Confirmed victory
Petitioning Arkansas State Legislature and 21 others

Arkansas State Legislature: Drop HB2160; Mandatory Spay/Neuter is Ineffective; Low-Cost Spay/Neuter is the Answer


HB2160 would require pet owners to sterilize their mixed-breed dogs and cats by the time they are six months old. Mandatory Spay/Neuter laws are ineffective. They hurt poor and low-income pet owners and their pets, discourage pet ownership, and empower animal control agencies to impound and kill more pets. The answer is not punitive legislation like mandatory spay/neuter laws. The answer is to implement policies and programs that make high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter programs widely available.

Letter to
Arkansas State Legislature
State Representative Lane Jean
State Representative Jon Eubanks
and 19 others
State Representative Greg Leding
State Representative John Edwards 3
State Representative Stephen Meeks
State Representative James Ratliff
State Representative David Branscum
State Representative Charlotte Douglas
State Representative Matthew Shepherd
State Representative Walls Mccrary
State Representative Homer Lenderman
State Representative Tommy Thompson 2
State Representative Dan Douglas
State Representative Joe Jett
State Representative Nate Steel
State Representative Sheilla Lampkin
State Representative Bob Ballinger
State Representative Jeremy Gillam
State Representative Kelley Linck
State Representative Stephen Magie
Arkansas State House
I am writing to voice my strong opposition to HB2160 which would mandate that pet owners sterilize their mixed-breed dogs and cats by the time they are six months old.

Spaying/neutering our pets is an essential to reducing the number of animals killed in our shelters. But mandatory spay/neuter laws are regressive and are ultimately ineffective. They hurt poor and low-income pet owners and their pets, discourage pet ownership, and empower animal control agencies to impound and kill more pets. Furthermore, there is a very real danger that under this legislation fewer pets will receive vaccinations and/or medical care because their owners will be afraid they'll be turned in for not being able to afford to alter their pets.

The answer to reducing shelter killing is not to enact punitive legislation like mandatory spay/neuter laws. The answer is to implement policies and programs that make high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter programs widely available.

The following is only a partial list of the reputable animal welfare and animal rights agencies that do not support Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws (“MSNL”).

ASPCA: 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.

BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SANCTUARY: Best Friends does not support mandatory spay-neuter legislation as a method of pet population control, says Judah Battista, associate director for Best Friends Community Programs and Services.

AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: The AVMA does not support regulations or legislation mandating spay/neuter of privately owned, non-shelter dogs and cats. Although spaying and neutering helps control dog and cat populations, mandatory approaches may contribute to pet owners avoiding licensing, rabies vaccination and veterinary care for their pets, and may have other unintended consequences.

NEVADA HUMANE SOCIETY: Another mistake some people make is putting a lot of effort into mandatory spay/neuter legislation. While it can be a good idea to require shelters and pet stores to neuter all pets, the effort and energy that goes into passing legislation that focuses on individual pet owners can almost always be better spent ensuring that low-cost and free spay/neuter services are readily available and accessible to the people who need them most.

HB2160 is a regressive, punitive measure that will hurt Arkansas families and their pets and will not accomplish its stated purpose. Arkansans would be much better served if our leaders embraced positive solutions that made high-volume, low-cost spay/neuters services widely available. I ask that you not support HB2160.