Mandatory Spay and Neutering Proposed for City Dogs and Cats

Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — All city dogs and cats would face mandatory spay or neutering, under a bill before the board of aldermen.

“Well, what we hope it does is contribute to solving the stray problem in the city of St. Louis,” said sponsoring alderwoman Lyda Krewson of the Central West End.

The bill came up for debate before the holiday break, but was strongly opposed by Northside Alderman Freeman Bosley Senior, who fears his two watchdogs might go “docile” if they underwent the procedure.

“This is America and you got to have a medical procedure done on your dog without you being able to determine what you want to do with yours?”  Bosley said, “You might as well come in my house and tell me what color to paint my walls.”

img 3206 Mandatory Spay and Neutering Proposed for City Dogs and Cats

Northside Alderman Freeman Bosley Senior

The plan would also require mandatory micro-chipping of all dogs and cats.  Also, anyone who wants to breed their dogs would need a “hobby breeders” license.

Krewson envisions the procedures taking place in conjunction with pets getting rabies shots, which are already mandatory.

Enforcing the law would involve fines that start at $100.  But Krewson wants a flexible response, so that violators would have 60 days to get their pets fixed and “make the fines go away.”

To help the poor pay for the cost of the operations on their pets, the city would provide some income-based cost reductions.

Doing something to fix the stray dog problem is also a priority of Aldermanic President Lewis Reed, who voiced fears last year about wild dogs wandering the city, frightening school children.

The problem is not a new one.  In March, of 2001 a pack of stray dogs attacked and killed 10-year old Rodney McAllister in a north St. Louis park.

Copyright KMOX

  • Clinton

    Animal rights extremists oppose all pet ownership and push for mandatory spay and neuter laws to move us closer to dog extinction. If all dogs are spayed and neutered, the valuable pure bred traits that helped humanity survive to create civilization (tracking, herding, guarding, retrieving, killing vermine) will disappear in less than a decade. Fight extinction, buy a pure bred dog from a reliable breeder!

    • Betsy

      I am no extremist, and I find your words offensive. While there may be some “extreme” extremists who oppose all pet ownership, I have yet to hear of one. Are you calling, by the way, the Humane Society and the ASPCA “extremists”? They do, after all, push for spaying and neutering.

      While you have good points regarding “all dogs” being spayed or neutered and eventual extinction…far fetched, but who knows. But your agenda is quite obvious, with the “Fight extinction, buy a pure bred blah blah blah”.

      There are many problems with many “breeders”. Many. And there are many problems with people not spaying and neutering, as evidenced by our filled shelters and the horrible abuse we see perpetuated on animals. It’s pathetic. “Purebred” animals with horrible genetic illnesses which cause massive suffering for both the animal and the owner who sought a “purebred”…caused by overbreeding and greed. Non-purebred animals who are usually unwanted, why does this happen????

      Because their owners were too irresponsible to find a way to spay or neuter their animal, the animal mates of course, and lots of unwanted animals result. If this pet owner refused to spay or neuter his own pet, why on earth would he or she spay the 10 puppies that resulted? And so on…and so on…and each and every one of these unwanted animals will be lucky to survive without abuse, pain, suffering.

      I don’t make a lot of money, but I do know not to purchase an animal if I cannot take care of spaying and neutering. There is a reason that shelters require you to spay or neuter before you adopt. They want to end what they witness every single day…hundreds of euthanized animals a week, animals being turned over to the shelter abused, injured, lost, unwanted….obviously many people don’t care if their animals have litter after litter of young, or they would spay or neuter. It’s very insulting to me to hear you claim that animal rights “extremists” are the ones pushing for spay and neuter laws. I don’t consider people who look out for the welfare of animals “extremists”, and I do care for the welfare of animals. For you to stereotype animal lovers as extremists who want dog extinction is utterly ridiculous, irresponsible, and hints at an agenda.

      Did it ever occur to you that maybe the people of St. Louis who actually really DO CARE about animals and their suffering are the ones supporting this law? It’s a huge problem but you are worried about your “breeding” so you attack them all the way around. What does this say about you and your motives?

