Mandatory spay and neuter in Manatee County could help with the pet overpopulation, but a county advisory board said restrictions should be put in place.
While in favor of mandatory spay and neuter of animals in Manatee County, the county’s Animal Services Advisory Board said it favors more of a middle ground that would make it mandatory for limited groups.
Under the recommendation, those that would be required would be pet stores and rescues to either perform the surgery before the animal leaves the premise or verify that the new owner does it in a certain period of time. The board also said if an animal should end up in Animal Services, it would be spayed or neutered on its first visit.
“We don’t want to make it universal,” advisory board chairwoman Jean Peelen said.
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Since the advisory board advises the commission on animal issues, the county commission would have to approve the recommendation at a future commission meeting.
With 180 dogs currently in the Palmetto shelter, 305 25th St. W., some advisory board members said this could help reduce the constant overcrowding at the shelter. Due to the overcrowding in the shelter, all adoption fees have been waived through Saturday.
“We are overflowing,” board member Lisa Williams said. “It doesn’t change. It’s still so many dogs and no place to put them. ... It is just unreal how many animals there that are unwanted.”
During Wednesday’s meeting, stories of other communities with similar mandatory spay and neuter laws enacted were shared.
“When communities are moving toward having mandatory spay and neuter for everyone, they get a lot of pushback,” Peelen said, referencing some of the other communities.