Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rhode Island Could Become the First State to Require Cat Owners to Spay or Neuter Their Pets

Great idea and would be landmark. The little loophole for breeders though seems to be detrimental to the mission.


R.I. to order cat owners to spay, neuter

Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island could become the first state to require cat owners to spay or neuter their pets under legislation passed Wednesday by the General Assembly.

The measure would require pets older than 6 months to be spayed or neutered unless owners pay $100 for a breeder's license or special permit. Violators would be fined $75 a month.

The Senate previously passed the bill, and with House approval, it now goes to Gov. Don Carcieri. The governor was reviewing the legislation, spokesman Jeff Neal said.

Democratic Rep. Charlene Lima, the legislation's main sponsor in the House, said she hopes Rhode Island will lead the nation in instituting a spaying requirement.

Supporters say the bill could save thousands of cats from being killed each year and ease crowding in animal shelters.

But some animal rights advocates worry the bill could prompt cat owners to abandon their pets rather than risk a fine or pay several hundred dollars for the birth control procedures.

The bill has a provision for low-income pet owners to receive subsidies for low-cost spay and neuter surgery. It also exempts farmers.

East Providence, Pawtucket and Warwick already have similar municipal ordinances

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