Arizona Alert: Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bill Introduced

House Bill 2516, which seeks to prohibit persons from owning or keeping a dog or cat that is more...

House Bill 2516, which seeks to prohibit persons from owning or keeping a dog or cat that is more than six months old if the animal has not been spayed or neutered, unless the person has acquired an intact permit for the animal, has been introduced. If adopted, this unreasonable and unenforceable bill will have a profound negative impact not only upon responsible dog breeders in Arizona, but also upon all current and prospective dog owners. It is vital that all breeders and concerned dog owners in Arizona contact their elected state legislators and voice their strong opposition to the bill.

The American Kennel Club opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans, or the mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously. Additionally, we strongly support and actively promote a wide range of programs to educate the public about responsible breeding practices and the responsibilities of dog ownership.

As introduced, HB 2516 will:

  • Prohibit a person from owning or keeping a dog or cat that is more than six months old if the animal has not been spayed or neutered, unless the person qualifies for and purchases an intact permit.

 

  • Allow the fee for the permit to be set by the county enforcement agent or by the local jurisdiction.

 

  • Require the fee for the permit to be no more than what is "reasonably necessary" to fund the administration of the intact permit program.

 

  • Provide that intact permits be issued when one of the following conditions are met, including:

    • For those who provide a business license and federal tax identification number as a dog or cat breeder;
    • Proof that the dog belongs to a recognized registry and meets show or title standards;
    • Proof that the dog is a working dog for law enforcement, fire agencies, or private sector working dog organizations;
    • Proof that the dog is actively used by law enforcement, fire agencies, or private sector working dog organizations for law enforcement, fire service, search and rescue or medical service activities, or is being raised or otherwise prepared for any of these purposes;
    • A letter from a licensed veterinarian stating that due to age, poor health, or illness it is unsafe to spay or neuter the animal;
    • Proof that the dog is used for herding or guarding livestock on property designated for ranching;
    • Proof that the dog or cat is temporarily in the state;
    • Proof that the dog or cat is being trained or used for any of the purposes permitted by the US Animal Welfare Act; or
    • A written agreement to allow one male dog and one female dog per household to produce a single litter of offspring within one year after issuance of permit (pursuant to stringent health and care and conditions requirements).

 

HB 2516 will require breeders to pay an undetermined annual fee for every intact dog they possess, and is a blatant attempt at imposing a significant financial burden upon responsible dog breeders and owners. We believe that any attempt at restricting the rights and liberties of responsible breeders—especially via mandatory spay/neuter laws—must be defeated.

As a recently introduced bill, HB 2516 has not been referred to a committee within the Arizona House of Representatives. The AKC Canine Legislation Department will continue to monitor the consideration of HB 2516 and will notify the purebred dog community when the bill is assigned to a committee. Contact information for committee members will be provided and purebred dog owners should express their concerns with HB 2516 to committee members.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Please contact your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to oppose HB 2516. To find out who represents you in the Arizona Legislature, please click here.