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Texas Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bills Introduced

(Monday, March 16, 2009)

Two mandatory spay/neuter bills have been filed in the Texas Legislature. House Bill 4277, sponsored by Representative Jose Menendez of San Antonio, and Senate Bill 1845, sponsored by Senator Leticia Van de Putte also of San Antonio, will require that all dogs over six months of age be sterilized. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and its Texas federation of owners, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (RPOA), believe that any attempt at restricting the rights and liberties of responsible breeders–especially via mandatory spay/neuter laws–must be defeated. If adopted, these bills will have a profound negative impact not only on responsible dog breeders in Texas, but also on all current and prospective dog owners. Therefore, it is vital that all responsible dog breeders and all concerned dog owners in Texas, as well as anyone worried about such radical policy, contact their elected state legislatives as well as the bills’ sponsors and respectfully let them know that these draconian measures are unreasonable, unenforceable, and unacceptable.

The American Kennel Club opposes the concepts of breeding permits, breeding bans, or the mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously. Additionally, we strongly support and actively promote a wide range of programs to educate the public about responsible breeding practices and the responsibilities of dog ownership.

As currently written, HB 4277 and SB 1845 would:

  • Require every person who owns a dog or cat at least six months of age to have the animal spayed or neutered.
  • Provide few exceptions, including one for owners of a dog or cat who purchase an intact animal permit at a cost of $300 per intact animal.
  • Make each violation of this law a class C misdemeanor, liable for fines up to $500 per violation.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

All concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Texas, as well as all other concerned Texas residents, are strongly encouraged to write their elected state legislators as well as the bills’ sponsors. Let them know that mandatory spay/neuter bills are radical and unacceptable and will have a profound negative impact upon the state of Texas.

To find out who represents you in the Texas House of Representatives, click here. For a customizable sample letter to send to your representative, click here.

To find out who represents you in the Texas State Senate, click here. For a customizable sample letter to send to your senator, click here.

House Bill 4277 Sponsor Representative Jose Menendez
Capitol Office: EXT E2.204
Capitol Address:
P.O. Box 2910
Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78768
PHONE: (512) 463-0634
FAX: (512) 463-7668
To write Representative Menendez via e-mail, click here for an e-mail form.

District Address:
7121 US Hwy. 90 West, Suite 240
San Antonio, TX 78227
PHONE: (210) 673-3579
FAX: (210) 673-3816

Senate Bill 1845 Sponsor Leticia Van De Putte
Capitol Office: EXT E1.704
Capitol Address:
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
PHONE: (512) 463-0126
TOLL FREE: 1 (888) 279-0648
FAX: (512) 463-2114
To write Senator Van De Putte via e-mail, click here for an e-mail form.
District Address:
700 N. St. Mary’s Street, Suite 1725
San Antonio, TX 78205
PHONE: (210) 733-6604
FAX: (210) 733-6605

For a copy of the AKC’s Disagree Diplomatically brochure, please click here.

The AKC Government Relations Department will continue to monitor the consideration of HB 4277 and SB 1845 and will notify the purebred dog community when these bills are assigned to a committee. Contact information for committee members will be provided and purebred dog owners should express their strong opposition to these bills to their respective committee members at that time.

For more information, please contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org; or contact the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance at (210) 822-6763, at www.responsiblepetowners.org, or at rpoa@texas.net.