The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to an ordinance requiring most dogs in unincorporated areas of the county to be spayed or neutered.
If given final approval, the ordinance would also require that dogs be microchipped for identification purposes, and would raise the registration fee for spayed and neutered dogs from $15 annually to $20. License fees for others would double to $60.
Dog owners in violation of the ordinance could be fined up to $250 for a first-time offense. Repeat violators would face fines up to $1,000 and possible jail time.
The ordinance includes exceptions for animals that compete in dog shows, work with law enforcement or assist the disabled.
The regulation is supported by several animal advocacy groups however, the American Canine Foundation, based near Seattle, said even before Wednesdays meeting that it would sue the county over the new spay-neuter requirements, arguing that that the restrictions would violate owners’ rights and do nothing to control the stray population.
The board of supervisors is scheduled to vote on the ordinance again at its May 2 meeting. If given final approval, the ordinance would go into effect 30 days later.
Posted: April 20, 2006, 5 a.m. EST