Macon Council Passes Mandatory Spay/Neuter Law | News
Pet owners in Macon will now be required to have their animals spayed or neutered.
City council passed the law Tuesday night with an 8-5 vote. Nancy White proposed the law and gained support from Ed DeFore, Larry Schlesinger, Tom Ellington, Frank Tompkins, Charles Jones, Lauren Benedict, and Beverly Olson.
Elaine Lucas, Henry Gibson, Henry Ficklin, James Timley, and Virgil Watkins opposed it. Watkins says the law is too overbearing.
"There are several pet owners that I've talked to that desire not to. They feel as though they are doing a responsible job with their animals, and they wish to keep them intact, and I think as a property owner you should have that right," he says.
Others who opposed questioned how the law would be enforced with only four animal control officers and a packed shelter, but Macon-Bibb Animal Shelter Director Sarah Tenon says she already has a plan.
"It's easier to prevent it," she says. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Tenon says her officers will start by looking for unaltered pets while out on other calls. She also plans to form committees of her officers and community members to develop more ways to educate pet owners and enforce the new law.
White wrote several exceptions into the law, such as show dogs or hunting dogs. Owners who do not meet the exception, but still do not want to spay or neuter can pay an annual permit and licensing fee.
Tuesday, White amended her proposal so first time offenders will receive a warning, but after that, they will face a fine of up to $500.
Another amendment allows Tenon to stop enforcing the law if she feels there are not enough low and no cost spay/neuter options available for pet owners.
Macon Mayor Robert Reichert still has to sign off on the law before it takes effect. 13WMAZ could not reach him Tuesday night for comment on if or when that will happen.