Preview to mandatory spay and neuter debate - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/25/10

Preview to mandatory spay and neuter debate

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By Christie Post - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Animal Services will go before City Council on Thursday to propose a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance in Lubbock for man's best friend.

Last October city council approved a mandatory spay a neuter for the second time pets are picked up by animal control. Now animal services is trying to make this mandatory for the first time.

Quincey White with animal services say a solution is needed for over population of domestic animals, overcrowding of animals in shelters, and euthanasia of unhealthy, unwanted animals. Advocates against the proposal says research shows the mandatory spay and neuter does not work. "If the purpose is to reduce numbers at the animal shelter and reduce euthanasia it does the opposite," says Breeder Joann Neal.

There are various pros and cons to the issue discussed in the PowerPoint. For instance, pet owners will be responsible for paying the fee to spay or neuter. But not everybody agrees with this proposed ordnance.

"High income people have been shown to have 90 percent of their animals spayed and neutered, middle income people about 70 percent, lower income people have the lowest spay and neuter rate and the number one reason they give is that they can't afford it," says Heart of the Plains Kennel Club president, Anne Humphreys.

Since the animal shelter does not have an employed vet, they city gives out vouchers to people who need assistance. But Humphreys says the city doesn't pay for the total cost. "The vouchers are only worth 80 or 90 dollars, and say and neuters can run 100 to 400 dollars depending on the size of the pet."

Animal services says the lack of staff and money limits their ability to check if people actually use the voucher to get their pet fixed. They plan to tackle this issue at a later date.

For now both sides will continue to debate over the issue. "It's very counter productive, it leads to more dumping and less compliance as law abiding citizens suddenly become criminals," says Humphreys.

Currently three cities participate in the mandatory rule: Ft. Worth, Dallas, and Durango, Colorado.

Other issues on the agenda Thursday include micro chipping, 30-day isolation holds, and breeder permits.

(CLICK HERE) to see a summary of the ideas.

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