California Mandatory Spay-Neuter Bill Advances

If enacted, most dogs and cats more than four months old would have to be spayed or neutered.

Posted: May 25, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

The California Healthy Pets Act, which would require most dogs and cats in the state older than four months old to be spayed or neutered, is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The legislation now heads to the state Assembly floor after successfully passing through an appropriations committee. It will likely be heard by the full Assembly during the week of June 4.

If passed into law, dogs and cats of a recognized breed raised for show, sport, service, law enforcement, or rescue are exempt from the mandate.

In addition, licensed breeders could apply for a permit to keep their animals intact. The cost of the permit is to be determined by local authorities.

Opponents of the bill, including the American Kennel Club, the Pet Industry Joint Counsel, several dog clubs and the North American Police Work Dog Association, say the law is too broad, is financially burdensome and cumbersome to hobby breeders who might only raise one or two litters per year.

Supporters say, however, that a mandatory spay-neuter law would save the taxpayers millions of dollars, reduce the number of animals euthanized within the state, and protect residents from bites and other health hazards related to strays.

Introduced by Rep. Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), the bill has the support of many of the state’s animal rescues and shelters as well as the California Veterinary Medical Association.

“Every year, hundreds of thousands of perfectly healthy and adoptable pets are euthanized by overcrowded shelters that are unable to find them good homes,” Levine said. “We need a common sense approach to solve this problem.”

If enacted, violators would face a $500 fine. Money raised from permits and fines would fund the state’s enforcement of the program, as well as free or low-cost spay and neuter efforts.

If passed, the law would take effect April 1, 2008.


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Isobella   Nashville, TN

9/14/2009 5:20:33 PM

This is a magnificent law!! It would cut out backyard breeders, puppy mills ,reduce the number of animals in shelters and restrict and ( hopefully !) inspect the remaining breeders. Spaying and neutering can be safely done as early as 9 weeks and should be done by six months ,before sexual maturity. My dogs were done at five months,four months and three months. No problems!

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Sheila   Maima, FL

1/21/2009 6:48:14 AM

Using the law to force morality on us is not the way. There are so many small but caring breeders who will be out of business from this. We cannot mandate right and wrong in this way. It is an infringement on our right to privacy and to operate our lives. There is no insult to others here. We do need to encourage people to spay and neuter, I agree but the law is not the way to do it.

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JP   Horn Lake, MS

7/17/2008 8:57:07 AM

I love
this!
I think it is a great
start!
The only people that will be griping about this is backyard breeders, and we dont need those people anyway!

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Sandy   Ponca City, OK

3/6/2008 2:24:51 PM

I applaud the people supporting the mandatory spay/neuter bill in California. The number of good dogs and cats euthanized on a nation-wide basis is nothing short of horrific. If people were more responsible pet owners these steps would not need to be taken....however those of us involved with local humane societies and rescue groups know all too well that the animals end up paying with their lives because irresponsible owners refuse to get their animals
spayed/neutered.

I would hope this is but one of many states that will address this problem with legislation AND ENFORCEMENT.


It is our hope that Oklahoma will also address this problem in the near future.

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