Mercer County, WV Considering Mandatory Spay/Neuter

The Mercer County Commission is considering a proposal that would impose mandatory spay/neuter and...

The Mercer County Commission is considering a proposal that would impose mandatory spay/neuter and breeder licensing requirements on county residents in order to address animal population concerns. 


The Commission is expected to take public testimony on this measure at its December 13, 2011, meeting.  All responsible dog owners and breeders who reside or compete in events in Mercer County are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the Commission and politely ask them to oppose this unfair and ineffective ordinance.  Scroll down for details on the hearing, and contact information for the commission.



The AKC Government Relations Department has numerous concerns with this proposal, including:

  • Mandatory Sterilization of All Dogs and Cats – All dogs and cats over 6 months old must be sterilized unless the owner purchases a $50 unaltered animal permit for each animal owned. 

    In order to qualify for the permit, owners must prove to the County Clerk that “the permit is sought for a proper purpose” and have not had more than one violation of any provision of the animal code in the past two years.  Owners must also have the pet examined regularly by a veterinarian, vaccinated annually, and housed properly.  These terms are not defined, and it is unclear how these requirements would be determined and enforced. 

  • Breeder Permit Requirements – In addition to the unaltered animal permit, an owner must purchase an annual $30 breeder permit for each animal bred.  The permit would allow one litter per animal each year and allow animals to be sold, adopted or transferred once they are seven weeks old, as long as they have been “immunized against common diseases.”  The proposal does not state which diseases it considers common.


The AKC opposes breeding permits and mandatory spay/neuter laws for purebred dogs.  Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the health and welfare of dogs without restricting the rights of responsible owners and breeders who meet their responsibilities. We believe that all owners, regardless of whether or not their pets are intact, should be responsible and provide proper care for their animals.


How You Can Help:

  • Attend the December 13 hearing and politely express your opposition to this proposal.  The hearing information is as follows:

    Mercer County Commission Hearing
    Tuesday, December 13, 2011
    10:00 a.m.
    1501 W. Main Street
    Princeton, WV 24740

  • Contact the members of the County Commission and politely ask them to oppose the Mercer County Spay/Neuter Ordinance.  Visit the policy issue section of the AKC Government Relations online Toolbox and scroll down to “Mandatory Spay/Neuter” for suggested talking points and a sample letter to personalize.

    The Commissioners’ names and contact information is as follows:

    Commissioner Joe Coburn
    Commissioner Jay Mills
    Commissioner Mike Vinciguerra

    Contact information for all Commissioners:
    Mercer County Commission
    1501 W. Main St, Suite 210
    Princeton, WV 24740

    Phone: (304) 487-8308
    Fax: (304) 487-8370


AKC Government Relations will continue to provide information, including more details on the December 13 meeting, as it becomes available.  For questions or more information, contact us at (919) 816-3720 or