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The Truth About Mandatory Spay Neuter Laws

Mandatory spay/neuter laws will not end dog and cat breeding.

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The Truth About Mandatory Spay Neuter Laws

Unwanted dogs at a shelter.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

The information on this website is not legal advice and is not a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an attorney.

Some people believe that mandatory spay/neuter laws mean that breeders will be outlawed, and no one will have pets any more. That is absolutely not the case, although some breeders try to argue that any attempts to require spay/neuter are part of a larger effort to outlaw breeding and pets. The fact is, these laws and bills always have an exemption for breeders.

For example, the Arizona law applies only to animals adopted out by shelters and pounds. With few exceptions, shelters and pounds must spay/neuter all cats and dogs being adopted out. Cats and dogs coming from breeders or puppy mills are unaffected.

Another type of mandatory spay/neuter law requires cats and dogs over the age of six months to be spayed or neutered, with various exceptions, including cats and dogs being kept for commercial breeding. Although there is frequently a fee and/or permit required for the breeder, this is hardly an attempt to outlaw breeding. The ordinance in Volusia County, Florida, is an example of this type of law.

The American Kennel Club “opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans, or the mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs,” even though mandatory spay/neuter legislation is widely supported by animal advocates and animal shelters and rescue groups.

The information on this website is not legal advice and is not a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an attorney.

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