The Town of Yucca Valley is moving toward mandatory spaying and neutering of pit bulls and pit bull mixes as a way to reduce the number of pit bulls in the animal shelter and to prevent dog attacks. In this editorial opinion, managing editor Tami Roleff doesn’t think mandatory spay-neuter ordinances are the answer some make them out to be…
How does requiring people to spay or neuter their dogs solve the problem of irresponsible owners? And how do you even get irresponsible owners to take the responsibility for spaying or neutering their dog? If the Town of Yucca Valley requires pit bulls to be sterilized, do you think owners of intact dogs are going to license them with the town? Of course not, and that’ll mean reduced revenue for the Town. If an intact pit bull is picked up by animal control, how many owners do you think will be willing to pay the impound fee, the cost of the ticket for having an unsterilized dog, AND the cost of the surgery? What if you have a lab mix but Animal Control says it’s a pit bull mix? Sterilizing a dog will NOT change its behavior; pit bulls and other dogs are TAUGHT to be aggressive by their owners. A government that requires people to surgically alter a dog is too much government intrusiveness into private people’s lives. Spaying and neutering is a medical surgery with risks; the decision to sterilize a dog should be between a vet and the dog’s owner, and not forced on the owner by the government. Recent research links health issues, like cancer and torn cruciate ligaments, with spaying and neutering at an early age. And four months is WAY too early; most reputable breeders urge their puppy owners to wait until at least one year, preferably two years, before their dogs are altered. And watch out, Yucca Valley dog owners. Mayor Pro Tem Robert Lombardo and Council Member Dawn Rowe are not content with mandatory spay/neuter of just pit bulls. “Is it practical to extend this measure to all breeds and not just limit it to pit bulls?” “Along with Dr Lombardo, I would also encourage us looking into all breeds.” Mandatory spay/neuter ordinances of any breed is a bad idea.
This is an editorial opinion by managing editor Tami Roleff.