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Davidson County, NC to Consider Mandatory Spay/Neuter

(Wednesday, January 17, 2007)
The Davidson County Board of Commissioners will meet February 13th to discuss a proposal to require all dogs over the age of six months to be spayed or neutered unless their owner purchases a $100 intact animal permit. Concerned fanciers and dog owners are asked to attend the February 13th meeting or write a letter to their representative on the Board of Commissioners.

The $100 permit would be valid for the life of the animal. The county has made separate provisions for those with multiple animals, allowing a $100 permit to be purchased for the first five animals and $50 for additional intact animals.

Exemptions are provided for service dogs, law enforcement dogs, non-residents who are in the county less than thirty days, animals in a veterinary clinic or boarding facility and those certified by a veterinarian as medically unfit to undergo surgery.

Citations would only be issued if the animal was in violation of another part of the animal control code. For example, if animal control were contacted due to a nuisance complaint and they found that the animal was intact and the owner did not have the appropriate permit they could then be cited for the lack of a permit. Animal control would not be able to actively pursue owners of intact animals and cite them solely based on the lack of an intact animal permit.

No permit is required for sterilized animals, although all animals are required to be vaccinated for rabies and wear a rabies tag. All animals are required to display identification which lists the owner’s name, address and phone number.

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 responsible breeders who raise and breed purebred dogs for their enjoyment of the sport. These breeders make a serious commitment to their animals with the intention of promoting the sport of purebred dogs and improving the individual breeds.


  • 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.
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