Macon Committee Backs New Spay/Neuter Law | News
A Macon City Council committee supported a new ordinance that would require most pet owners to spay or neuter their animals or pay a fee.
The goal is to cut down on the number of strays in the city.
The law would require all animal owners in Macon to spay or neuter their pets.
Council member Nancy White proposed the idea last year, but it failed to pass through the public safety committee.
She says this year's version includes more defined exceptions, such as for breeders and for owners of show dogs and hunting dogs.
Those who do not fit the exceptions but still don't want to spay or neuter would be allowed to pay a licensing fee.
The Macon Kennel Club and other community members told the public safety committee that the city should enforce the animal laws already in place before passing new ones.
Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare Director Sarah Tenon also addressed the committee. She said the ordinance is a step in the right direction, but not the only solution to solving the city's stray animal problem.
Monday afternoon, the council's public safety committee passed the ordinance by a 3 to 2 vote.
It will to go to the full council next week.
White, Frank Louis Tompkins and Larry Schlesinger voted in favor of the ordinance; Henry Gibson and Virgil Watkins were opposed.
Gibson says the ordinance is too burdensome and is a punishment for responsible pet owners who do not want to spay or neuter their animals. He also asked the committee to hold off on the ordinance and let the new consolidated government take up the issue next year.
The council was expected to discuss a second option Monday, but its sponsor, Tom Ellington, took it off the table.
That would have required all dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered before leaving the animal shelter.
Ellington says that would include stray animals and pets that were picked up by animal control. He says he plans to put in on the next public safety committee agenda.