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Vote Postponed on Chicago Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bill

(Monday, March 09, 2009)

Alderman Burke has postponed a vote on the proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. Over 130 people signed up to address the committee about the issue and several aldermen questioned whether this was an effective and economical policy for the city to pursue. AKC thanks the many breeders and responsible owners who attended the meeting as well as those who sent letters and emails opposing this proposal. AKC will continue to monitor this item and will update our website when another hearing in scheduled. In the meantime, we would continue to encourage Chicago residents to contact their representative and ask him or her to oppose this ordinance.


URGENT: Chicago City Council Committee to Vote on Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance March 12th!
[Monday, March 09, 2009]

The Chicago City Council Joint Committee on Finance and License & Consumer Protection will hear a proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance at their meeting this Thursday, March 12th, 2009. It is vital that responsible dog owners and breeders attend the hearing to oppose this measure.

The ordinance will require that all dogs or cats over the age of six months be spayed or neutered unless they qualify for one of the following exemptions:

  • A licensed veterinarian certifies that the animal’s health would best be served by spaying/neutering after a specified date, or that due to age or poor health it is unsafe to sterilize the animal at this time.
  • The dog or cat is of a breed approved by and registered with a registry or association recognized by the commission on animal care and control whose programs and practices are consistent with the humane treatment of animals, and the dogs or cats are kept for the purposes of showing or competing in legitimate shows or competitions hosted by or under the approval of the recognized registry or association (It is unclear how this would affect animals that are older than 6 months who are not yet ready to compete or be shown.).
  • The dog has earned, or is actively being trained for and is in the process of earning an agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, hunting, working or other title from an approved registry or association (It is unclear how an owner would prove that an animal is “being trained”).
  • Dogs or cats having a valid breeding permit.
  • Dogs or cats whose owners hold a valid animal care facility license.
  • The dog is trained or is in the process of being trained as a service dog.
  • The dog is trained or in the process of being trained and is actively used by law enforcement agencies or the military.
  • The dog is owned by a guard dog service.

The proposal will also establish a $100 breeding permit, require breeders to submit to a criminal background check and establish the following restrictions:

  • Prohibits the breeding of female dogs and cats more than once a year unless they receive special permission.
  • Prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens before eight weeks of age.
  • Requires breeders to provide veterinary and vaccination records to all puppy and kitten purchasers.
  • Requires that the breeding permit number be displayed in any advertisement offering puppies or kittens for sale.

What You Can Do

  • Attend the meeting City Council Joint Committee on Finance and License & Consumer Protection. The details are as follows:

    Date: Thursday, March 12, 2009
    Time: 10:00 a.m.
    Location: Chicago City Hall, 2nd Floor
    121 North La Salle Street
    Chicago, IL

  • Chicago residents, send a letter to the Alderman who represents your district. Please click here for a sample letter. Remember that this letter must be personalized and you need to include your full name and mailing address so you will be recognized as a constituent. To find out who represents you, please click here.
  • Fanciers who have traveled to Chicago to attend dog events, please personalize this sample letter and send it to the authors, Aldermen Burke and Rugai as well as to Alderman Schulter, Chair of the Committee on Licensing and Consumer Protection.
  • Club Officers, please have your club author a letter opposing this ordinance and send it to the Aldermen listed below. A sample letter to personalize can be found here.

Contact Information for the Aldermen Burke, Rugai and Schulter

Alderman Edward Burke
Chair, Committee on Finance
121 N. LaSalle St., Room 302
Chicago, IL 60602
eburke@cityofchicago.org
FAX: (312) 744-1955

Alderman Virginia Rugai
121 N. LaSalle St., Room 300
Chicago, IL 60602
vrugai@cityofchicago.org
FAX: 773- 238-9049

Alderman Eugene Schulter
121 N. LaSalle St., Room 300
Chicago, IL 60602
ward47@cityofchicago.org
FAX: 312-744-1509

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