Flag

Chicago considers mandatory neutering

August 26, 2008 | By Jill R. | 12 comments
Category: Legislation

Chicago considers mandatory neutering
By Jeff Fleischer

In mid-May, in a move that had been rumored for months, Alderpeople Edward Burke (14th Ward) and Ginger Rugai (19th Ward) introduced an ordinance to the Chicago City Council requiring guardians to spay or neuter their pets or face city penalties.

“No person shall own, harbor, or keep within the city of Chicago a dog or cat over six months of age which has not been sterilized,” the ordinance reads. First offenses would carry a fine up to $100, and offenders who fail to comply within 30 days could face a $500 fine and impoundment and sterilization of their pets by the city.

The measure is designed to both limit the number of unwanted animals and also to reduce incidents of aggression. Rugai has previously backed sterilization measures in the hope of reducing dog attacks, and says this ordinance was prompted in part by the April attack of a South Side mother by a pack of five Pit Bulls. The American Veterinary Medical Association says nonsterilized dogs are 2.6 times more likely to bite than neutered animals.

Exceptions would be allowed for breeders who apply for a license and are therefore subject to a background check. Other exceptions include guard dogs, service dogs, show dogs, and animals deemed by their veterinarian to need an exemption for health reasons. Some groups, including the American Kennel Club, oppose the ordinance, stating that mandatory spay/neuter laws are both unreasonable and unenforceable and such laws negatively affect responsible breeders.

As of press time, a vote on the ordinance had not been scheduled.

For more information, visit eGov.CityOfChicago.org.
Comments (12)
add comment
Ronatha
Flag

Ronatha
6 years ago

OK, since many folks may not like what I am about to say I thought I'd start with that I was a certified veterinary technician and behaviour consutant for over 20 years. I am an a true lover and advocate for our beloved companions and a proponent of spaying and neutering most family pets. The big issue of mandatory sterilization of dogs is that working dogs who must be strong, athletic, and injury free are experiencing a much higher incidence of cruciate tears in their knees when they have been spayed or neutered at a young age! Other problems also seem to be arising but more data is being gathered by veterinarians. We are now realizing with all the data collected over the years that early sterilization is having some not so good consequences (no real problems have been seen so far in cats who have been sterilized early). This means dogs who are in agility, flyball, herding, schutuzhund, search and rescue, military and police, etc. would be less likely to get commonly seen major injuries such as cruciate tears because of the quick turns, sudden stopping, leaping for frisbees and chasing balls tossed by the "Chuck It" ball tosser we all love to use. Working and active dogs need the complex hormones they get from their testes, ovaries and, uterus for complete growth and proper maturation in order to have a correct length of leg (legs grow longer if dogs are neutered before about two years of age), proper balance and strength in joints to help sustain proper working order of the bones, ligaments and muscles. So I think we need to re-evaluate this law before it becomes mandatory. There it is.

Reply ›

Michele Z.
Flag

Michele Z.
6 years ago

Is there a set number of years that this would be in effect (if passed), or is it supposed to be "forever"?

I also wonder if "...keep within the city..." is too vague to make the ordinance constitutional or enforceable. It might provide a loophole (such as "I'm not keeping the dog--he just stays on his own.")

Reply ›

Add Your Comment

Already have an account? Log in now for faster commenting or Join Zootoo

 

You might also enjoy:

Advertisement

Advertisement