Florida Spay-Neuter Bill Set for Hearing

Proposal requires all dogs and cats to be sterilized at 4 months of age.

Posted: March 24, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT

A bill to mandate spay-neuter surgery for dogs and cats over 4 months of age in Florida has been scheduled to be heard at the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Committee’s meeting Tuesday, March 24.

The proposal, House Bill 451, describes pet overpopulation as a preventable problem that can be solved “simply by spaying and neutering companion animals.” As introduced, the bill requires the owner of every dog or cat in Florida to have each animal sterilized within 30 days of the animal reaching 4 months of age, or within 30 days of the owner taking in the pet.

Criteria for exemption include the following:

  • Dogs with veterinary certification showing that sterilization would endanger the pet’s health because of age, disability, or illness;
  • A Greyhound used for racing, until retirement;
  • Show animals registered with an established breed registration group approved by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
  • Dogs or cats who have earned, or are in the process of earning, a competitive sports title, such as agility or obedience;
  • Animals trained, or in training, for use in law enforcement, military, or rescue;
  • Animals for whom an owner holds a valid breeding permit issued in accordance with an ordinance of a county or municipality.

In addition, the bill authorizes a county or municipality to collect a surcharge of up to $5 on civil penalties, which range from $100 to $250.

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Give us your opinion Give us your opinion on Florida Spay-Neuter Bill Set for Hearing

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Terah   Dunnellon, FL

4/7/2009 2:16:57 AM

I think it's wonderful. I am a breeder but I also support spaying and neutering. I own a total of nine dogs, four are used for breeding and five are all resucues that are fixed. If you want to breed your dogs, you should have to get a license. If you have nothing to hide about your practices than it should be no big deal. I am a resident of FL and commend them for stepping up. It's about time.

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Steven   Murrieta, CA

4/6/2009 4:10:14 PM

This seems like a good idea to

It's about time we stop the attitude of "the government shouldn't tell me what to do". In the case of the pet overpopulation, it has gone too far, and the animals every day are the ones paying the price for it.

As for the fallacious arguement about mandates like these wiping out our pets, this is far from the truth. There is a reason why an exception to this law would be those with "a valid breeding permit issued in accordance with an ordinacne of a county or municipality".

Breeding really should be left to those that know what they are doing, and do all they can to make every generation better than the one prior to it. It's not a matter of "I'm not sure if I want to breed him/her", it is obvious that people with this mentality don't know what they are doing in the first place. There are people that really look into pedigrees and open registries to make sure that sire and dam both compliment each other, these are the only ones that should have a right to breed their pets.

4 months too early? Says who? According the the AVMA there really isn't a set time when alterations should happen. Here is a quote by the AVMA: "Currently, most veterinarians in the United States recommend that elective gonadectomy be performed in dogs and cats at 6-9 months of age. However, there does not appear to be any scientific evidence to document that this is the optimal age. In fact, the age at which pets have traditionally been spayed and neutered has varied through the years and with geographic

Determining the Optimal age for Gonadectomy of Dogs and Cats by Margarent V. Root Kustritz, DVM, PhD, DACT

And in the study "Long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy in dogs." by Spain CV, Scarlett JM, Houpt KA. their conclusion was: "Because early-age gonadectomy appears to offer more benefits than risks for male dogs, animal shelters can safely gonadectomize male dogs at a young age and veterinary practitioners should consider recommending routine gonadectomy for client-owned male dogs before the traditional age of 6 to 8 months. For female dogs, however, increased urinary incontinence suggests that delaying gonadectomy until at least 3 months of age may be beneficial." I think maybe really large breeds should be an exception.

I fail to see why this mandate would be a bad one. I hope it pulls through.

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Bonnie   Macon, GA

3/26/2009 1:28:05 PM

There is already enough laws and legislation in place to regulate and encourage responsible dog ownership. Heavy handed, draconian laws just punish the responsible folks and drive the "bad guys" ie backyard breeders and puppy mills underground.4 months is way too early to spay/neuter, the growth plates haven't even closed. And whoever thinks it would take many years to wipe species off the earth...try thinking 2 generations, in animal years. Thats all it would take and what PETA and HSUS want to see happen.

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Marie   Columbus, OH

3/24/2009 7:29:27 PM

My father subscribed to the "it's great for a child to experience the miracle of life" theory of breeding our AKC-registered spaniels, but as I get older and see how many beautiful purebred dogs are abandoned or relinquished (and destroyed) each year, I am starting to rethink my position.

I believe most of this legislation is poorly concieved and unenforceable, but with so many people are making poor choices about spaying, neutering and breeding I can't help but appreciating something that "encourages" them to be more responsible about it - even if it's very

While I appreciate your point about extermination of the species, 1) it would take about a millenium to whittle the population down that much, 2) legislation still provides for credible breeders to continue the species (though again, not thought through well-enough to put these small business owners out of business).

As long as people fail to take responsibility for their actions - purposely or negligently bringing un-homed animals into the world, someone else will be stuck paying the price: either from being punished by legislation, or by paying for municipal services to capture, house and destroy these innocent animals.

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