LA Animal Watch just reported that due to some budget cuts, LAAS is discontinuing their low cost spay/neuter certificates.
Last year, Los Angeles passed an ordinance that mandates that all animals in the community must be spayed or neutered, and yet, now, they are making it more difficult for people to comply with the law.
Nationwide, the most common reason people give for not having their animals altered is that they say they cannot afford the proceedure. Cities that have been successful at decreasing the homeless animal populations in their cities have been successful by eliminating this most common barrier to spay/neuter -- cost -- through low cost/no cost alteration programs targeting low-income neighborhoods.
So now, LAAS has gone from having the largest barrier to spay/neuter put back in place -- and yet mandated it -- causing a whole new set of people who cannot afford to comply with their mandatory law.
Successful animal control programs have shown that they are successful by removing barriers to responsible dog ownership -- not creating them and punishing non-compliance.
Last year, after passing their mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, Los Angeles saw a 24% increase in euthanasias in the city -- after 6 straight years of steady declines in dogs killed. Keeping a mandatory spay/neuter policy in place, with no low cost spay/neuter program, is setting up the shelter up for a bloodbath -- especially with dogs coming in from low-income neighborhoods. If LAAS cannot afford to offer low-cost vouchers, they should at the very least suspend enforcment of their MSN law to avoid an even harsher increase in shelter killings.
LAAS continues to struggle with their mandatory spay/neuter law -- and one more thing for other cities to consider before enacting such an ordinance. Are you listening Chicago?