Spay & Neuter Advocacy

Spay & Neuter Advocacy Statement

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LAWC strongly advocates and supports mandatory sterilization of dogs and cats adopted from public and private shelters.

Thousands of innocent animals experience pain and death each year in the state of Louisiana due to pet overpopulation and abandonment.  Scores of animals are collected by animal control agencies and, if not adopted, are euthanized.  To give some perspective to the problem, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates the following:

  • 70,000 cats and dogs are born each day in the United States.
  • Eight (8) to 10 million animals are taken in by animal shelters.
  • The feral population of pet animals is in the tens of millions.
  • Three (3) to four million cats and dogs are adopted from shelters each year.
  • Only 30 percent of dogs and 2.5 percent of cats entering shelters are reclaimed by owners.
  • There are 4,000 to 6,000 animal shelters

Louisiana, like the other 49 states, shares in the magnitude of these numbers.  A feral cat can produce three to four litters of four to six kittens in one year.  In seven years, one female cat can theoretically be responsible for the existence of 420,000 cats.  A dog can produce two litters in a year averaging six to ten puppies.  Therefore a fertile dog can be theoretically responsible for the existence of 67,000 dogs in six years.

The solution to the problem is greatly reducing the number of unwanted and abandoned animals.  Spaying and neutering is a simple and humane method to accomplish that goal.  However, public compliance with requests to spay and neuter their pets is woefully inadequate.  Stray animals can be responsible for multitudes of animal bites, spread of infectious diseases and property destruction.  Community public budgets are too often strained by the demands for animal control.

The Louisiana Animal Welfare Commission (LAWC) recommends that parish and local jurisdictions mandate that all pets adopted from public or private shelter be sterilized before release to the public.  It is important that the facilities charged with euthanizing the surplus are not contributing to it.

The impact of the above recommendation will be to reduce animal suffering and eliminate the unnecessary euthanasia of thousands of stray and abandoned pets.

The following specific statute is related to animal sterilization: RS 3:2472

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