URGENT: Lee County, FL to Consider Mandatory Spay/Neuter, Breeder Permits, Inspections and More

URGENT: Lee County, FL to Consider Mandatory Spay/Neuter, Breeder Permits, Inspections and More

This Tuesday, February 4th, the Lee County Board of Commissioners will consider an ordinance which will severely restrict the rights of responsible breeders and owners.  The ordinance includes mandatory spay/neuter provisions, requires all breeders be licensed and inspected by the county and makes a host of other changes that will negatively impact responsible owners and breeders. It is imperative that responsible owners and breeders attend this meeting and oppose this ordinance,

Lee County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Date: Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Time:  9:30am
Location: Commission Chambers, 2120 Main Street, Fort Myers, FL

Key Provisions of the Ordinance

  • Requires sterilization of all dogs and cats over the age of six months unless the animal serves law enforcement, is registered with a nationally recognized dog or cat club, is working as an agricultural dog, is a hunting or sporting animal whose owner possess a valid hunting license, or has a veterinary exemption.
    • An unsterilized animal that registered with a national breed club will be sterilized upon a second impoundment. This is not reasonable as a dog may get out once as a puppy and then years later be let out by a child or neighbor leaving a fence unsecured. That is not sufficient to prove the animal a danger or habitually at-large.
  • Defines a “breeder” as “an individual or business breeding domestic animals for the purpose of producing off-spring for sale, adoption, or other placement. A Breeder is subject to the definitional and locational limitations for animal kennels as contained in the Lee County Development Code.”
    • The Lee County Development Code defines an “animal kennel “ as “an establishment where more than four dogs or cats (except litters of animals of not more than six months of age) are kept, raised, bred, cared for or boarded for others.”  This could be interpreted to mean that any breeder owning more than four dogs or cats would need a kennel license. It should be noted that current ordinances do NOT allow kennels in residential areas.
  • Requires a certificate to legally breed or stud a dog or cat. The fee for this license is not stated.
  • Requires breeders to provide contact information for all new pet owners, display their license certificate and includes their license number in any advertisements.
  • Requires breeders to allow Animal Services to inspect the breeding premises at any reasonable time. It is unreasonable that the authorities would need a warrant to inspect the home of someone suspected of a major felony but that dog breeders are denied the same rights.

What You Can Do

  • Attend the February 4th meeting of the Lee County Board of Commissioners and oppose the ordinance.
  • Contact the members of the Lee County Board of Commissioners prior to the meeting via email or phone call and ask them to oppose this burdensome and ineffective ordinance.

AKC Resources:
AKC Position Statement: Spaying and Neutering
Mandatory Spay-Neuter Issue Brief
Issue Analysis: Why Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws are Ineffective
AKC Position Statement: Canine Population Issues
Issue Analysis: The Value of Responsible Dog Breeders
AKC Position Statement: Breeding Restrictions
AKC Position Statement: Responsible Breeding Practices
Responsible Breeding Practices Issue Brief

Lee County Board of Commissioners

Commissioner John Manning (District 1)
E-Mail: dist1@leegov.com
Phone: (239) 533-2224
FAX: (239) 485-2155

Commissioner Cecil L Pendergrass (District 2)
E-Mail: Dist2@leegov.com
Phone: (239) 533-2227
FAX: (239) 485-2021

Commissioner Larry Kiker (Chairman of the Board, District 3)
Email: dist3@leegov.com 
Phone: (239) 533-2223
FAX: (239) 485-2099

Commissioner: Brian Hamman (Vice Chairman of the Board, District 4)
E-Mail: dist4@leegov.com
Phone: (239) 533-2226
FAX: (239) 485-2054

Commissioner Frank Mann (District 5)
E-Mail: dist5@leegov.com
Phone: (239) 533-2225
FAX: (239) 485-2092