Spay and Neuter Kansas City does not support laws that mandate spaying and neutering of all owned animals within a community. Based on data gathered by our organization and many professional animal health and welfare organizations, the greatest obstacle for a family’s failure to spay or neuter a pet is cost. Because the barrier to compliance is financial, citations with fees and criminal penalties only compound the family’s inability to comply. In cities with mandatory spay and neuter, the ultimate cost for these families who are not in compliance, cannot afford the surgery, and have incurred fines, is to surrender their pet to an already overcrowded animal shelter. Spay and Neuter Kansas City believes education and clinic access results in voluntary compliance, which is the most effective means of animal population control.
Spay and Neuter Kansas City joins the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American College of Theriogenologists (ACT), Society for Theriogenology (SFT), Best Friends Animal Society, and the American Kennel Club in our nonsupport for laws mandating spay/neuter of privately owned, non shelter dogs and cats.
In addition to cost, other barriers include education and access to affordable clinics. Mandating all pets be spayed and neutered would put enormous amount of financial burden on SNKC unless the local government enacting the ordinance is willing to cover it. This ultimately would mean the tax payers of our community would cover the cost of spaying and neutering pets as a result of the ordinance.
Although spaying and neutering helps to control dog and cat populations, mandatory approaches may contribute to pet owner surrender, mandatory impoundment for noncompliance, and pet owners avoiding licensing, vaccinations, and even veterinary care for their pets. Moreover, there are conflicting reports on the impact of mandatory ordinances, specifically reports regarding euthanasia rates and animal control costs achieved in communities that have enacted mandatory spay/neuter.
Spay and Neuter Kansas City supports voluntary neutering policies. Spay and Neuter Kansas City provides low-cost spay and neuter services for underserved areas of the city and families in need as a means of animal population control, to lower shelter intake, and for those pets to have healthy lives. There are many health and behavior benefits to spaying or neutering pets that make it a preferred surgery for most pet owners. However, an ordinance that mandates such sterilization, especially when that ordinance contain criminal penalties, is not supported by Spay and Neuter Kansas City.