animals end up in shelters. a few years ago we had a female cat running lose in our neighborhood. the kittens were wild litter after litter. They came and trapped them becuase they were finding cats with rabies around here. its so sad.

  36. Jan Morgan says:

    Denise your vet is using the age old method of fear to scare you into early spay and neuter. The vet is right if you remove the cervix and ovaries then there will be no hormone producing enzymes to begin the cycle of mammary tumors; however, spaying female dogs:

    ~ if done before maturity, increases the risk of osteosarcoma by
    a factor of 3.1; this is a common cancer in larger breeds with a
    poor prognosis.
    ~ increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of
    2.2 and cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of >5; this is a
    common cancer and major cause of death in some breeds.
    ~ triples the risk of hypothyroidism
    ~ increases the risk of obesity by a factor of 1.6-2, a common
    health problem in dogs with many associated health problems
    ~ causes urinary “spay incontinence” in 4-20% of female dogs
    ~ increases the risk of persistent or recurring urinary tract
    infections by a factor of 3-4
    ~ increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and
    vaginitis, especially for female dogs spayed before puberty
    ~ doubles the small risk (

  37. Jan Morgan says:

    Seems it didn’t take my whole post. Here is the rest:

    ~ doubles the small risk (

  38. Jan Morgan says:

    Seems it didn’t take my whole post. Here is the rest:
    ~ doubles the risk (

  39. Anon says:

    So now do I have to freak out that I neutered one of my dogs at 5 months? The female was an older adoption, so I’m not worried about her.

  40. Max says:

    Instead of mandatory spay and neuter for all dogs and cats….which punishes the very most responsible pet owners (whose dogs may or may not be neutered and spayed based upon the importance of health factors determined by owner and vet - but who will never be bred in either case) and is prohibitive to responsible breeders dedicated to improving the breed of their choice - why not:

    Make spaying and neutering free to those who cannot afford it….surely this would be far more cost effective then housing and euthanising.

    Require that vets donate a few hours of their time every month for this purpose - part of licensing them to do business.

    Cease importing dogs from other countries - sato dogs etc.

    crack down on dog smuggling - maybe mandatory spay and neuter for those engaging in this activity? (kidding)

    Get puppy mills out of the USDA jurisdiction.

    Make it illegal to sell dogs and cats in retail stores. (removes the profit from millers)

    Heavy fines for those who can’t afford them will only cause them to cease taking their pets to the vet when needed, and dump more pets out on the street to fend for themselves. counterproductive and cause much suffering for formerly loved pets.

  41. PupDaddy says:

    Just a quick response to two of the above posts - first, Medeleine I am not a breeder but an owner of 3 mixed rescue dogs. These make the 10th rescued dogs I have had in my life and all (with the exception of my youngest puppy) were altered at about six months and none have ever been bred. The others have passed at ages 13, 14, 15 … all in old age. Some much for the theory about only breeders being against such laws. I do currently have a dog with horrendous hip dyplasia which will eventually be the death of her - if I thought I could change that for her and any other family living with this heartache I would. If having put off her altering a few months would give me more good years with her now…There’s no time machine for us but perhaps others can make better educated decisions about the age of altering based on this discussion. I have no mandatory age to set for anyone else but I believe we all deserve the correct information - its your right to do what you will with the info.

    Second Anon, pls do not flip about neuturing your pet at 5 months - you did what you felt was best at the time. Parents of all kinds have hindsight regrets about things but its best to move forward not back. I am sure your pet will be fine like so many others. I have changed my ideas about neuturing just in the last few months as an effort to give my dogs the best chance at optimal health and that includes nutrition, vet care etc in that goal.

    On the whole, I don’t think anyone claims to have all the answers. I just can’t think of any good reason not to inform people of the truth about the healthcare decisions they make for their pets. Its not judgement, just information. Best wishes

  42. Chris says:

    If there is truly a dog overpopulation problem, they why aren’t the shelters full of puppies! Why are people importing ‘rescue’ dogs? Most dogs end up in shelters because of behavior problems as a result of people not taking the time to train their dogs. People are already having trouble finding purebred dogs. Some people need or want a purebred dog because they need the predictability of working or personality traits. Others are fine with rescue dogs from a shelter, but I have known more than one dog who was returned to the shelter because the new owner could not deal with the behavior problems the dog came with (and the reason they were initially turned in).

