Memphis: Killing 16,000 Pets a Year Isn’t Enough

Memphis has adopted a mandatory spay-neuter ordinance.

In legislation that moved Memphis into ranks with cities such as Denver and Los Angeles, the Memphis City Council approved a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for dogs and cats on Tuesday.

Gee Memphis, you must be excited to join such nightmare killing cities as Los Angeles with its failed MSN and Denver with its endless litigation over its terrible Pitbull ban.  Good going.

About 100 people attended last night’s city council meeting with half in favor of MSN and half opposed.  Where was Memphis Animal Shelter director Matthew Pepper’s opposition?  Was he even there?  Maybe he’s not at all concerned about saving his community’s pets, I don’t know.

Ordinance supporters argued that with about 16,000 animals euthanized in Memphis each year, a spay/neuter ordinance is a progressive solution to the problem.

Unless Memphis somehow breaks the mold, the number of pets killed annually under MSN will not be reduced and may well increase.

Under the Memphis ordinance, there are some exemptions – but not for the pet owners who need them.  For example, dogs registered with the AKC – that paragon of virtue – need not be altered.  But poor people, feral cat colony caretakers, owners who lack transportation to and from the clinic and others who need assistance in getting their pets neutered get a big fat nothing from the ordinance by way of special treatment.

In the absence of Matthew Pepper, the pets of Memphis had to look elsewhere for a voice to speak on their behalf:

“If you enforce the leash law, then the leash law will take animals off the street, reduce complaint calls and we’ll end up with less animals at the shelter,” said Donna Malone of Responsible Animal Owners of Tennessee, in opposition of the law.

Sounds reasonable.  Except of course AC is short staffed and nearly 1000 calls behind.  So they probably can’t enforce the leash law.  But somehow, maybe by magic, they’ll be able to enforce MSN?

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3 Comments

  1. Brie

     /  September 29, 2010

    I guess I should no longer be shocked when things like this happen because people have failed to do thier homework. A group of “rescuers” in my state tried to get MSN legislation on the table (again) and as far as I can tell they let it go after they go tired of my arguments about the laws of unintended consequences.

    Since I work at a law firm that defends municipalities, I have a decent idea of how money rolls and how enforcement works. So – we have MSN on the books and the question becomes this: how much money will be spent trying to enforce this new legislation and could that money not have been better spent simply subsidizing spay and neuter or just paying for it outright? I hope someone is tracking the money on this. Although I know more animals are likely to die as a result of the MSN, it would be helpful to folks like me for Memphis to serve as yet another example of why MSN fails.

    Reply
  2. The council member who was the champion of the spay/neuter ordinance ( Shae Flinn) said on the radio that the law was never intended to be enforced unless there was a complaint or other violation. That makes sense? I have said all along that voluntary is better, and provide the service for people at a greatly reduced fee, or even free based on income. The biggest problem I see is that there will be people willing to comply, who simply can’t afford to. The thugs who don’t observe the leash laws now are not going to give a second thought to a spay /neuter ordinance when every litter of puppies they breed they can sell on Craig’s list or the street corner or any parking lot. What might happen is that if they perceive that they might be “turned in” by the veterinarian, they will not bring any of their dogs in for treatment, resulting in sick and hurt dogs that get NO care, no rabies vaccination, etc. The guys who fight dogs already try to do the medical work on the dogs that are injured to keep anyone from turning them in. They will just go further underground.

    Reply
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