AKC Position Statement: Spaying and Neutering
Mandatory Spay-Neuter Issue Brief
Issue Analysis: Why Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws are Ineffective
Councilmember Jenny Crosswhite
Councilmember Ginger Gherardi
Santa Paula, CA 93060
The California Federation of Dog Clubs is an association of thousands of dog owners across the State of California. Formed in 1990, the CFODC works tirelessly to promote animal welfare, educate the public regarding responsible animal ownership, and protect the rights of responsible animal owners. We administer a disaster relief fund, conduct breed ID workshops for shelter personnel, and provide educational information regarding responsible pet ownership. We also staff a toll-free assistance line for animal owners who need advice regarding pet training and behavioral issues. CFODC supports animal legislation with proven positive benefits to society.
The CFODC is OPPOSED to the mandated sterilization of pets, regardless of exemptions. Some of the reasons for our opposition include:
- Spay-neuter mandates do not solve any problems. In fact, such laws create MORE problems. The ASPCA, the No Kill Advocacy Center, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Kennel Club and many other animal welfare groups are OPPOSED to mandatory sterilization because such laws are INEFFECTIVE in reducing shelter impounds and killings. In its position paper on mandatory spay-neuter, the ASPCA states:“The ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law.”
- Feral cats comprise the majority of shelter intakes, and sterilization mandates do not help feral cats. Instead, Good Samaritans who care for feral cats are punished.
- Fewer people will reclaim their pets from the shelter due to high costs and fees. Coercive sterilization laws and excessive animal-related fees result in increased shelter intakes and deaths everywhere they are tried.
- Mandatory sterilization is costly to enforce.
- Existing leash and confinement laws should be enforced. Sterilization does NOT prevent roaming.
- Revenues will drop, as owners will increasingly avoid licensing and forced surgery on their pets. There will be even LESS money for the needed enforcement.
- Forced sterilization laws have resulted in increased incidence of RABIES in some areas, as owners who avoid licensing may also fail to vaccinate for rabies. Fort Worth, Texas repealed their mandatory spay-neuter law due to a noted increase in rabies exposure cases. Rabies exposure is not just a serious risk to human life, but it is extremely expensive to deal with.
- Mandatory sterilization creates a black market for dogs and puppies. Dogs are being smuggled in by the thousands now, from Mexico and other countries, to meet the demand for pets. Black market pets bring rabies and parasites along with them.
- There is no evidence to believe that shelter intakes are caused by animals bred locally. Most puppies are sold outside of the area where they are born.
- Mandated surgery disproportionately punishes low-income families and seniors.
We urge you to REJECT any mandatory sterilization requirements and instead focus on animal control measures proven over the past thirty years to actually work….aggressive public education campaigns, trap/neuter and release programs for feral cats, and low-cost voluntary sterilization clinics.