      It hurts me to see animals suffer, and I’m sure it hurts most people with hearts. If it takes forced spaying and neutering to stop animals from having to suffer, because human beings cannot act responsibly, so be it. The old excuse that “I cannot afford it” doesn’t fly. Don’t get an animal if you cannot afford to spay or neuter it, because that will mean the offspring that result will also not be cared for.

      Unless you are acquiring a pet specifically for breeding purposes, you should be forced to spay or neuter, in my opinion. If someone lacks the sense to consider the animal, then someone else will have to do the thinking for them. Breeders should be required to pass stringent inspections and laws. If it’s truly about the “animals” and not about the “money”, then breeders should not mind.

      Breeders who claim to care about animals should make it top priority to support laws that force spaying and/or neutering. Why any breeder would object so strongly to a proposal to actually HELP animals is questionable. Spaying and neutering is a responsibility and these animals are ALL of our responsibility. Since so many people obviously choose to NOT be responsible, it may have to be mandatory. Maybe this problem would not be occuring if people had reacted earlier to a real problem and not ignored it. Just because they are socked away in shelters and euthanized and we are not forced to see it every day, does not mean the problem doesn’t exist.

      I’m not for government control any more than the next person, I am a Republican, I am not an extremist, I have no agenda and I do not live in St. Louis. What I am is a person who cares about the other creatures that God put on this earth who are unable to fend for themselves.

      • Zig Sulewski

        Why not spay and neuter illegal immigrants???

      • Animal Lover

        You are way out in left field – H$U$ and ASPCA are the same as PETA with the same agenda – and that is to eradicate the bond between humans and the rest of the animal world.

        Have you ever read your idol’s meanderings??? Darling Wayne has NEVER owned a dog, a cat, a pet. He has STATED that he’s never had an attachment or affiliation with an animal. His agenda is the same as PETA! Seriously – do you believe we should be vegans? PETA does – so does Wayne and his minions. Do some research before you attack others.

      • gx

        when someone has to make a point to point out they are Republican, while supporting a big government non-conservative liberal progressive idea.. i highly doubt they’re Republican

      • asdds

        If you took the time Betsy to watch your dog over writing this book of a comment maybe things would be better.

      • Ted Rutherford

        God, Betsy, shut up!

    • elizabethrc

      Clinton: You’re completely right. It would be far better for the negligent owners who allow their dogs to roam the streets to face huge fines and no longer be allowed to own a pet, since they don’t care to take care of them properly.
      As a breeder, I only do occasional breeding and see to it that my puppies go to good, responsible homes. The buyers sign a contract with me which I enforce if they do not live up to the care aspect of that contract.
      These are hapless creatures and deserve better treatment than this hateful lawmaker proposes.

    • James Kalinski

      That is the reason I bought a Pure Weirmeraner, Breeding him was second choice but I knew what I was getting and by the way was the best dog I ever had… Had to pay more in a city tax but well worth it…

    • Deano

      Extinct?! Have you seen the number of cats and dogs euthanized every year in our country due to lack of homes for them? The figure is approximately five MILLION! The vast majority are highly adoptable, and YES purebreds are being killed, too.

      This legislation is long overdue.

