The New Orleans City Council is scheduled to vote on a mandatory spay-neuter and breeding restrictions proposal on Nov. 5. The ordinance was introduced by Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell in September.
The ordinance, if enacted, would:
- Require all dogs 6 months of age or older to be spayed or neutered. Owners who wish to keep their pets intact would need to purchase a breeder permit. A few exceptions are noted. For example, the dog is used by a government or law enforcement agency or an agent thereof for government, rescue, law enforcement or other government purposes.
- Limit female dogs from having more than one litter per year, or having a litter if the female is younger than 18 months.
- Permit the Louisiana SPCA, which will be responsible for enforcing the ordinance, to determine whether or not an applicant for a breeder license has “space determined to be suitable … in which to breed dogs and raise puppies.”
- Impose fines for those who are found to be in violation of the ordinance.
The American Kennel Club sent out a legislative alert Monday stating its opposition to the ordinance.
“The American Kennel Club opposes mandatory spay-neuter laws,” the AKC said in its alert. “Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.
“Additionally, we strongly support and actively promote a wide range of programs to educate the public about responsible breeding practices and the responsibilities of dog ownership.”