DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – New numbers show increased enforcement by Dallas Animal Services after a fatal mauling last year. In the first three months of 2016, it issued 93 citations for a failure to spay/neuter. But during the same period this year, it issued 477 citations.
The city will now consider toughening its spay/neuter law to allow for fewer exceptions.
Under the current law, owners who pay a fee and take a class can receive an ‘intact animal’ permit, exempting them from the spay/neuter requirement. A proposed ordinance would replace that with a breeding permit. Only pet owners with a business license or membership in a recognized purebred dog club would qualify.
Other requirements would also need to be met, including microchipping their animals and limiting them to one litter per year.
“At the end of the day, it creates a safe environment,” said Lamon Wright, who coaches baseball about half a mile from where Antoinette Brown was attacked by a pack of dogs last May. He agrees with what the city is doing. But his one worry: “The cost. What does it cost to get a dog neutered?”
Maeleska Fletes with the Dallas Companion Animal Project said that veterinarians can charge $300 or more to spay/neuter a pet. In south Dallas, where much of the enforcement is targeted, residents lack the resources which are necessary to comply, Fletes explained.
Many people do not even know that they have to spay/neuter their pets, or where to go to get that done. “When you get farther south, there’s no grocery stores, there’s no pet store, there’s no vets,” Fletes said.
DCAP is working to hammer out a contract with the city to resume free and low-cost surgeries.