      • Vet Barnes

        The number is less than 3.4 million and the majority of them are cats. So get your facts strait not off the animal rights agenda. Did you know that there is in every state a wild species of dog that has a DNA similar to the Australian Dingo. We are causing their extinction by not identifying them and setting aside their terroritory. These are not pets and will be extremely fearful if cornered. Studies show that spay and neuter as mandatory does not work and in fact costs the city 257% more to implement. Voluntary spay and neuter, free spay and neuter for the poor is the only thing that is shown to work. Also if you want people to license their pets you need to give them a service such as returning their pet should it get loose rather than killing it. Those cities successful in lowering the shelter rates and keep loose dogs home are those cities that enact laws that offer a service to the public. Any law that is ignored is a bad law and the people are telling you they don’t like nor do they feel its fair.To the knowledge of the ASPCA, the only method of population control that has demonstrated long-term efficacy in significantly reducing the number of animals entering animal shelters is the voluntary sterilization of owned pets (Clancy & Rowan 2003; FIREPAW, 2004; Secovich, 2003).There is also evidence that sterilizing very specific, at-risk sub-populations of companion animals, such as feral cats and animals in shelters, can also contribute to reductions in overpopulation (Zawistowski et al., 1998; Clancy & Rowan 2003; Levy et al., 2003; Lord et al., 2006; Natoli et al., 2006). However, the ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law.
        Caution must therefore be applied when interpreting existing claims regarding the effects of local mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) laws. First, because per capita shelter intake and euthanasia are in decline due to voluntary spaying and neutering, it is impossible to determine the effect of an MSN law without comparing a community’s trends in shelter intake and euthanasia for several years before and after the law was enacted to trends in adjacent, similar communities without MSN legislation. Furthermore, to determine with confidence the effects of any spay/neuter program on the animal population, which naturally fluctuates somewhat from year to year, population trends must be examined over a period sufficiently long to absorb those natural fluctuations. Claims based on one or two years of data can be misleading.
        In addition, it is imprudent to generalize about the effects of MSN laws. One reason is that the definition of “mandatory” varies greatly across communities. In some localities, a citation may be issued for any animal over the age of four months seen unaltered, while in other communities, a citation results only when another animal control offence has been committed or if more than one unspayed female lives in the household. Another complication is that it can be extremely difficult for even a veterinary professional to visually determine if an animal, particularly a female, has been sterilized; it would be virtually impossible for an animal control officer to make those determinations in the field. For these reasons, and due to variation across communities in law enforcement funding and personnel support, actual enforcement of MSN laws varies widely, making comparisons between MSN laws or predictions about their impact very difficult.
        Another reason for caution when interpreting the effects of MSN legislation is that shelter intake and euthanasia statistics are often presented as a total number of dogs and cats. In some communities, the number of dogs entering and being euthanized in shelters is dropping significantly while the number of cats is declining more slowly or even increasing. Therefore it is critical to examine population and shelter statistics for dogs and cats separately, so that reductions in dog intake and euthanasia do not mask increases in cat intake and euthanasia. This issue is particularly critical in the analysis of the effect of MSN laws, since feral and unowned stray cats continue to represent a substantial proportion of the shelter population and euthanasia. This major contributing factor is not addressed by MSN laws that, by nature, target owned animals.
        Even when an MSN law seems to have a positive effect on one aspect of animal welfare, it may have a negative effect on another. For instance, in at least one community that enacted an MSN law, fewer pets were subsequently licensed, likely due to owners’ reluctance to pay either the high fee for keeping an unaltered animal or the fee to have the pet altered (Office of Legislative Oversight, 1997).
        The ASPCA is also concerned that some communities may rely primarily or exclusively on MSN legislation to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia even though the animal shelter population is actually very heterogeneous with no single cause or source (National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, 2001). Many social, cultural and economic factors as well as animal health and behavioral issues contribute to shelter intake; therefore, no single program or law can be relied on to solve the problem.
        Furthermore, one of the main barriers to spaying and neutering of pets is accessibility of services, which is not addressed simply by making spaying and neutering mandatory. Cost is one of the primary barriers to spay/neuter surgery in many communities (Patronek et al., 1997; Ralston Purina, 2000; Frank, 2001). In fact, low household income and poverty are statistically associated with having a sexually intact cat (Patronek et al, 1997; Chu et al., 2009), with relinquishment of pets to shelters (Patronek et al., 1996), and with shelter intake (Frank, 2003). As a result, the proportion of pets from poor communities who are being euthanized in shelters remains high; shelter euthanasia rates in the poorest counties in states such as California and New Jersey are several times higher than those in the most affluent counties (Handy, 2002; Marsh, 2008).

