Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Few Notes on Mandatory Spay-Neuter Laws

Every so often, someone in Austin will adamantly swear that passing a mandatory spay-neuter law is the key to ending shelter killing in Austin and beyond. The biggest problem with that statement is, of course, that mandatory spay neuters have never worked to end shelter killing in any jurisdiction. It's important to govern with your head, not your gut, and based on all available evidence, your head should tell you that mandatory spay-neuter laws do not work.

But Christie Keith has published an article on the Daily Kos that adds a new argument against such laws: mandatory spay-neuter laws are regressive. The number one reasons people don't spay or neuter their animal is cost. So if you make all spay/neuter mandatory and you don't provide a free or low-cost option, persons of lower means will be disproportionately forced to hand their beloved pets over to animal control-- likely to be killed in most jurisdictions.