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UPDATE: New Orleans to Consider MSN & Breeding Limits

(Friday, October 16, 2009)

UPDATE: New Orleans City Council MSN Vote Scheduled for November 5

The AKC has confirmed that the New Orleans City Council has delayed the vote on the mandatory spay/neuter proposal until Thursday, November 5.

It is imperative that dog owners in the New Orleans area use the next few weeks to continue contacting the city council and expressing opposition to this proposal. Read our previous alert for more information on the proposal, as well as obtain contact information for the council.

The AKC Government Relations Department will continue to provide updates as they become available.

NEW ORLEANS UPDATE: CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER MANDATORY SPAY/NEUTER TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20! VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION NOW!

[Thursday, October 15, 2009]

The New Orleans City Council will consider Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell’s mandatory spay/neuter ordinance at its meeting on Tuesday, October 20th. The American Kennel Club vehemently opposes this draconian and ineffective proposal. All responsible dog breeders and owners in the New Orleans area are encouraged to attend Tuesday’s City Council meeting to speak in opposition to the ordinance, and to contact the City Council members (listed below). Respectfully yet strongly express your opposition to this unreasonable and unenforceable proposal, and urge them to vote against it. Encourage them to begin an in-depth study of any existing animal population issues in New Orleans, and to work on better enforcement of the City’s existing animal ordinance. (For detailed talking points and a sample letter of opposition that you can customize, please click here.)

Meeting details:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
10:00 AM
City Hall Council Chamber
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

(Those attending the meeting are encouraged to arrive at least one hour prior to the meeting’s 10:00 AM start time to secure parking near City Hall. Parking is available at several nearby locations.)

Council President Arnie Fielkow (At-Large)
City Hall, Room 2W40
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1060
Fax: (504) 658-1068
afielkow@cityofno.com

Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson (At-Large)
City Hall, Room 2W50
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1070
Fax: (504) 658-1077
jbclarkson@cityofno.com

Councilwoman Shelley Midura (District A)
City Hall, Room 2W80
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1010
Fax: (504) 658-1016
smidura@cityofno.com

Councilwoman Stacy Head (District B)
City Hall, Room 2W10
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1020
Fax: (504) 658-1025
shead@cityofno.com

Councilman James Carter (District C)
City Hall, Room 2W70
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1030
Fax: (504) 658-1037
jcarter@cityofno.com

Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell (District D) – ordinance sponsor
City Hall, Room 2W20
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1040
Fax: (504) 658-1048
chmorrell@cityofno.com

Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis (District E)
City Hall, Room 2W60
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1050
Fax: (504) 658-1058
cwlewis@cityofno.com

For more information and the latest developments on the New Orleans mandatory spay/neuter proposal, please contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.

[Wednesday, September 23, 2009]

A mandatory spay/neuter and breeding restrictions ordinance is under consideration by the New Orleans City Council. The ordinance, which was introduced by Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, will require all dogs to be sterilized by six months of age or force their owners to purchase a costly breeder permit. It is likely that the ordinance will be considered at the city council’s upcoming meeting on Thursday, October 1st. The American Kennel Club, which opposes the ordinance, believes that this proposal is unreasonable, difficult and costly to enforce, potentially unconstitutional, and will do nothing to protect the health and welfare of dogs. It is imperative that all concerned responsible dog owners and breeders in New Orleans contact the members of the New Orleans City Council and respectfully yet strongly urge them to vote down this proposal.

The American Kennel Club opposes mandatory spay/neuter laws. Instead, we support 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.

If enacted, the new ordinance will impose many new unreasonable requirements on responsible dog owners in New Orleans, which include:

  • Requiring all dogs six months of age or older (with few exceptions) to be spayed or neutered or force owners to purchase costly $50 breeder permits to keep any dog intact. Mandatory spay/neuter ordinances have not been effective anywhere they have been adopted. In fact, in many cases the euthanization rates in surrounding areas have declines faster than in those areas with mandatory spay/neuter policies. Additionally, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have both issued policy statements in the past year stating that mandatory spay/neuter policies are not effective. Enforcement of existing law, including leash laws, is a better alternative.
  • Limiting female dogs from whelping more than one litter per year, or whelping a litter if the female is younger than 18-months of age. The AKC opposes any arbitrary limitation on the responsible breeding of purebred dogs, and believes health and reproduction decisions are best made by owners in consultation with their dogs’ veterinarian.
  • Permitting the Louisiana SPCA, which will be responsible for enforcement of this ordinance, to determine whether or not an applicant for a breeder license has “space determined to be suitable…in which to breed dogs and raise puppies.” As there are no specific guidelines included in the ordinance, it is not clear what a breeder would need to do to be approved. This will allow for subjective and arbitrary decisions that may cost responsible breeders thousands of dollars to come into compliance, or may prohibit them from breeding at all.
  • Imposing significant fines for those who are found to be in violation of the ordinance, with the income from the fines to be used to further finance the LaSPCA’s animal control efforts. The AKC contends that the cost of enforcement of the ordinance will be far greater than any revenues gained through fines or fees assessed. Further, it may cause a drop in licensing compliance, as otherwise responsible may owners seek to avoid high fees they are unable to pay. It may also lead owners to avoid proper veterinary care and vaccinations in order to avoid detection.

Please click here for a copy of the proposal.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

The American Kennel Club strongly urges all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in New Orleans to contact the City Council members. Let them know that you strongly oppose this ordinance, and urge them to vote against it. Instead, encourage them to strengthen enforcement of New Orleans’ existing animal control laws. For a sample letter that you can download and customize, please click here.

Council President Arnie Fielkow (At-Large)
City Hall, Room 2W40
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1060
Fax: (504) 658-1068
afielkow@cityofno.com

Council Vice President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson (At-Large)
City Hall, Room 2W50
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1070
Fax: (504) 658-1077
jbclarkson@cityofno.com

Councilwoman Shelley Midura (District A)
City Hall, Room 2W80
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1010
Fax: (504) 658-1016
smidura@cityofno.com

Councilwoman Stacy Head (District B)
City Hall, Room 2W10
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1020
Fax: (504) 658-1025
shead@cityofno.com

Councilman James Carter (District C)
City Hall, Room 2W70
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1030
Fax: (504) 658-1037
jcarter@cityofno.com

Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell (District D) – ordinance sponsor
City Hall, Room 2W20
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1040
Fax: (504) 658-1048
chmorrell@cityofno.com

Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis (District E)
City Hall, Room 2W60
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 658-1050
Fax: (504) 658-1058
cwlewis@cityofno.com

For more information and the latest developments on the New Orleans mandatory spay/neuter proposal, please contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.