Home » Animal Care Services » Pet Laws and Licensing » Mandatory Spay and Neuter

Mandatory Spay/Neuter

Starting October 1, 2015, all dogs over 6 months are required to be spayed or neutered LBMC 6.16.085. Exemptions will be granted for (1) medical conditions with a veterinarian’s written assessment, (2) Certified Show dogs (proof required), (3) Service and law enforcement dogs. Additionally, any unaltered dog that has a valid license from the Animal Care Services Bureau prior to October 1, 2015 is exempt from the mandatory spay/neuter law as long as the license is kept current. For more information on spay/neuter programs please visit our Spay/Neuter page or call 562-570-7387

Spay/Neuter means that a licensed veterinarian performs an operation on a dog to prevent a litter of puppies. Females are spayed and males are neutered. An unaltered dog means an animal who has not been spayed or neutered.

Benefits:

  • Less chance of health problems later in life
  • Most pets are calmer, more obedient and more affectionate
  • Males are less likely to roam, bite and be aggressive
  • Reduces the number of unwanted pets in the community
  • No messy heat cycle in femals
  • Lower license fees
  • Reduces mounting and territorial marking with urine
  • Holds irresponsible pet owners accountable

Spay/Neuter Assistance:

Exemptions:

 A. No person responsible for a cat over the age of four (4) months or a dog over the age of six (6) months shall allow such cat or dog to remain unaltered except as described in Subsection 6.16.085.B.

B. Exceptions to the spay or neuter requirements identified in Subsection 6.16.085.A are:

1. A dog or cat that is incapable of breeding, as determined in accordance with Subsection 6.16.085.C.
2. A dog or cat that is medically unsuited to undergo a spay or neuter procedure, as determined in accordance with Subsection 6.16.085.C.
3. A dog that is undergoing or has received appropriate training and certification by a recognized agency, if such certification is available, and will be or is utilized or is retired from use:
a. By a law enforcement agency for law enforcement activities;
b. By a search and rescue agency for search and rescue activities;
c. As a service animal, such as a guide animal, hearing animal, assistance animal, seizure alert animal, or social/therapy animal approved by the Animal Care Services Bureau; or
d. As breeding stock for dogs described in Subsection 6.16.085.B.3 by a recognized agency or organization approved by the Director.
e. For each of the above, the owner shall provide proof to the satisfaction of the Director with each application for a new or renewal license.
4. A dog or cat harbored by a public shelter, humane society, or similar organization, whether public or private, the principal purpose of which is securing the adoption of dogs or cats, provided that such organization requires the spaying or neutering of all dogs and cats placed for adoption by such organization.
5. A dog that is a breed approved by and registered with a national or international breed registry or association which, at a minimum, requires identification of the breed, date of birth, names of registered sire and dam, the name of the breeder and recordkeeping relating to breeding, transfer of ownership. The owner shall provide verified proof to the satisfaction of the Director with each application for a license.
6. A dog which is undergoing training to or currently is trained to compete or be used for herding of other animals, or as a livestock guardian dog, or a dog designated as breeding stock for these purposes by a recognized agency or organization approved by the Director. The owner shall provide proof to the satisfaction of the Director with each application for a new or renewal license.

C. Qualification for exemption. For purposes of the exemptions set forth in Subsections 6.16.085.A and 6.16.085.B, a dog or cat is:
1. Incapable of breeding if a licensed veterinarian has so certified in writing.
2. Medically unsuited to undergo a spay or neuter procedure if a licensed veterinarian has certified in writing, that a spay or neuter procedure would likely cause the animal's death or substantially aggravate a physical condition of the animal. The certification shall indicate the medical basis for the exemption and whether the unsuitability is temporary or permanent. If temporary, the certificate shall indicate the period of time the unsuitability is anticipated to last. For an exemption to apply beyond that period, a new certificate must be obtained.

D. Temporary exemption.
1. Unless otherwise extended by the City Council, the provisions of this Section shall not be applicable until October 1, 2015.
2. An unaltered dog or cat that has a valid license from the Animal Care Services Bureau shall not be subject to this Section until the license lapses, or October 1, 2015, whichever occurs last.