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July 25th, 2008

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02:56 pm - Proposed Chicago Law May Require Spay/Neuter
The Chicago City Council is set to vote on an ordinance that will require all pet owners to spay or neuter their cats and dogs. This is a copy of the e-mail I received from PAWS Chicago regarding the ordinance: 

Next Tuesday, July 29 is a very important day for animal welfare in Chicago.
  Alderman Ed Burke, Chairman of the Finance Committee and Alderman Rugai, will be introducing the Pet Overpopulation & Safety Ordinance. Alderman Burke and Rugai have drafted this ordinance as a crime-fighting, humane and taxpayer friendly solution to Chicago's pet overpopulation, stray and animal crime problems.
This ordinance will require mandatory spay/neuter for dogs and cats more than 6 months of age. The ordinance includes seven clear exemptions that respect the rights of compliant animal breeders, police dogs, working dogs, show dogs, law enforcement animals and for family pets deemed by a veterinarian to have a valid medical reason not to be spay/neutered.
Those who do not wish to spay/neuter their pets will be able to purchase a breeder's license.  Many backyard breeders keep pets in inhumane conditions and are not registered or inspected.  This ordinance will require registration of breeders and a mechanism to monitor that breeders engage in safe and humane practices.

I do believe that people should spay or neuter their pets. I do NOT believe that it should be required by law.

This is the e-mail I sent to the alderman sponsoring the ordinance, as well as to the alderman for my ward:  

 Mr. Burke-
I recently learned through PAWS Chicago that you are spear-heading a potential ordinance that will require all cats and dogs in the city to be spayed or neutered. I am a PAWS Chicago volunteer, and I believe very strongly that people should make the responsible choice to spay or neuter any pets they do not intend to breed. However, I also believe this should be a choice, and not something foisted upon them by the local version of a nanny state. There may be people who truly believe that spay/neuter is not the best choice for their animal. There may also be people who believe that, even with the free and low-cost spay/neuter services offered through PAWS, they cannot afford the surgery and cannot afford the breeder's license, and therefore choose to dump their pet on the street or with Animal Care & Control.
We live in a society that advocates responsible choice, and I believe we must let that mentality rule in this case. I thank you for your efforts to reduce dogfighting in this city, but I urge you to rethink the portion of the ordinance that relates to forced veterinary surgery. Perhaps the city could help reduce the burden on people who choose to spay/neuter by paying for the surgery, rather than forcing citizens to find the money themselves in this time of great economic hardship.
Thank you for your time. I have copied this e-mail to Mr. Mell, who is my alderman.

I'm aware that my opinion is extremely unpopular in certain circles, but I feel the need to make my thoughts known. Please make your own opinions, either for or against the ordinance, known by contacting your alderman!

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)


[User Picture]
Date:July 25th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
In Denver and some of the surrounding suburbs, they charge a two-tier amount for licenses. It's more expensive if your animal is not spayed or neutered.
Cats, because they are frequently just turned outside to roam around, seem to be much more prolific breeders and create more little cats to do likewise. I don't even know if the city or county requires licenses for cats at all.
Date:January 25th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)

Mandatory Spay/Neuter

I actually don't think your opinion is unpopular, in fact I think it's very self-indulgent of PAWS Chicago to popularize mandatory spany/neuter rules. Some owner are responsible, some or not, just like parents. Perhaps we should spay or neuter individuals until they prove they can be good parentS? Or, we could just spay/neuter the PAWS Chicago owners and see how they feel. Right?
[User Picture]
Date:January 26th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)

Re: Mandatory Spay/Neuter

PAWS does a lot of really good work, and I used to volunteer with them from time to time. I do believe that responsible pet owners should spay or neuter their cats and dogs, unless they have a good reason not to, but I also believe that choice has to be up to the pet owner, for all the reasons I spelled out in the original post.
Proposed Chicago Law May Require Spay/Neuter - Discretion Is Just Dishonesty Mixed With Good Breeding

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