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The Big Fix – Mandatory Spay and Neuter

JudyC1Pet overpopulation is a serious issue in the United States. Each year, millions of dogs and cats are euthanized as a result of family owned pets that are not spayed or neutered. Many animal advocates are reaching out to city and state officials to implement mandatory spay and neuter regulations within their towns and states in order to decrease the number of senseless deaths of dogs and cats.

Judy Crumpton, a well-known animal advocate for the city of Long Beach, California has taken the lead to speak with city officials to implement a mandatory spay and neuter program for the city. Crumpton states,

Animals cannot advocate for themselves. The sooner the program is implemented, the sooner more lives of cats and dogs will be saved. Prevention through spaying and neutering is the most effective, and humane approach to decrease the number of births of unwanted cats and dogs. Spay and neuter programs minimize the number of animals entering an animal shelter, and minimize the number of abandoned animals to roam the streets. She continues to say “a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance will provide animal shelters the tool that is required to approach irresponsible pet owners, and back yard breeders. Enforcement and education will be a strong part of the programs.

Even though the city of Long Beach offers a number of programs intended to aid in the reduction of pet overpopulation, the programs are not enough. A spay and neuter law will raise awareness and encourage pet owners to fix their dogs and cats. It will take a few years for the city to see the full effect of such a law; many jurisdictions such as Las Vegas and Santa Cruz County have already seen shelter intake numbers decrease and the spay and neuter compliance rates increase.

As has been confirmed by animal advocacy groups around the United States, there are more homeless animals than there are safe and loving family homes to care for them. Those animals that cannot find family homes are euthanized at an alarming rate. To learn more about the staggering rate of pet overpopulation visit:

At the November 18, 2014 city council meeting of Long Beach, California three animal welfare recommendations were heard and passed.  

  1. Request the City Manager and City Attorney return in 90 days with a draft ordinance making it mandatory for dog owners to spay or neuter their pets unless they possess a medical exclusion or breeding permit from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, Animal Care Services Bureau (City of Long Beach).
  2. Request the City Manager include recommendations for supporting the successful introduction and implementation of the Mandatory Spay & Neuter Ordinance, including but not limited to public education, spay/neuter vouchers, mobile services and enforcement through administrative citations and license canvassing (City of Long Beach).
  3. Request the City Attorney draft an ordinance making it unlawful to sell dogs, cats or rabbits in any pet shop, retail business, or other commercial establishment, unless they were (1) obtained from the city animal shelter, humane society, or nonprofit rescue organization or (2) bred in Long Beach possessing a breeding permit (City of Long Beach).

If you are interested to pursue a mandatory spay and neuter program ordinance in your area, begin by contacting your animal shelter manager. Additional information may be obtained by reaching out to an animal shelter that operates in a town under a mandatory spay and neuter regulation.

Safer communities:

  • Dogs that are fixed are three times less likely to bite.
  • Intact animals are more likely to roam in search of a mate.
  • Less rabies.
  • More kennel space which will allow ACS to house animals longer.
  • Decreases abandonment/DUMPING.
  • Decreases the "giveaways" and the amount of dogs acquired on Craigslist.
  • Decrease animal hoarding.





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