Updated October 6, 2023 with email addresses for Floyd County Commissioners. Please scroll down to view this new contact information.
URGENT: Please share this information with dog owners, breeders, conformation and event participants, sportsmen, and hunters in Floyd County, Georgia.
A brief public hearing and vote to enact mandatory spay/neuter of dogs 6 months of age and older is scheduled for next Tuesday morning, October 10, 2023, at 9:30am by the Floyd County, GA, Board of Commissioners. The ordinance has already passed one vote and could be voted into law next Tuesday if dog owners do not take immediate action.
The only exemptions to mandatory spay/neuter in the proposed ordinance are for: 1) dogs documented by a veterinarian to be currently unable to be safely altered due to health concerns; 2) dogs owned by persons licensed as Georgia Pet Dealers though the Georgia Department of Agriculture and kept for the purposes of Commercial Breeding; and 3) Working Dogs. “Working Dog” would be defined as a dog kept for useful work such as draft or herding. A dog kept for pet, show, or sporting purposes would NOT be defined as a Working Dog and would be subject to mandatory spay/neuter.
What you can do TODAY, to oppose this overreaching and ineffective proposed ordinance:
First, immediately contact all Floyd County Commissioners and politely ask them to vote no on the proposed animal ordinance.
Ask them to instead work with the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Georgia Canine Coalition, and knowledgeable dog owners to develop fair and effective solutions that do not penalize responsible owners; do not increase the number of shelter intakes, stray dogs, and homeless pets; and do not create public safety risks.
Click here to identify county commissioners The same phone number is listed on the county website for all commissioners: 706-291-5111. Please scroll down for email addresses, added 10/6/23.
Next, attend the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at 9:30am and speak in opposition to the proposed ordinance. Only a total of 10 minutes will be allotted for all the speakers who oppose the ordinance, so arrive early and be prepared to speak briefly. The Board of Commissioners meeting is preceded by a Caucus meeting at 8:30am, which is also open to the public.
Board Meeting: 10/10/23, 9:30am, County Administration Building, 12 East 4th Avenue, Rome, GA, in the Community Room (Suite 206).
Caucus Meeting: 10/10/23, 8:30am, same location, in in the Caucus Room (Suite 204).
Talking points and resources:
Mandatory spay/neuter laws are sometimes proposed as a hasty or “feel-good” solution in response to animal control concerns in the community. Proponents of these laws incorrectly believe that mandatory spay/neuter laws will reduce the numbers of animals at the local shelter and reduce the number of stray animals roaming in neighborhoods. However, these laws have not proved to be an effective solution to animal control issues, and often result in increased rather than decreased numbers of homeless and surrendered dogs and cats.
- Mandatory spay/neuter laws are burdensome to low-income pet owners. Owners who are financially unable to comply with the demands of the law may be forced to relinquish or abandon their pets, thereby increasing shelter turn-ins and stray dog populations.
- Such laws also punish responsible owners who choose to keep their dogs intact for conformation competition, field trials, hunting, responsible breeding programs, and similar purposes. The proposed law SPECIFICALLY states that dogs kept for pet, show, or sporting use are not exempted from the mandatory spay/neuter requirement.
- Emerging scientific studies demonstrate that spaying/neutering, particularly before a dog is fully mature, can cause detrimental long-term health impacts. In light of this information, the American Kennel Club (AKC) encourages dog owners to consult with their veterinarians on the appropriateness and timing of spaying or neutering the individual dog.
- Prominent animal organizations concur that mandatory spay/neuter for owned dogs is not recommended. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) supports elective spay/neuter rather than mandated surgery. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (APSCA) does not support laws that mandate spay/neuter of all owned animals within a community and cites information on the negative effects of these laws. The Georgia Canine Coalition opposes such laws. AKC opposes laws that mandate the spaying/neutering of dogs. AKC further notes that spaying/neutering are major surgeries and the decision to spay or neuter a dog should be made by the dog’s owner in conjunction with their veterinarian.
- Mandatory spay/neuter laws are very difficult to enforce, and can result in public health concerns when owners avoid routine veterinary appointments, including rabies vaccines, to hide their lack of compliance.
- A requirement that would exempt dogs owned by a pet dealer licensed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture would wrongfully require dog owners who are not subject to this type of state licensure to seek licensing in order to legally own non-breeding intact dogs in Floyd County. This is burdensome to both county dog owners and the state Department of Agriculture.
- Rather than a mandatory spay/neuter law, lawmakers should instead focus on increased enforcement of leash laws, fully funding low-cost spay/neuter programs, and public education programs to promote responsible dog ownership.
For more information and talking points, see:
- Why Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws are Ineffective – informational flyer
- Health Risks Associated with Spay/Neuter – article with links to 55 scientific studies
- Visit the Key Issues: Mandatory/Spay Neuter page in the AKC Legislative Action Center, akcgr.org
Floyd County Board of Commissioners Email Addresses:
Allison Watters, Chair, Post Three, email@example.com
Larry Maxey, Vice-Chair, Post Four, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhonda Wallace, Post One, email@example.com
Wright Bagby, Post Two, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotty Hancock, Post Five, email@example.com
For additional information, contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.