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Music For Your Enjoyment

dog and catLast month the Humane Society Legislative Fund had a contest.  They wanted people to submit ideas for new legislation that involves animals.  They had more than 3,500 entries.  The winner was Cheryl Woodcock.  Her idea was for people to get a tax credit for spaying and neutering their animals.  She felt this would encourage owners to do their part to help with the overpopulation of animals.  The HSLF is working with members of Congress to introduce a new federal bill to promote the spaying and neutering of pets.   If you would like to help here is the link.

dog shelter

What is the impact of spaying or neutering your animal?

Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats.

Overpopulation is everywhere

There are so many homeless animals all across the country.  In the U.S. there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. About half of these animals are adopted but the rest have to be euthanized. These are healthy, sweet pets and would have made great companions but there were no homes.

These are not the offspring of homeless “street” animals—these are the puppies and kittens of cherished family pets and even purebreds.

Your own pet could be a shelter animal

Many people believe that their pet’s puppies or kittens would never become homeless shelter animals. But the reality is that every time the dog finds his way under the fence to visit the neighbor’s female dog, or the indoor/outdoor cat comes back home pregnant again, the result is a litter of dogs or cats. Even if they are placed into homes, it is still possible for them to end up in shelters once they become “hard to handle,” or for them to reproduce further and for the next generation of puppies or kittens to wind up homeless.


Not just for dogs and cats

When being conscientious about the pet overpopulation, don’t forget to spay or neuter your rabbit. Rabbits reproduce faster than dogs or cats and often end up in shelters where they must be euthanized. Spaying or neutering rabbits can reduce hormone-driven behavior such as lunging, mounting, spraying and boxing. Spaying females can prevent ovarian, mammary and uterine cancers, which can be prevalent in mature females.

Millions of pet deaths each year are a needless tragedy. By spaying and neutering your pet, you can be an important part of the solution.

What can you do?

Contact your veterinarian or local shelter to see about getting your pet spayed or neutered.  There is also a service called MASU (Mobile Animal Sterilization Unit).  They will come to you.

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24 Responses to ““There Oughta Be a Law””

  • Fiona says:

    I agree. Why not set up a non-profit that works with vets to provide spay and neuter service…except that would be hard to set up on a national scale. I think the tax deduction would also be a good idea.

  • John says:

    I have always believed that at least 50% of government expenditure (central or local) is a total waste of resources. This would be just another example and wouldn’t get my vote

  • Kerri says:

    Anything to convince people it’s the thing to do!

  • Debra says:

    Sounds like a great idea! Certainly worth a try, since there are so many people who don’t do it. I think we need more affordable first time visit plans with spay or neuter too. Most people won’t even vet their pets. If we can at least get them in once, it’s a step in the right direction for the animals.

  • Janine says:

    It’s a great idea because educating pet owners of non-neutered animals just does not always work. Particularly now, with the economy so slow, pet care tends to be something people cutback on. And, as pets don’t have a ‘real’ voice to say ‘neuter me’, it always helps to have the extra Benjamin Franklin in the pocket speak a little *louder* for the pets.

  • Jobi says:

    I think getting the big government involved would be a waste of time. Something on the local community level could really make a difference, though. Any ideas or experiences trying to affect change locally? I haven’t been personally involved in a spay/neuter program, but would get behind a good idea in the community.

  • Lilliam says:

    Yes, of course this would be a great thing! How could we go about this?

  • Shalea says:

    Considering the strong correlation between whether pets are spayed/neutered and household income (pets in low-income homes are significantly less likely to be altered), I believe that although low-cost and free spay/neuter options exist, they are insufficient. Making those options both more available and more visible is, to my mind, the answer more than any legislative option.

  • Jennifer says:

    Don’t think the right people would be motivated by that. I do wonder why there isn’t a law requiring pets to be spayed or neutered unless the owner has a breeders license. There are public nuisance laws that could provide the reasoning for the law, and there are already resources for free spay and neuter. If a law was passed I think donations for those services would skyrocket so that people wouldn’t have to choose between their pets and a burdensome cost.

  • Tiffany says:

    I would enjoy this as a tax deduction because I actively spay & neuter all the stray cats that find their way to my farm. I think it could be an incentive to get more people to S/N their pets.

  • Michael says:

    Very good idea!

  • Linda says:

    I think anything that will motivate people to spay/neuter is a good thing and should be considered. and let’s face it, people love to reduce their taxes so it might actually have some positive effect.

  • Joe says:

    Breeding & providing for pets are businesses where responsability for the sustainability of these activities needs to be fairly placed on those who make money in the system. Ultimately the end user (pet owner) must pay for the privelege of owning a companion animal.

