Nine Questions/Answers Re CA Law Mandating Shelters/Rescues Spay-Neuter Prior to Adoption
Important reading for Rescue people in California.
The bottom line is that in California ALL rescuers are REQUIRED to spay or neuter every dog or cat PRIOR to placement for adoption. Now any rational Rescue person knows that this is a practical necessity (so we don't have to rescue several offspring of this dog or cat later on), but many don't realize that it is a legal requirement as well.
For those of you working within a breed club, this legal requirement may save you some arguements when some of your club members want to turn a particularly gorgeous animal back to a former owner or its breeder without altering it. Legally there is no choice.
The sole exception is temporary postponement for reasons of health, which must be backed up by a letter from a veterinarian. As to that situation, I strongly advise that as a practical matter the dog or cat be restored to health and altered prior to adoption, even though legally you have the choice of using a spay/neuter deposit. Aside from any risk of a litter, it's not really fair to adopter or animal to adopt out an animal who is curently in poor health.
|SITE INDEX||BOUVIER||RESCUE||DOG CARE|
|PUPPY REARING||TRAINING||PROBLEMS||WORKING DOGS|
1) Under California law, do only government shelters and humane societies have to spay and neuter, or are rescuers also required to spay and neuter prior to adoption?
Under Sections 30503 (pertaining to dogs) and 31751.3 (pertaining to cats), rescue organizations MUST COMPLY. The language states: ..."no public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group shall sell or give away to a new owner any "cat" or "dog" that has not been spayed or neutered."
2) Does the law state that if you reside in a county with over 100,000 human population, you have to spay and neuter prior to adoption?
3) Does the law state that if you reside in a county with under 100,000 human population, you may adopt out animals on spay-neuter contracts?
4) Is there an exemption in the law that if the rescuer/caretaker is ill they don't have to abide by the law to spay-neuter prior to adoption and can instead adopt out animals on spay-neuter contracts?
There is NO such exemption.
5) Is it okay for a rescuer (residing in a county with over 100,000) not to abide by the law to spay-neuter prior to adoption and to instead adopt out animals on spay-neuter contracts if they prefer this option and/or it is their opinion that spaying/neutering prior to adoption is not "feasible" in a particular circumstance?
6) Is it true that for the purposes of this law a rescue group is either a for-profit or not-for-profit entity, or a collaboration of individuals?
YES. The statute reads as follows: " ...a "rescue group" is a for-profit or not-for-profit entity, or a collaboration of individuals with at least one of its purposes being the sale or placement of cats (dogs) that have been removed from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, or humane shelter or that have been previously owned by any person other than the original breeder of that cat (dog)."
7) How long has it been a law that shelters and rescues (in counties with populations over 100,000) must spay and neuter prior to adoption?
This law was enacted in 2000.
8) If you have been a rescuer since before this law took effect, is it okay for you to ignore the current law and to continue to adopt out animals on spay-neuter contracts instead?
9) Does the spay-neuter law have an age exemption?
No. The only exemption is if a veterinarian determines that the animal is too sick or injured to be spayed or neutered or otherwise determines it would be detrimental to the health of the animal. Then the animal can be adopted out with a spay/neuter deposit. However, once the animal is determined to be healthy by the veterinarian, it must be spayed/neutered within 14 business days of the certification.