Alabama Bill Would Require Pet Sterilization

Proposal relates to privately owned cats and dogs older than 6 months.

Posted: April 6, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT

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Privately owned dogs and cats within the state of Alabama would need to be spayed or neutered under a bill introduced by Senator Del Marsh.

Senate Bill 554 relates to dogs and cats who are 6 months of age and older. It provides for civil fines as well as certain exceptions.

If enacted, SB 554 will provide that an owner of an unsterilized dog 6 months of age or older who is the subject of a complaint may be cited and, in addition to any fine, pay civil penalties as follows:

  • $50 on the first occurrence;
  • $100 on the second occurrence;
  • On the third occurrence, require sterilization of the dog.
  • For cat owners, sterilization will be required on second occurrence.

The bill defines "complaint" as any oral or written complaint to a local animal control agency that “alleges that the dog or cat or the owner of the dog or cat has violated this act, any other provision of state law that relates to dogs or cats, or a local animal control ordinance.”

"Complaint" also means the observation by an employee or officer of a local animal control agency of behavior by a dog or cat or owner of a pet that violates this act, any other provision of state law that relate[s] to dogs or cats, or a local animal control ordinance. "Complaint" will not include an allegation of excessive noise or barking.

Owners would be exempt from the act if the dog or cat:

  • Is a breed approved by and is registered with a recognized registry or association, and is actively used to show or compete and has competed in at least one show or sporting competition hosted by or under the approval of the recognized registry or association within the past two years;
  • Is being trained or groomed to show or compete and is too young to have yet competed;
  • Has earned or is in the process of earning a title, such as agility or herding;
  • Is trained or in training for use in law enforcement, military, or rescue;
  • By letter from a licensed veterinarian, has been certified to be temporarily or permanently deferred because of age or health or any other valid reason.

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Mike   Ethelsville, AL

10/15/2009 1:43:04 PM

I in Alabama an haven't anything about it.I think it's stupid. Animal owners who care about their pets get them "fixed" anyway

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Amanda   Mesa, AZ

4/6/2009 11:19:39 PM

This won't help anything. You think this law will stop irresponsible breeders? Think again. Puppy mills don't care about breaking the law! You think someone who can see hundreds of puppies suffer and die is going to be bothered by some
fine?

No, it translates to fewer people visiting vets because they don't know about low-or-no-cost spay and neuter programs, and they just can't afford it. That in turn causes sick dogs that can't go to the vet, so they die or suffer. Fewer people go to vets, which equals higher costs for the rest of
us.

Oh, don't forget the shelters. This legislation means a death sentence for more animals, because vet bills get higher, adoption costs rise, and fewer people can afford to adopt a dog or cat or any other
animal.

If you think about the consequences of such an action at this, you're gambling with animal lives. It would be much better to have restrictions on the animal breeding industry than to put fear into the hearts of ignorant animal owners, who think they're doing the right
thing.

I mean, whatever happened to education BEFORE punishment?

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Galadriel   Lothlorien, ME

4/6/2009 11:05:15 PM

This is unconstitutional. What are they going to legalize next? I hope it doesn't pass.

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ann   derby, CT

4/6/2009 9:56:56 PM

this is good

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