Norman Considering Mandatory Spay-Neuter Ordinance

Wednesday, November 28th 2018, 6:26 pm
By: News 9

The city of Norman is considering a mandatory spay-neuter policy for dogs and cats older than four months old.

It has been the most controversial topic out of the 12 that were discussed by the Animal Welfare Oversight Committee at Monday night’s public hearing.

The mandatory spay-neuter ordinance was proposed to combat the growing number of stray or unwanted animals in Norman.

“The intent of the public hearing was to kind of gauge the public's willingness to accept things like mandatory spay-neuter,” said Norman City Councilor, Kate Bierman.

She tells News 9 that the city has already taken in 100 animals more than this time last year.

“A city of our size should be taking in somewhere between 750 and 1000 animals a year. And we're looking at two to three times that,” said Bierman.

The current draft of the law mandates that any dog or cat must be spayed or neutered, unless owners acquire a license, but a fee for the license has yet to be discussed.

Some who sat in on Monday’s hearing were veterinarians or dog breeders.

They expressed concerns that setting an age for when animals should be fixed shouldn't be allowed.

They say it's an unsafe procedure for some breeds if done too young.

“This has not reached the city council level yet. But when it does, my thought on this is going to be, 'If not these ordinances, then what are we going to do,” Bierman said.

A tethering ban has also been talked about by the Animal Welfare Oversight Committee, as well as changes to the time frame to hold animals not retrieved by owners.

The Animal Welfare Oversight Committee will be getting the public’s opinion on the spay-neuter policy, as well as others, before making a recommendation to Norman City Council.

City Council will likely vote on this issue early next year.

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