Despite being the recipient of international condemnation for its mistreatment of community pets, the city of Memphis enacted a mandatory spay-neuter (MSN) law in late 2010. MSN sacrifices pets’ lives to ideology. MSN does not reduce/eliminate shelter pet killing and it’s failed everywhere it’s been enacted. Some examples:
- The city of Los Angeles enacted MSN in 2008 and after the first year, shelter intake and killings were up. Killings increased after the second year as well. The third year was yet another failure.
- Intakes and killings increased in Las Vegas after the city enacted MSN in 2010.
- When CA was considering statewide MSN legislation in 2007, the past president of the California Veterinary Medical Association wrote a lengthy letter to the Board detailing his opposition.
- Killings and costs both went up in King Co, WA after MSN was passed in 1992.
As a result, most every major animal welfare group in the country opposes MSN. That list includes:
- The No Kill Advocacy Center explains “Why Punitive Legislation Fails”
- Alley Cat Allies points out that MSN does not reach most intact cats
- “Best Friends does not support mandatory spay-neuter legislation as a method of pet population control.”
- The “ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law.”
- The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes MSN.
Memphis took in 15,401 pets in 2010 and killed 11,906 of them. 2011 was the first full year with MSN in place and the pound was closed for part of November while the facility moved to a new building. Intakes and killings dropped significantly that month, as one would expect. But even with the reduced numbers for November, MAS still took in 15,042 pets in 2011, killing 11,030 of them. As such, Memphis joins the list of cities where MSN failed to stem the tide of pet impounds and killings.
Tragically, MAS killed 73% of the pets in its care in 2011. But there is a way to end this hemorrhaging of compassion in Memphis. There is a set of programs which has been proven to eliminate the needless killing of shelter pets. It’s called the No Kill Equation.
You can’t pass legislation which punishes pet owners as a means to stop the killing. You can’t turn off the webcams and lock animal advocates out of your meetings as a means to stop the killing. You can’t blame the public as a means to stop the killing. But you can stop the killing Memphis. Get rid of your failed MSN law, turn the webcams back on, open up your meetings, accept help from the public and implement the proven programs of the No Kill Equation. You could start saving pets today.
Memphis, please – stop the killing.