Mandatory Spay/Neuter For All (With Many Exceptions)
Dallas, TX - Another major US city passed a mandatory sterilization law for all pets, albeit with many exceptions. The ordinance also forbids long-term tethering -- no more "chaining up the pit." The anti-tethering component alone ought to fill up Dallas Animal Shelters with pit bull type dogs. Then officials will have to figure out what to do with them.
The vote passed with a swift 10-3. The bulk of the ordinance takes effect next week. Provisions addressing outdoor dog confinements go into effect Sept. 25, while the spay/neuter provisions and breeder permit regulations take effect Oct. 25. Other parts of the watered down ordinance that hardly addresses the dangerous dog problem include:
- A whopping $70 bucks per animal for breeders to obtain permits. Previously, the city planned to charge $500 per animal -- quite the reduction in cost.
- A single house to be limited to six cats and/or dogs. People owning more than a half-acre of land would be allowed eight. People who currently own a greater number of animals could apply to the city for grandfathering, allowing them to keep their animals without penalty.
- Dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered. But the ordinance would provide numerous exceptions to a previously proposed mandatory spay-neuter provision. Dogs and cats younger than 6 months old, a service animal, or the property of a licensed breeder -- which costs the whopping the $70 bucks -- would be exempt from spaying or neutering regulations. A veterinarian may also certify that an animal shouldn't be spayed or neutered for health reasons, the briefing document states.
- The city could seize, and then impound, a dog suspected of causing bodily injury to a person until after a hearing to determine the dog's fate. Now, such dogs are quarantined for 10 days and then returned to their owners in many cases.
- Tethering unsupervised dogs to trees or poles be prohibited except "for a period no longer than necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task."
- Owners must provide at least 150 square feet of space and a "building or properly designed dog house" for a dog confined outdoors.
DogsBite.org praises the City of Dallas of taking these new steps, such actions are far better than none. Hopefully within 12-18 months, the number of stray pets citywide will be down.
05/07/08: Pit Bulls Terrorizing Dallas Neighborhood
04/08/08: Dallas City Council Proposes Interesting New Ordinance