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Indianapolis to Consider Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Mandatory Microchipping

(Tuesday, September 26, 2006)
The Indianapolis City-County Council Rules and Public Policy Committee is considering a proposal that would require all animals to be spayed or neutered and would require all dogs and cats to be microchipped. The committee will accept written public comment until this Friday, September 29th and will hold a public hearing October 10th. It is vital that fanciers, breeders and concerned dog owners write letters and attend this meeting to educate city-county councillors about the benefits and importance of responsible breeders.

The proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance will require all animals to be spayed or neutered unless the animal is a "show, breeder, law enforcement, service or competition animal or crime prevention dog." There are no definitions in the ordinance for show, breeder or competition animals. Indianapolis does not currently require licensing or registration of animals and under this proposal would require registration of only intact animals.

AKC opposes the concept of mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the right of responsible breeders and owners. Mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of the issue-irresponsible ownership. These laws are extremely difficult to enforce and can be evaded by irresponsible animal owners by not licensing their pets. This proposed ordinance will unfairly punish responsible owners who are already complying with local animal control laws, while irresponsible owners continue to make problems for the community and local shelters.

The mandatory microchipping ordinance will require each dog and cat over the age of three months to be implanted with a microchip. Previously the city-county allowed a collar tag to serve as a means of permanent identification. Veterinarians or others who implant microchips are required to report the names, addresses and phone numbers of dog and cat owners and corresponding microchip number monthly to city-county officials.

As part of AKC's ongoing efforts to promote responsible dog ownership, we encourage dog owners to properly identify their pets. We believe, however, that the final decision about identification-whether by collar, tattoo or microchip-should be made by the owner, not the government.

It is crucial that all fanciers and concerned dog owners work together to protect our rights as dog owners. The narrow exemptions provided in the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance are not sufficient to justify relinquishing the rights of responsible owners to breed dogs.

Points to Consider:
  • Mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of the issue-irresponsible ownership. Mandatory spay/neuter laws are extremely difficult to enforce and can be evaded by irresponsible animal owners by not licensing their pets. More regulations increase the workload of already financially strained animal control offices, making it even more difficult for them to perform their duties.


  • Spay/neuter requirements target all owners regardless of their actions and would restrict the many breeders who raise and breed purebred dogs responsibly. These breeders make a serious commitment to their animals, working hard to raise healthy, well cared for dogs and to ensure that the puppies are placed with responsible dog owners.


  • Strongly enforced animal control laws (such as leash laws), and increased public education efforts are better ways to address the issue of irresponsible dog ownership. A public education campaign would help teach community residents about how to properly care for their pets, as well as the need to be a responsible pet owner.
What You Can Do:
  • Attend the public hearing on October 10th at 5:30pm.
    Room 260
    City-County Building
    200 E. Washington St.
    Indianapolis, IN 46204


  • Contact Councillor Rozelle Boyd, Rules and Public Policy Committee Chair
    The Honorable Rozelle Boyd
    200 E. Washington, Room 241T
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    Phone: 317-327-4240


  • Contact your representative on the Indianapolis City Council.
    Written comments must be received by September 29th.
    To find out who represents you on the Indianapolis City Council, click here.
    The Honorable or Councillor (Name)
    241 City-County Building
    200 E. Washington St.
    Phone: 317-327-4241
For more information, contact:

Indiana Animal Owners Alliance
Patsy Dunn-Jena
padunnje2@yahoo.com

AKC's Canine Legislation department
919-816-3720
doglaw@akc.org