Philadelphia weighs plan to encourage neutering pets

    While dogs will do almost anything for a treat, Philadelphia is trying financial incentives to get more dog owners to register Fido, Buddy or Spot.

    Councilman Jack Kelly, who is sponsoring the bill, said it’s a cooperative effort among the city, veterinarians and animal rights groups.

    “To increase licensing compliance and generate additional revenue for animal care and control services and increase the number of cats and dogs spayed and neutered,  to decrease the overall pet population and burden to the city,” said Kelly, describing the goals of the measure.

    Under the bill, which is expected to be endorsed by the full council and be signed by Mayor Michael Nutter, the license fee would be $16 for neutered dogs and $40 for those that aren’t.

    Dana Spain, founder of the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, said a key part of the bill is mandating that all but show and guide dogs be neutered before they are sold or adopted.

    “Spay-neuter awareness and mandates are the only way for our city to arrest the killing of thousands of animals each year and allow families to keep their pets healthy and safe rather than surrendering them,” she said.

    Spain said the new regulations will also help ensure that the animals that are sold are healthy.

    “Heretofore retailers and breeders were able to sell animals without any concern for the health and well-being of the animals in their care,” she said. The bill provides “for humane housing and veterinary care within three days of a new litter or new delivery.”

    The regulations will protect animals as well as consumers, she said.

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