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Bibb County Commissioners Question Spay Neuter Proposal | News

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Bibb County Commissioners Question Spay Neuter Proposal
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It's a proposal to curb euthanasia and help control the overpopulation of animals, but it's met with some concerns. 

Animal Services Director Sarah Tenon reviewed the proposed spay/neuter ordinance with Bibb County Commissioners. If passed, it would require pet owners to fix their cats and dogs. 

Some commissioners were not fully convinced just yet.

"It's just a matter of getting people on the same page, having the ordinance reexamined, reworked, terms better defined, enforcement issues dealt with," says Bibb County Commissioner Lonzy Edwards.

Commissioners debated over the definition of animal ownership. Tenon says people assume ownership of animals if you harbor or feed animals for more than 14 days. 

She also suggests pets should be spayed or neutered at ages four to five months. She said the ordinance would be hard to enforce and they'd need the community's help.

"When we go out to investigate other complaints, we're going to have to have to check on the spay and neutering," says Tenon.

Tenon says the shelter can use a $100,000 PetSmart charities grant to help fund spaying and neutering. 

Another affordable option would be to work with veterinarians to reduce costs.

"Anytime that you spay or neuter, you're reducing the number of animals coming into the shelter and the number of animals that are possibly euthanized, so it's going to have a positive impact on that," says Tenon.

To provide more incentive for owners, Tenon suggests a higher fine, more than $50, that at least matches the cost of spay and neutering. 

The ultimate solution would be to bring the city and county together to pass a single ordinance.

The ordinance spells out several exceptions like show animals, guide dogs and animals used by law enforcement agencies.

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