    Hence why not petition for
    A sales tax for pet breeders / pet shops selling any unaltered pets;
    Ring fencing of a proportion of sales taxes for animal shelter (licenced) funding of neutering services at a standard (government fixed) flat rate fees;

    On presentation of a sales reciept showing neutering sales tax has been paid, free neutering at any licenced animal shelter;

    A higher county license fee differential for pet owners with unaltered pets;
    together with higher penalties on those animals that were unaltered entered the shelter and were claimed by their owners;

    A mandatory, production-volume related levy on petfood producers could finance the setting up of such a system nationally and would represent fractions of a cent per portion of petfood sold plus win good favour from responsible pet owners everywhere.

    However this may set a precedent as removal of pet litter could be the next in line.

  • Dianna says:

    The county in which I reside requires all dogs and cats have a yearly county license tag. They offer a discounted price to those companion pets that have been altered. Sadly it is a small discount, but it does help. I’m not sure I agree about a tax deduction, but if all counties offered a substantial discount it may encourage more owners to alter their pets. I previously worked for the local animal services and I was an advocate to impose higher penalties on those animals that were unalter who entered the shelter and were claimed by their owners, but I seemed to be in the minority on that idea.

  • Cynthia says:

    I can see pros and cons to this. Given that in the U.S. alone, we spend over $1 Billion a year on our pets, says to me, we need some type of remuneration. I would like to see better sources for pet health insurance for starters. I know they exist and I have looked into them, but I’m not overly impressed.

    The idea of a tax break is an interesting concept, but it makes me wonder how the gov’t would parlay this to their benefit. However, “utopically speaking” I like the concept.

  • Linda says:

    If you look at how different states and municipalities address encouraging S/N , you will see that there are a variety of both and reward and punitive measures to encourage pet owners to act. Some of these, for example, make pet license fees super cheap for owners that get their pets fixed. I am all in favor of the “reward” approach, but think it has to be easy and present a quick and meaningful benefit to the pet owner. Tax write-off is delayed gratification. I am more in favor of an easier approach. It is encouraging what some states have come up with. I am also encouraged by the growing number of rescue groups that are operating (no pun intended!) high-volume, high-quality, reduced-cost S/N clinics. Some of these fees are super cheap. For a list of them, go to

  • John says:

    I think it is a “slippery slope.” Once you give the government a portion of control, they will take complete control eventually. Of course, claiming it is for our own good and that they know best.

  • Debbie says:

    I totally think that is a GREAT IDEA. There are way too many animals in the world today. I also think there should be benefits for adopting animals rather than purchasing from a breeder or a pet store. We defintely need animal control.

  • Sarah says:

    I agree, the idea of a tax break is an interesting concept and I am for it. I believe that it would definitely “inspire” people to S/N their pets, and in turn help the overpopulation problem. For myslef, I do agree that things such as pet health insurance would be more ideal.

  • Katherine says:

    Pets are like children to many people and likewise can be expensive to provide for. A tax incentive to spray or neuter pets would not solve the problem since the people who don’t have the resources to do it in the first place won’t be able to budget it in to take the tax deduction.

    Since we have too many pets without homes in the US, this is a societal issue. The real solution should come from a governmental or a non-profit program that will spray or neuter for free. I have seen these in the past.

  • I’m all for any initiative that will help to encourage more responsible pet ownership! I do wonder, however, if a tax deduction will move the spay/neuter numbers as much as we’d like. Cost of the procedure seems to be a main deterrent, at least in my community, for not spaying/neutering a pet – and those with financial challenges may not be able to take real advantage of a tax deduction. On the other hand – and more positively – just the introduction of such legislation would carry a strong message about the seriousness of this issue, and certainly would help to raise public awareness. Good thinking, Cheryl Woodcock!

  • Bernie says:

    I think it’s a great idea, can we retro it for those of us who are responsible enough not to need an incentive?

  • Lori says:

    I don’t think there should be a tax deduction. I think it should be mandatory and I think that the way many shelters work is the best-you pay a certain amount up front for an animal and after you get your pet spayed/neutered you get some portion of it back. I think we need to set up clinics focused just on this issue and not have it be attached to a vet. This is a great example-it seems that my “winning the lottery dream” was answered: I believe people don’t do it for two main reasons-laziness and lack of funds. It it were affordable and easy to do, many of our pet overpopulation would be solved.I also wish there was a moratorium on breeding until the overpopulation was dealt with. Plenty of animals to go around without making more.

  • Lori says:

    “Yes, I agree! Thanks to Cheryl Woodcock for submitting this fantastic idea. Great article.

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