FYI. Sorry about the formatting.

Eric

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A new legislative alert has been posted at: http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=3999

The committee designated by the Las Vegas City Council to review a proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance will hold its first meeting on November 3rd. It is vital that concerned fanciers and responsible dog owners and breeders become involved with these proceedings. The proposed ordinance is burdensome, overly restrictive and will significantly increase burdens on responsible owners and breeders.

Las Vegas City Council Committee Meeting
Tuesday, November 3rd, 9am
City Council Chambers
400 Stewart Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101

Provisions of the Ordinance

All dogs and cats over the age of 4 months must be spayed or neutered unless the owner qualifies for one of the following exemptions:

holds a valid dog fancier, cat fancier permit, breeder permit or professional animal handler permit

the dog is used by a law enforcement agency as a law enforcement dog

the dog is used by a search and rescue agency for search and rescue activities
(Please note that many search and rescue dogs are privately owned and would not be exempt under the current proposal)

The dog is a service animal such as a guide animal, hearing animal, assistance animal, seizure alert animal or social/therapy animal

The dog is being used by a pound, shelter, humane society or similar organization, whether public or private, the principal purpose of which is securing the adoption of dogs or cats, provided that such organization has a policy and rules requiring the spaying or neutering of all dogs and cats placed for adoption

All puppies or kittens born to dogs and cats that have not been spayed/neutered as required will be forfeited and may be given to the local shelter for adoption

This is a particularly puzzling provision if the goal is to reduce the number of animals in the shelter. Why would the city confiscate puppies and kittens who would likely find good homes without their interference? A fine would be understandable, but confiscation is unreasonable.

Fines for violation
$250 for a first offense
$500 for a second offense
$1000 for a third offense

These fines are outrageously high and will likely force some owners to surrender their pets
The fine is reduced by 80% if the animal is sterilized within 30 days, however as these surgeries themselves cost hundreds of dollars, that does not help individuals who cannot afford the fines

Impounded dogs or cats that are intact, but whose owners do not qualify for one of the above exemptions must be sterilized prior to release

The current wording of this section seems to mandate that animal control perform the sterilization, and would deny owners the ability to take the animal to a veterinarian of their own choosing

Provides that impounded animals be kept for only 72 hours

Three days is a short time frame, especially as it is not specified that these are business days. A family on vacation for a long weekend may return home to find their pet has been impounded and adopted out to someone else

Requires that impounded animals be microchipped and that the owner pay for the microchipping prior to release

This only adds to the fees owners are required to pay for reclaiming their animal

No fee for this service is specified

The ordinance does not require the microchip be enrolled with a national registry. The implantation of the chip does not help recover the animal, only enrollment with a national registry will provide the owner’s contact information

Pet Stores are required to provide the following information to Department of Detention and Enforcement

The name and residence address of the buyer
The address of the location where the dog or cat will reside, if not the same as the buyer’s address
The breed and approximate age
A description, including principal colors
Failure to provide this information shall be grounds for non-renewal of, or disciplinary action against, a business license
It is unreasonable to require a business to violate their customer’s privacy in this manner
Since many shoppers may not reside within the city, it will create burdensome paperwork that in many cases will be useless
May cause shoppers to choose pet stores that are not within the Las Vegas City limits, costing those stores business
Will increase costs for stores when they have to sterilize any animals that may be over 4 months of age
May in fact deter these stores from selling older animals

The Silver State Kennel Club is working with the city council to address their concerns with the ordinance. Legislative Liaison Ken Sondej who can be reached at 4winds@viawest.net is coordinating speakers for the committee meeting. You can also contact the AKC Government Relations Department at doglaw@akc.org for additional information. Thank you your attention to this important issue.


AKC Government Relations
8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27617
919-816-3720