      • Animal Lover

        Sorry – but you are drinking too much “kool aid” from the H$U$. Nope – there are VERY few if any pure-breds in the shelters. AND – get this – IF there are, we are charged with getting them out by our association with the AKC. Furthermore – IF all the dogs and cats are hysterectomied or castrated – please explain where the NEXT generation will come from??? By the way – that question was posed to me by a 9-year-old boy. Funny how HE understands what many of your mature adults have overlooked.

      • Hal McCombs

        Have you ever even read the U.S. Constitution?

      • Middle Way

        Exactly Deano . . . we need to outlaw cars as well. They just hurt the environment and have you seen how many people cars kill every year. Talk about legislation long overdue.

  • mike

    While they are at it, there are a lot of St. Louis residents who should be neutered as well. It would go a long way toward solving the city’s problems.

    • Suburban Boy

      Let’s start with the downtown loft dwellers

    • MorganGray

      It is the busybody politicians, pressure groups, and others who want increased government meddling in our lives who should be spayed or neutered.
      At least we’d have fewer leftists in government that way.

    • Captian Obvious

      Right. I assume you are referring to the North American Pavement Apes that are destroying the city, and the nation.

      • mike

        the same…….,although others have said it much more eloquently than I.

  • Jim silver

    Sounds as if the aldermen need a glass-ectomy. Better to attack the stray problem by rounding them up and dealing with them rather than attack the pet owners and theri pets. Even these aldermen don’t deserve neutering.

    • Jonathan Williams

      You can’t “round them up and deal with them.” The same people that won’t spay or neuter won’t let them put the dogs to sleep either. Where are we going to put all these animals? Who’s going to pay for their care. Here in San Antonio, the pound is often full and they have many days when they refuse to come out and pick up strays.

      • Jonathan Williams

        I agree with you Lisa. But the fact is that the animals lovers have stopped many cities from euthanizing animals. The cities have no room to put additional animals and stop picking up strays. Spay and neuter programs do not work. They do not work even where they are free.

      • Lisa

        No one is going to pay for their care because we’re going to put them down aka “deal with them”. We’re wasting our resources and time keeping unsocialized strays alive only to force them to live in metal cages inside some converted warehouse now called a “shelter”. Euthanize them and put the money towards funding low cost spay and neuter programs.

    • Fix'em first

      They need to fix the females and re-release them, maybe even feed them in the winter. That would keep the males busy! They could also offer some kind of tax rebate for having your pet ‘fixed’. Instead, they once again, try to violate Private Property Rights. What a surprise! How do such imbeciles get elected? Yea, it’s St. Louis.

    • Jim's lame

      Dude, that doesn’t make sense. What the h3ll is a glass-ectomy. Some MMA person make an idiotic remark and you regurgitate it? The suffix -ectomy is for excision. So, glass-ectomy means to excise glass. Not funny.

      • Mark

        Glassectomy is the removal of the tongue.

  • John Rosenbaum

    Are these people out of their collective minds? This is America, not China or Russia. We are supposed to be a free people with rights to, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Why do these politicians have the right to nanny us to death?
    We have too many politicians with too little to do other than create laws to interfere in our lives. Fight these people as well as all others that continue to infringe on our life over this kind of drummed up issue.

    • dmoore

      I agree! But you won’t take the 8 minutes it takes to contact your local politicians and voice your anger over this (not picking on you, just making a point about TOO many of us Americans who are fed up)

  • Arthur Kinney

    Wouldn’t it be more cost effective and beneficial to spay and neuter all politicians?

    • slayer88

      And their offspring too. Did we all see another Kennedy is running for office? That makes the case right there.

    • Fix'em first

      Here, Here!

      • Chris

        He sobered up just long enough to realize his last name was “Kennedy,” and therefore is entitled to a public office of some kind.

  • Ricardoh

    They should start doing that with lifelong welfare recipients..

    • Hoser

      Be careful, with government policies killing jobs and forcing many people onto welfare, involuntary lifelong dependence may become common.

  • Anthony

    I would have no choice but to move out of the city.

    • Suburban Boy

      The Downtown Loft Dwellers caused this.

