Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spay/Neuter Laws

Los Angeles passed what is being called one of the most strict spay/neuter laws in the country.

The city will require everyone without a specific exemption to spay/neuter their pet by 4 months of age or face fines. And, of course, a bunch of people who don't think you should even own a pet (ie. Humane Society of The US) showed up to praise the law. I'm not against spay/neuter programs per se, but laws like this only punish the law abiding citizen. As far as I can tell, they only fine you if you register the dog for a tag. That means people who chose to forgo the legal route of registering their "pets" will continue to avoid detection.

We can also agree to disagree, but spay/neuter is only part of the solution. Without education, this will be nothing more than a way for LA to collect taxes. It's my experience that lack of education and just plain laziness cause more animals to be put to sleep than all the other causes combined. People will feed a cat for years off the back porch, but still call it a "stray" when it comes to getting the cat vaccinated. People will not take a dog to the shelter because they are afraid it will be put to sleep, but will let the dog get run over by a car, get eating by a bigger dog, or let it starve to death by leaving it on the side of the road.

I'm tired of putting animals to sleep. I've worked at high volume, municipal shelters and I've done more than I care to remember. (Know those gray laundry buckets on wheels you see at a hotel? I've seen them filled, dumped and filled again.)But you have to be realistic. Watch the news at night. Look at the way people treat each other. Do you think some law is going to make them treat their "pets" any better?

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