Las Vegas Requires Pets to be Altered

A new Las Vegas law will require most pet owners to spay or neuter their cats and dogs by 4 months of age to help manage the pet overpopulation problem.

The ordinance has the support of local veterinarians and animal rescue groups. They say that not sterilizing animals is irresponsible pet ownership and can lead to out-of-control reproduction–adopting out animals alone will never solve the problem.

Critics say that 4 months is too young to spay or neuter a pet, and that no studies have shown that a mandatory spay-neuter program is effective in reducing unwanted pet populations.

There are exceptions for people with a breeder’s, animal handler’s or fancier’s permit, and for pets that qualify for a temporary or permanent medical exemption.

The ordinance is scheduled to take effect April 1.

Violating the Las Vegas ordinance would be a misdemeanor.


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