On Tuesday, Nov. 18, city council members in Long Beach, CA discussed a new plan that would instate a city-wide spay and neuter requirement for residents who own dogs.
According to a Grunion Gazette article, the city council’s plan, proposed by Second District Councilwoman and Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, would require all dog owners to bring their pets to a dog spay and neuter clinic, with the exception of licensed breeders and dog owners who have a medical waiver for their pets.
Why spay and neuter your pets — and more importantly, why should Long Beach pass a universal spay and neuter requirement for its dog owners? The importance of spaying and neutering your pet has long been proven by scientific research. Taking one’s dog to a dog spay and neuter clinic extends their lifespan, prevents cancer and makes the pet better behaved.
Pet overpopulation also remains a problem across the country, which is another concern of Long Beach’s local lawmakers. Each year, millions of unwanted puppies and kittens wind up in animal shelters, and more often than not these pets are euthanized.
To combat these issues and control its animal population, the Long Beach city council originally passed measures in 2007 that expanded the number of affordable spay and neuter clinics, along with requirements for microchipping and cat licensing. However, in the seven years since then, the city council hasn’t seen much of an improvement.
“We’ve been working on this going on seven years now,” Lowenthal said. “We’ve introduced low-cost spay and neuter services. We’ve hired a full-time veterinarian. We’ve made strides, but we’re finding it’s still not enough. … The majority of the dogs that are picked up are unaltered, or from back yard puppy mills… We have to focus on the faucet, not the drain, to solve this issue.”
According to the Grunion Gazette, Long Beach already requires all cats to be spayed or neutered. The city council will make its final vote on the proposal in 90 days.