Shelter Sterilization Bills Being Considered

Shelter Sterilization Bills Being Considered

AKC's Government Relations Department would like to provide clarification on shelter sterilization bills currently under consideration in two states. Several fanciers have contacted AKC's Government Relations Department with concerns regarding Colorado House Bill 1185 and Kentucky House Bill 39. Specifically, they question whether these bills, if adopted, will require the mandatory spaying or neutering of all dogs in those states.

Colorado HB 1185 and KY HB 39 do not require the mandatory spaying or neutering of all dogs. Colorado HB 1185 is currently awaiting Governor Bill Ritter's signature. The bill mandates that animal shelters or rescues shall not release an ownerless dog to a prospective owner unless the animal has been sterilized, or the prospective owner agrees to have the adopted animal sterilized within 90 days of the animal's release and pays a refundable deposit. The bill will not apply to dogs released to a person with prior and continuing ownership rights to the dog. (For a copy of CO HB 1185, click here.) Similarly, Kentucky HB 39 has been reported favorably by the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee. The bill requires that releasing agencies shall not transfer any dog that has not been spayed or neutered, or that releasing agencies must execute a written agreement with adopting owners requiring them to have the dog spayed or neutered within thirty days of adoption. This bill will not apply to any dog being claimed by its rightful owner. (For a copy of KY HB 39, click here.)

The American Kennel Club supports and encourages the efforts of clubs, organizations, and individuals to rescue adoptable purebred dogs. These dogs may originate from animal shelters, or from owners who can no longer care for their dogs in a responsible manner. The American Kennel Club encourages all such groups and individuals, after exhausting all possible means to contact the breeder of such animals, to spay or neuter all adoptable purebred dogs prior to placing them with a responsible owner.

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