Mandatory Spay/Neuter laws cause kill rates to rise

Punitive legislation such as mandatory spay/neuter laws, leash laws and pet limit laws do not stop shelter killing.  In fact, these laws empower animal control facilities to confiscate and kill more animals... which causes kill rates to rise. 


Please read the information below and become knowledgable on this topic.  Animal lives depend on it.

1.   The Dark Side of Mandatory Licensing and Neuter Laws: Why Punitive Laws Fail

Written by Nathan Winograd, who created the first Open Admission, No Kill shelter in the US and now runs the No Kill Advocacy Center  


2.    Expert opposition to Mandatory Spay/Neuter

“By far the most common reason people don't alter their pets currently is because of cost or lack of access to low cost spay/neuter services. Making spay/neuter mandatory doesn't change this.  In fact, it often makes the situation worse, because by the time the law gets involved, the pet owners is often looking at a $500 fine (or more) that they can't afford, on top of the surgery cost they couldn't afford. 

The end result is almost always that animals with homes are forced into the shelter system because the law made their owners now longer able to afford them. Instead of HELPING owners to overcome obstacles -- like has been successfully done with low cost spay/neuter and target outreach programs across the nation -- mandatory spay/neuter laws are a punitive approach that actually punish people for being poor. “

Written by Brent Toellner who runs an Open Admission, No Kill shelter in Kansas City, MO


3.    More on Los Angeles MSN - The Kill Rates is Los Angeles INCREASED 31%         following the  passage of  Mandatory Spay/Neuter laws. 

Written by Brent Toellner who runs an Open Admission, No Kill shelter in Kansas City, MO


4.   Mandatory Spay/Neuter Success?  Not remotely.
“…a very vocal supporter of mandatory spay/neuter ordinances in Austin has touted King County, Washington, as proof that mandatory spay/neuter ordinances work. Specifically, he reports that King County has a 0% kill rate, and provides this website as evidence: .

I decided to take a look to judge for myself.

What I found is that the actual statistics from King County's website reveal not success, but instead a common shelter-management lie: by labeling all killed animals "unadoptable," King County is able to report a 0% kill rate of adoptable animals. Meanwhile, its shelter continues to kill 40-50% of the animals it takes in each and every year. If we use that standard, then basically every shelter in the country is successful and wonderful because they are able to define away their killing by calling all animals they kill “unadoptable”.

Written by Ryan Clinton, President of Fix Austin--who helped Austin become a No Kill city.


5.   Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws - A Failure Everywhere 
Nathan Winograd, author of Redemption, notes that, if coercive legislation was effective, then Long Beach, CA, where MSN was carried to the extreme of a total breeding ban for 30 years, would have empty shelters or at least be No Kill.

Yet Long Beach still handles thousands of animals through animal control services every year."


6.   Case study in failure:  Los Angeles' mandatory spay / neuter program under fire from advisory committee 
Low income persons and low income areas are targeted because this is where the most people who are out of compliance are not out of compliance by choice, but rather because they are unable to financially afford the price of spay/neuter. Humane workers in the low income areas of the city report many people who want to comply with the law but who cannot due to the cost and lack of availability of affordable or free spay/neuter services."


7.   Mandatory Spay/Neuter:  Sacrificing animal lives to ideology  
"That's because mandatory spay/neuter diverts resources from services like low-cost spay neuter to enforcement and creates new fines and penalties that lead people to give up their pets more readily than they otherwise would, leading to increased shelter intake and more killing.

Furthermore, it's already 
been established that the majority of unaltered pets belong to poor people, and the majority of those people would like to alter their pets if the service was accessible and affordable. Making those services even more difficult to obtain isn't just ineffective, it's cruel to both people and pets." 


8.   Dog Licensing and Mandatory Spay-Neuter
"California communities that have implemented mandatory spay-neuter ordinances have experienced significant declines in dog licensing compliance.


Los Angeles Animal Services admits that mandatory spay-neuter has reduced their dog licensing income:  

“the number of dogs for which unaltered licenses (and in many cases breeding permits) have been paid for and issued has dropped since implementation of mandatory spay/neuter. Because of the steep license differential, loss of higher priced licenses have resulted in lower revenue trends.”

Los Angeles Animal Services lost $440 thousand in annual licensing revenue since the 2008 MSN ordinance went into effect. That’s on top of the licensing income lost due to the downward trend in licensing compliance after Los Angeles enacted their 2000 MSN ordinance."

9.   ASPCA's Position Statement on Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws 

"However, the ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law of general application to all owned animals within a community.


Indeed, mandating spay and neuter for owned pets can have the unintended consequences of increasing shelter intake and impeding the return of strays to their owners when the costs associated with spay and neuter are prohibitive."


10.   HSUS' position on Mandatory Spaying and Neutering
"Requiring the sterilization of owned pets of any breed or species and penalizing those who do not comply can put many pet owners between a rock and a hard place, resulting in unnecessary relinquishment and missed opportunities for meaningful community engagement. 

Laws that generate spay/neuter resources and that focus on incentivizing spaying and neutering can be more effective at reducing pet overpopulation in most communities."


11.  Ten years and 60,000 spay/neuter surgeries did not end shelter killing in Austin's pound. 
Learn the programs and services that DID end shelter killing in Austin in the linked article written by Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive---one of the groups that help Austin become a No Kill city.  
"Using Data to Make Austin a No-Kill City".