Proposed ordinance could cut down on stray animals - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Proposed ordinance could cut down on stray animals

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis-Shelby County Humane Society is filled with homeless dogs and cats taken off Memphis streets, but a proposed city council ordinance could decrease the city's homeless pet population.

"Obviously your backyard breeders will be upset about it, but legitimate breeders shouldn't have a problem," the Humane Society's Butch Lulloff said Friday.

The proposed ordinance would require all dogs and cats inside the city be spayed and neutered.

Some, like Lulloff, think that's a good idea.

"You get healthier animal populations," he said. "You don't have baskets of puppies and kittens dumped at people's doors."

Animal breeders are upset, however, saying the ordinance will cause the price and availability of pets to go up. 

Animal owners like Nancy Evans can see both sides of the issue.

"There's enough homeless, unfed, unkempt animals that need adoption and need a new home that I don't see the purpose unless you're a professional breeder," she said.

There are several exemptions to the proposed spay and neuter ordinance.  Dogs trained for law enforcement are exempt, as are service animals and search and rescue dogs.  Animals with a medical reason for not being spayed and neutered are also exempt.  Dogs and cats used for certified breeding are also excluded. 

And even though this ordinance will be a new source of income, some way it's worth it in the long run.

"Sometimes people don't understand it's less expensive to neuter than it is to pay for a litter of unwanted puppies," Lulloff said.

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