  • Sheila

    The fact is that MILLIONS of animals are killed because of lack of homes. People should be responsible to spay/neuter their pets. Sometimes, that is helped if there are fines attached to the movitation.

    As for guard dogs not doing their job if neutered, that is the dumbest thing i have heard in quite sometime.! It a dog is trained, it will perform the same.

    Please, be responsible, spay or neuter your pet! There are just too many……

    • bcns

      sheila. if your parents were neutered where would you be?
      maybe you would have people from IMF/UN dominated countries
      spayed as well to prevent hunger or homelessness?
      I like my purebred, predictable trait dog and i want her puppy when she’s gone.
      you would prevent that. you would prevent Champion horses or other animals from reproducing as well. Guard dog expert misguided fanatical fine supporter.

      • Linda Swanson

        That is about as stupid a comment in the midst of very stupid comments. Yee Gads the people of St. Louis are about a sharp as a marble

      • Sheila

        OMG, seriously, that is your argument?? As a human, I am not at risk for being KILLED because there is no where for me to go. MILLIONS of cats and dogs are having that happening to them every year.

        As was pointed out, if you want to breed, you can, but you must get a permit.

        Perhaps, you should visit your local shelter and SEE all the animals that may be killed unless they are adopted. I have volunteered at my shelter. There are so many great animals that are killed everyday because there are not enough homes.

        In a perfect world, people would be responsible, but that is not the case. The animals suffer. I find that really sad, since it is sooo preventable.

      • marie

        you can get a permit to keep your dog unaltered. did you read the article?

        this is already the law in california- its not a big deal.

    • Deano

      Right on Sheila! Unfortunately, Missouri is the puppy mill capital of America.

    • PJ

      My animals are house-bound, posing no ‘threat’ of insemination — why on Earth should you imagine that you have the right to come into MY house and tell me what to do with MY pets? You’d better come armed, because neither you nor the good politicians who imagine themselves my ‘betters’ don’t have any right to nose into my business, my house, or the lives of my family.

      • MorganGray

        Simple, because for so long we have allowed the government to come into our homes and tell us what we can and cannot eat, drink, smoke, etc. (They even tell us that our houses belong to them, and we must pay rent – in the form of property tax – to them or they will kick us out.)
        We have allowed them into our schools where they tell us what we can say, think, or teach.
        We have allowed them into our churches where they tell us about what we can speak or pray.
        We have allowed them onto our streets where they tell us what we can display.
        Why would they stop at telling us how we can handle our animals?
        You are right on one point however:
        If you want to come poking your nose that deeply into my affairs, come early, come armed, and bring lots of grub.

    • elizabethrc

      Sheila, as a long time breeder, I have experience with the spay and neuter process. You are dead wrong about the guard dogs. No one can tell you what the temperament outcome of the operation will be. Many times I have seen dogs become docile, lazy and fat.
      You need to be responsible in what you write because obviously you don’t have all the facts.

  • Alex

    Was born in St. Louis; will die is Seoul. Life has been so much better after moving to Asia. God a job, a life, and a girl here. More than st. louis has ever given me.

    There is always a chance things can go south here, but you know what? I would rather have tyranny come in a foreign country than from my own. Good riddance.

    • heatherfeather

      I’ve got dual citizenship with Canada and moving north is looking better all the time.

      • slayer88

        So go already eh….

      • Fix'em first

        Can you take me with you. Every Canadian I’ve ever met is more freindy and out-going than almost any Northerner; Yankee; I’ve seen move to NC in the last 20 years. I’ love to fix them, oo.

  • George W. Axl Rosebush

    Ignore the law. Impossible to enforce. Ignore the fines. When we do have our revolution, the courthouses and collection agencies will make lovely 4-Alarm fires, as the Fine Police and Fee Enforcers records go up in smoke.

  • Larry Prchival

    Start with the overbreedin welfare queens. Then there wont be any drug dealers, thus no need for pits, rotts, or GSDs to protect their illegal booty.

