Amendment Would Make It a Misdemeanor for Failing to Spay/Neuter Adopted Shelter Animal

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Updated: 2/20/2014 11:08 am

An amendment to a city ordinance could soon hit the books in Idaho Falls. Residents who adopt an animal from the shelter are already required to have their animal spayed or neutered but this change would make it
a misdemeanor if you fail to comply with the contract.

“They require people to get the animal spayed or neutered,” said Irene Brown, Animal Services Manager for the City of Idaho Falls.

“They sign a contract that says they are going to get them spayed or neutered and they actually pay for it. And we actually make an appointment but we still have people that don’t get it done.”

There is a reason for this rule and it’s because even with the recent improvements, there are still too many stray dogs and cats in the city.

“We’ve got our euthanasia rates down,” said Irene.

“We don’t euthanize that many dogs. We still euthanize a lot of cats. We don’t euthanize very many dogs. However, we send probably twenty-percent of the dogs that come in here to other communities that have people that want to adopt them.”

So why would a person pay to have their animal spayed or neutered, make an appointment, and still manage to not follow through? Irene says she has heard every excuse in the book. Some people want their kids to experience what it is like to have puppies running around the house. Often it’s the guys who are a little too sensitive about neutering man’s best friend.

“It’s better for the animals to be spayed or neutered, especially with males,” said Irene. “Testicular cancer is very common in dogs that aren’t neutered. Females going through the heat cycle every six months is not a good thing. It’s messy. You have every male dog in your neighborhood at your doorstep. It’s a big negative.”

This issue is slated for next Thursday’s city council meeting. This is just the second reading of the proposal and so a decision does not have to be made at that meeting.

The city council will also discuss changing the dog limit from two to three dogs per household while gradually phasing out the larger breeding kennels within the city limits.

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