City Council hears mandatory spay and neuter proposal - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/26/10

City Council hears mandatory spay and neuter proposal

By Christie Post - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Lubbock City Council decided against a new mandatory spay and neuter program after hearing from Animal Services Thursday. Still members agree they need to find a solution to the over crowding shelter problem.

Council Members heard from several citizens for and against the proposal. After hours of discussion they decided instead of creating new ordinances, they need to enforce the ones they already have. "Frankly nobody is enforcing anything that's on the books. And to sit a look at a whole new host of pretty draconian new measures to be honest with you. I am not interested in moving in that direction," says Mayor Tom Martin.

"The majority of Lubbock citizens are angry at the intrusion of government into our lives. The next step is come into our homes and micro manage our family pets," says Joann Neal who is against the issue.

Last October, City Council approved an ordinance for mandatory spay and neuter for any pet picked up a second time by animal control. Thursday, Animal Services proposed to change the policy. They propose that the pet be spayed/neutered the first time it is picked up by animal control.

"I see puppies being sold on the side of the road, I know this is illegal, but I see police cars drive past them and not stop and write them a ticket," says Cori Countryman who is against the issue.

Animal services say they take in nearly 20,000 requests for service and kill nearly 8,000 animals yearly. They say they need to find a solution, but don't always have the staff or budget to enforce the policies they make.

"The Bucks got to stop here, and the buck is that we need to hire enough people to get the people you need to go out and patrol those areas and write those tickets," says Councilman Floyd Price.

Critics did not support a change from the current policy, which only has a 70 percent success rate. They say in these economic times, the worst idea for Lubbock is to mandate a spay and neuter policy.

"If mandatory spay and neuter are implemented during stressful economic times, what we're experiencing. How do family who do not qualify for these vouchers come up with the extra money," says Joann Phillips who is against the issue.

City Council says they will discuss reallocating funds to create voluntary educational programs, having an indigent vet staff and the possibility of moving some responsibilities from the animal shelter to the police department.

"There is a way you can work this thing and get a solution to it" Says Councilman Price.

(CLICK HERE) to see a summary of the ideas proposed by Animal Services.

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