A Pasadena proposal for mandatory spaying and neutering of pets older than 6 months old moved forward this week with both support and opposition from the city's residents.
The Pasadena City Council approved the drafting of the controversial city ordinance with a 5-3 vote at their meeting Monday.
The city attorney’s office is now changed to return a draft of the ordinance within 60 days.
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Under the proposed ordinance, all dogs and cats in the city would be required to be spayed or neutered, unless they fall under exemptions like being a certified purebred or a police dog.
The ordinance was introduced by Pasadena City Councilman Steve Madison in his latest effort to curb unwanted pet breeding and animal biting.
Public comment on the proposed ordinance lasted hours, with dozens of advocates arguing both sides of the issue.
Steve McNall, president of the Pasadena Humane Society, spoke out in favor of the ordinance at the meeting, calling it a "positive step forward."
"You walk into our shelter today and you see the stray dogs and stray cats, it just never stops," McNall said.
A report by the Department of Public Works recommended moving forward with the ordinance, citing statistics that mandatory spaying and neutering would improve public safety.
Not all residents agreed with the department’s report.
Florence Blecher, president of the California Responsible Pet Owner Coalition, called the report's statistics on bite prevention "inconclusive."
Blecher added that she believes the mandatory nature of the ordinance actually increases bad behavior by pet owners.
"People become scofflaws because they’re afraid of being caught by these laws," Blecher said at the meeting.
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Similar measures have been implemented in La Puente, Santa Clarita and Walnut.
Last year, the council voted down an ordinance also introduced by Madison that would have required spaying and neutering only for pit bulls, which Madison said were the main breed responsible for bitings in the city.