As the preeminent national animal rights organization whose major activity is humane education fostering spay/neuter of companion animals, ISAR is proud to announce that the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada, has just adopted, almost verbatim, our Model Mandatory Spay/Neuter Statute (referred to on the municipal level as an “ordinance.”)
Our Model Statute can be found at http://isaronline.org/programs/dog-and-cat-overpopulation/mandatory-spayneuter/.
When comparing the ISAR Model Statute with the North Las Vegas Ordinance the reader will notice that the latter omits three predicate contextual statements found in the former:
· “WHEREAS, many of these cats and dogs are euthanized by shelters, humane societies, and similar organizations; and
· “WHEREAS, euthanizing cats and dogs, except for bona fide medical reasons, is inhumane and abhorrent to the residents of this jurisdiction; and
· “WHEREAS, euthanizing cats and dogs, except for bona fide medical reasons, is not an effective, economical, humane, or ethical, solution to the problem of unwanted cats and dogs ...."
However, as to the ordinance’s prohibitions and other provisions, the North Las Vegas ordinance utilizes the ISAR statute in virtually every respect, using our actual language:
· It requires the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats.
· It contains exemptions for medical reasons and shelters, so long as the latter requires adoptees to be spayed or neutered.
· It provides that offspring of unspayed cats and unneutered dogs be placed with local shelters for adoption.
· It establishes a 120-day period for compliance, after birth of a puppy or kitten.
· It makes violation of the ordinance a misdemeanor.
There is one major difference, however, between the ISAR Model Mandatory Spay/Neuter Statute and the City of Las Vegas ordinance. The former contains no exception for breeders. The latter, alas, does.
Section 6.06.120 D of the ordinance provides that: “The spay/neuter requirement set forth in section 6.16.010 shall not apply to any dog or cat harbored by a person holding a valid Dog or Cat Fanciers Permit, as permitted in sections 6.08.040 of this title.”
In other words, certain breeders get a pass.
Although there is a sad irony here—breeders are a major cause of the overpopulation problem, that the North Las Vegas ordinance seeks to ameliorate—the law as enacted is a giant step in the right direction, in at least two respects.
First, the ordinance represents a municipal judgment that enough is enough, and that the fate of unwanted dogs and cats, and the problems they cause through no fault of their own, is no longer socially acceptable in the City of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Second, other than the breeder exception, conscientious enforcement of the ordinance should help dry up a large number of the city’s strays, and significantly reduce the number of those yet to be born.
The City and its officials deserve the gratitude of all of us who understand the tragedy of dog and cat overpopulation, and the unspoken thanks of those who cannot speak for themselves.