  43. Holly says:

    There are a lot of problems associated with early spaying and neutering, not just cancer. The problem with implementing these laws is that it is the responsible people who comply, usually regardless of the cost. And those people who do not want to spay/neuter their pets are viewed as irresponsible when in fact they may be MORE responsible because they certainly have to work harder at ensuring their pet does not contribute to the overpopulation problem. And then there are all the other people in between. I think that education is the key but we can’t even take care/help poor families, never mind the dogs and cats they try to keep.

    As a vet tech who has euthanized MANY loving cats and dogs, puppies and kittens, I can tell you that it is a horrible discovery to enter the world of veterinary medicine only to be ending the lives of such wonderful creatures because people are uneducated or they just don’t give a dam. I refused to euthanize healthy animals at the clinic where I worked. They changed their policies and started increasing the fee for a euthanasia for someone who seemed to have no good reason or was not a regular client. I ended up quitting the biz but I know that this only caused more animals to be dumped off at the local shelter, leaving them to deal with the problems. I fully understand that those people who love and work with animals should not have to be a part of ending lives on a day to day basis, but early spay/neutering and making it a law is not going to work!

    I don’t know exactly what the right answer to the overpopulation problem is but forcing everyone to spay/neuter their pet with complete disregard for the pets overall well-being is wrong, not to mention violating my rights as a guardian to choose what is best for my pets. Pets are considered to be property which is why these laws can come into place. If we worked together to change how our pets are viewed, then perhaps we can change these crazy laws.

    Veterinarians beliefs about spaying/neutering early is highly outdated. Unfortunately many vets are not interested in new findings but rather stick to the old beliefs that spaying and neutering are healthier procedures if done before a year of age. It is unfortunate that they don’t delve into their studies of physiology because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that eliminating the body of its god-given hormones will have a detrimental effect on it. It’s just a matter of time.

    I used to be a good client for my vet because I did everything I was supposed to. My pets were really unhealthy. They suffered from allergies - severe, to cancer and everything else in between. It was the reason I became a vet tech - to offset the vet bills but because I really believed as an animal nurse I could help. My eyes were opened big time and my heart was broken over and over again. Since then, I have discovered alternative health care and now I am not a good client. I do the OPPOSITE of what my vet recommends!! Lucky for me my vet “gets it” and is very supportive. He is slowly going the alternative health route. He sees my healthy pets that are not spayed, not neutered, not vaccinated, not fed dry kibble (only raw). Actually he doesn’t see them because they don’t get sick enough to go to the vet. My 15 1/2 year old lab cross goes for regular check ups, has gotten her teeth cleaned lately and is completely medication free. She was spayed at 6 months but lucky for us and her, she is one of the rare success stories of modern medicine. But she went alternative 9 years ago, so me thinks that is the secret to her longevity. I treat with Homeopathy. I am now a Homeopath. I work with pets and people.

    Anyhow, I encourage people to band together in your hometowns, find a vet you can work with and be your own pet’s advocate. And look into homeopathy because it is a gentle for of medicine. Go to www.avh.org to find a vet near you. A truly holistic vet would be a support system for fighting these crazy laws and supporting you on the no spay/neuter belief system. What is really sad is that we have to PROVE that we are good pet guardians because we do not spay/neuter our pet. It is assumed that we are negligent. How sad.

    H

  44. Max says:

    Holly -

    appreciate your insight to the conversation about mandatory spay and neuter - I follow much of the same protocols for pet care as you do.

    I believe the link you posted was supposed to be:

    http://www.ahvma.org/

    (the link that came through in your message was for a hospital in Jerusalem ;o)

  45. Holly says:

    oops. Thanks for pointing that out Max. It should be www.theavh.org which stands for the acadamey of veterinary homeopathy.

    I enjoyed your post Max and thought I would add to it.

    H

  46. Stefani says:

    So, what is the ideal time to spay a dog you do not intend to breed? My mom needs to spay her maltese pup. Stef

  47. Anonymous says:

    Have your mom ask the breeder of her puppy.

  48. Holly says:

    The best time doesn’t really exist. Minimally, at one year of age. That way the hormones have some time to exist in the body, but really its not a lot. The one article that I read that pertained to the link between early spay/neuter and bone cancer recommended to wait until 3 years of age, which gives the hormones ample time to flow through the body.

    You can ask your breeder but some breeders want early spays because they are afraid of unwanted pregnancies. If you take precautions when your dog is in heat, there should be no problems. My young gsd is almost 2 and I am not going to even consider it til she is 3. I may never do it.


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