A California state legislator has proposed a bill that would make it mandatory to spay or neuter almost all dogs and cats in California.
Assembly Bill 1634, introduced by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), is meant to combat the overpopulation of strays in the state, Levine has said.
However, if the bill becomes law, it would exempt animals that are purebred and registered with specific purebred kennel associations. Exceptions would also be made for working animals, such as guide and police dogs.
Permit fees, which would apply to each pet, would be set by local animal control agencies. Pet owners who don’t get permits and don’t sterilize their pets by the time the animals are 4 months old would face costly fines under the proposed bill.
Local animal control agencies would retain money collected through fines and the new permit to help pay for subsidized spaying and neutering programs.
The proposal has already drawn fire from breeders who would have to pay to register purebred pets. Some argue that the bill would not make a dent in the growing population of strays.
The bill, introduced Feb. 22, hasn’t yet been heard by the state assembly or any of its committees.