Mandatory Spay Neuter in Dallas

Mandatory spay/neuter passed in Dallas on June 25th, 2008. As of the date above, all dogs must be spayed and neutered by 4 months of age.

Early spay and neuter is demonstrably bad for dogs. In sheltering situations, where dogs must legally be altered prior to being made available for adoption to the public, it’s inevitable (and preferable to death), but for the general responsible dog owner who does not allow his or her pet to roam at large and can safely confine them, it is NOT the best option.

Chris Zink DVM’s study on early spay/neuter in performance dogs

NAIA’s position statement with citations (PDF)

Pediatric spay/neuter INCREASES the risk of hemangiosarcoma and osteosarcoma, both of which are cancers with poor survival rates even WITH treatment. It DOES decrease the risk of mammary and testicular cancers in dogs- two cancers which are relatively easy to treat. Spaying a female up to 2.5 years of age has a significant impact on her risk of future mammary cancer- the benefit doesn’t magically go away after 4 months. And her risk of spay incontinence in middle/old age is much higher than that of a dog who is spayed after physical maturity. The extended bone growth caused by pediatric spay/neuter is also linked to a significant increase in orthopedic problems.

I am very much in favor of spaying and neutering pets. I think it’s an essential part of being a responsible pet owner. But I don’t think ANYONE other than my veterinarian and myself has ANY right to tell me when is the best time for my animals.

This bill makes theoretical exceptions for responsible breeders in Dallas. It remains to be seen how they’ll be implimented. (In Houston, supposed ‘exceptions’ have not materialized because the AR-run animal shelter board has not yet created the forms to get an exemption as a breeder and have never, in a year and a half, granted a permit. All breeders are therefore lawbreakers by default, even though the form they are required to fill out does not yet exist.)


5 Responses to Mandatory Spay Neuter in Dallas

  1. Jennifer says:

    I totally agree with what you are saying here! My greyhound, Reagan, is not spayed yet and I think I should have the freedom to choose when it is best for her. NOT the government. Some people just do not think through this. It only punishes those of us that already are responsible.


  2. retrieverman says:

    I totally agree with you here. I think that spaying and neutering pets important; however, it is something that should be a choice made between veterinarians and pet owners. Plus, it hurts breeders of working dogs, because we can’t assess breeding quality of our dogs until they are significantly older than most mandatory spay/neuter laws.

    I’ve also seen the studies you mention, and I don’t spay or neuter until the dogs are over six months old– usually closer to 8 months old. I sometimes get an early heat in there, but it is better than some of the risks of early spay/neuter.

    Plus, I like the male dog temperament in my male dogs. If you neuter too early, you never get the full male temperament.

  3. Shirley says:

    Fortunately my friend with an Irish Wolfhound knew all about this, as I hope all owners of giant breeds do. Early castration in ram lambs (often done during the first week of life with banding) is now thought to cause ureter problems in wethers. However, I doubt that late castration is feasible for people who raise sheep from an economic standpoint. Since I like to wait to see if horns develop correctly, I delay castration if I plan on keeping a wether.

  4. trish says:

    omg. NOOO WAYYY! my last two dogs were spayed and neutered but now, i will never ever own an altered pet again!

  5. Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂

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