In an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals, officials in Daytona Beach, Fla., have introduced an ordinance that would prohibit anyone from harboring in the city a cat or dog 6 months old or up that has not been spayed or neutered, unless the owner obtains an unaltered animal permit for the animal.
To qualify and receive an unaltered animal permit, the dog or cat must be:
- A show or competition dog/cat;
- A law enforcement dog;
- A service animal;
- A hunting or herding dog;
- Used for breeding; or
- Medically unfit, as determined by a licensed veterinarian.
An unaltered animal permit would cost $10, except for law enforcement and service animals, and be valid for the life of the dog or cat. As a condition for obtaining an unaltered animal permit, some cat and dog owners would have to implant an identification microchip in the dog or cat and provide that microchip number to the animal control division. (This condition would not apply to hunting, herding and sporting dogs.
Exemptions are provided for cats or dogs harbored within the city for less than 120 days or those being kept by a humane society or animal shelter.
If approved, anyone who currently owns a dog or cat in Daytona Beach would have to spay or neuter the pet or obtain an unaltered animal permit within 30 days of the cat or dog turning 6 months old or by Sept. 1, 2011, whichever is the later time.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) has issued an industry alert in which the organization criticized the mandatory sterilization of pet dogs and cats.
“The decision to sterilize is one that should be made on a case-by-case basis by pet owners after consultation with their veterinarian, and pet owners should not be subject to punitive fees to keep their pet intact,” PIJAC stated in the alert. “Pet ‘overpopulation’ is a complex issue that cannot be solved with a one-size-fits-all mandate.”
The Daytona Beach City Commission is set to hear the ordinance at its regularly scheduled meeting on April 20, 6 p.m., in City Hall.
To view the proposal in its entirety, click here.