Chicago Considers Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Criminal Background Checks for Dog Breeders
[Thursday, May 15, 2008]
Two Chicago Aldermen are sponsoring a new ordinance that would require all dogs to be spayed/neutered by the age of six months unless they qualify for an unneutered animal license. Chicago residents are asked to contact their representative on the Board of Aldermen to oppose this measure.
To qualify for an unneutered animal license the animal must meet one of the following qualifications:
*Certified by a veterinarian as having a valid medical reason for not being sterilized.
*Owners with a valid breeding permit.
*Dogs and cats of breeds approved by and registered with a registry or association recognized by the commission whose programs and practices are consistent with the humane treatment of animals, and the dogs or cats are kept for the purposes of showing or competing in legitimate shows or competitions hosted by or under the approval of recognized registry or association.
*Dogs that have earned or are actively being trained and are in the process of earning an agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, hunting, working or other title from a registry or association recognized by the commission whose programs and practices are consistent with the humane treatment of animals.
*Service dogs as defined by Illinois state law.
*Dogs owned by a guard dog service.
*Law enforcement and military dogs.
This new ordinance would also remove an existing exemption for residents who occasionally sell animals they bred and raised, meaning that anyone who breeds a litter would be deemed an "animal care facility" and must purchase a $330.00 license. In addition, to qualify for a breeding license a resident would need to submit to both a criminal background check and an inspection of their home. This is an unreasonable violation of the privacy and rights of responsible owners who are respected members of the Chicago community.
This unreasonable and unenforceable ordinance will have a profound negative impact not only upon responsible dog breeders in Chicago, but also upon all current and prospective dog owners.
The American Kennel Club opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans, and the mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of responsible breeders and owners. Additionally, we strongly support and actively promote a wide range of programs to educate the public about responsible breeding practices and the responsible dog ownership.
The proposed ordinance will now be referred to a subcommittee of the Board of Aldermen. The AKC Government Relations staff will continue to provide updates as the legislation progresses.