Updated 4/20: New Orleans Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance Vote Delayed

The AKC Government Relations Department has learned that the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance...

The AKC Government Relations Department has learned that the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance proposal currently under consideration by the New Orleans City Council will not be considered at its meeting this Thursday, April 22.  Because the New Orleans City Code requires at least 20 days of consideration for all proposals that seek to impose new permits or fees, this ordinance is not likely to be considered at least until the City Council’s regular meeting on May 6.  The May 6 meeting will be the first for the newly-elected members of the City Council. 

The AKC strongly encourages all responsible dog breeders and owners in New Orleans to contact the members of the incoming City Council and Mayor-Elect Mitch Landrieu.  Respectfully let them know that you oppose the mandatory spay/neuter proposal, and urge them to vote against it.  (For more information and talking points against the mandatory spay/neuter proposal, click here.) 

Mayor-Elect Mitch Landrieu
E-mail: wes@transitionneworleans.com

Council President 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

Council Vice President 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

Councilwoman-Elect Susan Guidry (District A)
E-mail: guidryforcitycouncil@gmail.com
Councilwoman 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

Councilwoman-Elect Kristin Gisleson Palmer (District C)
E-mail: info@kristinpalmer.org

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

Councilman-Elect Jon Johnson (District E)
E-mail: jondjohnson@bellsouth.net

For more information and the latest developments on the New Orleans mandatory spay/neuter proposal, please contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.

 

Another Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance Introduced in New Orleans

[Thursday, April 15, 2010]

In a purported effort to address three recent well-publicized dog bite incidents in New Orleans, a new mandatory spay/neuter ordinance proposal has been introduced in the New Orleans City Council.  It 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) 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:

The Government Relations Department has received word that the ordinance is likely to be voted on at its next meeting on Thursday, April 22.  The AKC strongly encourages all responsible dog breeders and owners in New Orleans to contact the current members of the New Orleans City Council.  Respectfully let them know that you oppose the mandatory spay/neuter proposal, and urge them to vote against it. 

Council President 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

Council Vice President 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

Councilwoman Shelley Midura (District A) 
City Hall, Room 2W80 
1300 Perdido Street 
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1010
Fax: (504) 658-1016
smidura@cityofno.com

Councilwoman 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

Councilman James Carter (District C)
City Hall, Room 2W70
1300 Perdido Street 
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1030
Fax: (504) 658-1037
jcarter@cityofno.com

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

Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis (District E) 
City Hall, Room 2W60
1300 Perdido Street 
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1050
Fax: (504) 658-1058
cwlewis@cityofno.com

 

RESOURCES:

For more information and the latest developments on the New Orleans mandatory spay/neuter proposal, please contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.