Calif. spay/neuter bill back on state's agenda

Feb 26, 2009
By staff
Sacramento, Calif. -- A bill with a history going back to February 2007 that was scrapped by lawmakers in August and would have required mandatory sterilization of dogs and cats older than 6 months has reappeared on the California Senate floor.

Senate Bill 250, known as Assembly Bill 1634 in its previous incarnation, was introduced Feb. 24 and offers little changes to the previously defeated law.

The new bill would require all dogs and cats to be spayed by 6 months of age, and make it illegal for anyone to own an unsterilized animal, with few exceptions. Unsterilized animals permitted under the exceptions, which are not yet clearly defined in the proposed bill, would not be allowed to roam outdoors. Animals who are caught by wardens that are intact will be impounded at the owners expense until fees are paid and certain requirements are met. Fines and other punishments for violating the law are not clearly defined in the bill proposal.

Previous versions of the bill included hefty fines and mandatory sterilization by a third-strike system.