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2 April 2000 Issue
Groundbreaking Legislation

The Los Angeles City Council, with a vote of 10-3, passed groundbreaking legislation to implement the nation's strongest spay/neuter ordinance. The landmark legislation, designed to help reduce the 60,000 animals killed annually by LA's six city-run shelters, was fashioned by the Coalition to End Pet Overpopulation -- an alliance of 12 Los Angeles area animal protection organizations.

The new ordinance would increase the current licensing fee for unaltered dogs from $30 per year to $100 per year. The licensing fee for spayed/neutered dogs would remain $10 per year. The fee to obtain a dog or cat breeders license would increase from $50 per year to $100 per year, and allow for only one litter per year. All outside cats must now be fixed.

"I have to applaud the LA City Council for boldly and progressively trying to end the tragic pet overpopulation dilemma that is plaguing our society," said Bill Dyer, Los Angeles area field representative for In Defense of Animals. "Council member Mark Ridley-Thomas is to be commended for his compassion for both humans and animals. Hopefully LA will now be the model for other communities to follow."

In addition to helping create the legislation, the Coalition to End Pet Overpopulation has developed means to guarantee that the new ordinance will provide for education and enforcement, as well as resources for free and low cost spay/neutering. Two mobile spay/neuter units will be utilized citywide and 250,000 resource directories, in 9 languages, will be distributed.

"In addition to decreasing the number of homeless animals, the new legislation will also help to educate people that companion animals are individuals with needs and interests of their own, and not just disposable commodities to be bought, sold and discarded at their 'owners' whim," said Dyer. "Gradually, as more communities follow the progressive lead of the LA City Council, we will see a reduction in the number of animals being so callously and tragically killed in our nation's shelters."

Source: ida@idausa.org 

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