New Orleans Alert: City Council to Consider Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance on Thursday, May 6

The AKC Government Relations Department has confirmed that the New Orleans City Council will...

The AKC Government Relations Department has confirmed that the New Orleans City Council will consider a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance this Thursday, May 6, 2010.  The proposal, in a purported effort to address three well-publicized dog bite incidents in New Orleans, seeks to require all dogs be sterilized by six months of age or require their owners to purchase a costly annual intact dog permit. The American Kennel Club (AKC) strongly opposes the ordinance, and encourages all responsible dog owners in New Orleans to contact the City Council and respectfully yet strongly urge them to vote down this proposal.

Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, sponsor of the current proposal, introduced a similar mandatory spay/neuter ordinance last year to address funding inadequacies of the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LaSPCA), which enforces the city’s animal control laws.  That proposal did not pass the Council.

If enacted, the new ordinance will impose many new unreasonable requirements on responsible dog owners in New Orleans, which include:

  • Requiring all dogs six months of age or older (with few exceptions) to be spayed or neutered or require owners to purchase an annual intact dog permit.  Mandatory spay/neuter ordinances have not been effective anywhere they have been adopted. In fact, in many cases the euthanization rates in surrounding areas have declined faster than those areas with mandatory spay/neuter policies. Additionally, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have both issued policy statements in the past year stating that mandatory spay/neuter policies are not effective. Enforcement of existing law, including leash and confinement laws, is a better alternative that does not discriminate against responsible, law-abiding dog owners.
     
  • Limiting female dogs from whelping more than one litter per year, or whelping a litter if the female is younger than 18-months of age. The AKC opposes any arbitrary limitation on the responsible breeding of purebred dogs, and believes health and reproduction decisions are best made by owners in consultation with their dogs’ veterinarian.
     
  • Imposing significant fines for those who are found to be in violation of the ordinance, with the income from the fines to be used to further finance the LaSPCA’s animal control efforts. The AKC believes that the cost of enforcement of the ordinance will be far greater than any revenues gained through fines or fees assessed. Further, New Orleans may experience a significant drop in licensing compliance rates and revenues similar to other cities where mandatory spay/neuter laws have been enacted. It could also lead owners to avoid proper veterinary care and vaccinations for their dogs in order to avoid detection.


The American Kennel Club opposes mandatory spay/neuter laws. 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.


WHAT YOU CAN DO:

All concerned responsible dog owners in the New Orleans area are strongly encouraged to contact each member of the New Orleans City Council and Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  Respectfully let them know that you oppose the mandatory spay/neuter proposal, and urge them to vote against it.  Click here for a sample letter to customize and send to the City Council members.


Arnie Fielkow, At-Large
City Hall, Room 2W40
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1060
Fax: (504) 658-1068
afielkow@cityofno.com


Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, At-Large
City Hall, Room 2W50
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1070
Fax: (504) 658-1077
jbclarkson@cityofno.com


Susan G. Guidry, District A
City Hall, Room 2W80 
1300 Perdido Street 
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1010 
Fax: (504) 658-1016
sguidry@cityofno.com


Stacy Head, District B
City Hall, Room 2W10
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658 -1020
Fax: (504) 658-1025
shead@cityofno.com


Kristin Gisleson Palmer, District C
City Hall, Room 2W70
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1030
Fax: (504) 658-1037
kgpalmer@cityofno.com


Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, District D (Sponsor)
City Hall, Room 2W20
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1040
Fax: (504) 658-1048
chmorrell@cityofno.com


Jon D. Johnson, District E
City Hall, Room 2W60
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1050
Fax: (504) 658-1058
jdjohnson@cityofno.com


Mayor Mitch Landrieu
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-8400
Click here for a form to e-mail Mayor Landrieu.


Click here to view AKC’s previous alerts on New Orleans’ 2010 mandatory spay/neuter proposal. 

 

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.