Los Angeles now has one of the toughest animal sterilizationÂ laws in the country.
As of Tuesday, Feb. 26, all pet owners in Los Angeles must have their animals spayed or neutered by the time they reach 4 months of age.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who signed the ordinance into effect, said the goal is to alleviate the overcrowding of animal shelters–Los Angeles took in approximately 50,000 cats and dogs last year and euthanized 15,000.
AnimalsÂ exempt from the ordinance include those who have competed in shows or competitions, guide dogs, dogs owned by professional breeders, and animals used by law enforcement.
Penalties for those who do not follow the ordinance range from being given information on sterilization and a 60-day grace period for first-time offenders, and up to a $500 fine or up to 40 hours of community service for multiple offenses.
The spay/neuter debate — something we’ve covered and discussed on the site multiple times –is obviously a very heated, controversial topic. After reading numerous stories and comments from people on both sides of the issue, I’m still very torn on how I feel about spaying and neutering being mandatory. It’s a shame that a number of irresponsible individuals force laws like the one in Los Angeles to come into effect. At the same time, overpopulation and limitedÂ resources at animal sheltersÂ continues to be a problem.
Honestly, I’m not sure how muchÂ of a differenceÂ such ordinances will have in getting people to spay or neuter their pets. It’s not like law-enforcement will be going door-to-door, making sure each and every person is following the law.
Only time will tell how effective these laws will be.