  • ZannyAck

    Quote by “Arthur Kinney”

    Wouldn’t it be more cost effective and beneficial to spay and neuter all politicians?

    You couldn’t be more correct, Sir!

  • Maobama

    Why not spay and neuter all the humans in the area instead?

    • Suburban Boy

      Starting with the worthless Anti-Christian, Godless Jesus-Hating Downtown Loft Dwellers of Washington Avenue

  • Ookin Panub

    I can see thousands of Spay and Neuter Police looking diligently under millions of animals to make sure they are fixed. Don’t these alder persons ever use their brains? Oh wait…never mind.

  • Albert Schweitzer

    I am appalled at the aldermen wanting to sterilize the ghetto underclass of St Louis. Their depiction of them as stray dogs is despicable.

    • Suburban Boy

      Those people who live in the downtown lofts on Washington Avenue are worse.

  • Taraas Balderdash

    Hundreds of legislators who come up with insane, anti-constituent and anti-constitutional laws are removed from office each year, left to wander the streets and be picked up and put in shelters. Do the humane thing and spay or neuter your legislator today!

  • Jim Bob

    This is only an attempt at getting microchips in every living thing. Has nothing to do with “strays”. The farmers have said NO to NAIS and microchippoing all livestock. No they are trying to start in the cities and spread out from there. We need to find out the people who are behind this and get them out of office.

  • F A Rightists

    It’s clear that the aldermen should be sterilized although I would prefer retroactive abortion for them.

  • Montford John Greenwood

    Ignore the laws. Jury nullification. Anything $20.00 and over can go to court and trial by jury.

  • jim

    So who are consider “the poor”??????

    To help the poor pay for the cost of the operations on their pets, the city would provide some income-based cost reductions.

    So is it the poor/middle-class/rich that owns the animals that cause the problems????

    Just nothing more that redistribution of wealth once again!

    Look at the owners of many of these pets they have no responsibilities for there actions five kids five different dads running wild in the streets and society picks up the tab for these animals also.

    • marie

      its not the dog’s fault man- this doesn’t help them- they get no satisfaction out of a free spay or neuter- one dog can produce like a hundred offspring in only a couple of years- it’ll save you tax dollars later when you don’t have to euthanize them all.

  • Hoser

    I think the City is insane. Here’s a comment on the science: Operations are not necessary. An abdominal x-ray dose is non-invasive and will sterilize female animals. Active stem cells make it harder to sterilize males. Any DVMs out there? What do you think? Naturally, you’ll be getting a lot of work…. $$$

  • jim

    Oh buy the way Pit Bulls have become the best security devise ever invented to protect meth-labs, drug house and other illegal activities.

    Don’t feel bad St. Louis here in Illinois last wee they past a law that you have to have a government ID will you picture on to buy drain cleaner in all stores!

    But law states that it is racist to ask for a picture ID to vote for the president of the United States?

    Meanwhile the country is going down the tubes and all our politicians can worry about are dogs and cats running around the city and drain cleaner.

  • Boycott St. Louis

    St. Louis is a degenerate and decrepit city run by a bunch of low grade morons.

    • Suburban Boy

      The problem is all of those downtown loft dwellers on Washington Avenue ruining the American Way of Life

  • Freedom Isn't Free

    Don’t St. Louis politicians have more to worry about than whether pets are spayed or neutered – like the murder rate, for instance?? This country is going down the tubes when the pols think they have the right to micromanage our lives. In the last few years, I’m beginning to truly understand how people in Communist China must feel.

  • MypetMychoice

    HSUS is behind this type of legislation. They make it look like they have the animals well being in mind – don’t even operation a shelter. Their agenda is all pedigreed animals gone in a year, and NO pet ownership for anyone, ultimately.
    They are the group pouring billions into lobbying at the local and national level to get this passed thoughout the country.. They play on ignorance.
    CA is finding out just what the increased load is to shelters and strays since some counties pass the law – HUGE.
    Check out to find out the truth.
    Neuter/spay? Yes Manadatory? NO!

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