It would be a sad day for Santa Barbara County dogs and cats if the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance proposal before the Board of Supervisors on November 3 and 10 were passed.

Mandatory spay/neuter ordinances cause more shelter killing, not less. The City of Lompoc passed a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance in 2006. From 2006 to 2009, killing of dogs in the Lompoc shelter is up 44 percent. The same is true in other areas that have tried it. In Los Angeles, shelter killing went up 30 percent in one year after mandatory spay/neuter was enacted. No city or county has ever seen less shelter killing than its neighboring cities or counties after passing mandatory spay/neuter. Voluntary spay/neuter education and assistance to low-income pet owners works. Mandatory spay/neuter, especially in difficult economic times like the present, forces poor families to choose between rent, food, and other basic necessities of life, and paying for expensive veterinary surgery. This always leads to more shelter surrenders, which always leads to more shelter killing.

Please urge your county supervisor to oppose this mandatory spay/neuter bill for the sake of the animals. – Janet Vining Mitchell


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