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REPORTING · 18th May 2013
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council discussed a Mandatory Spay / Neuter Bylaw for animals at a Special Meeting of Council, Monday, May 13th. Maryanne Baumbach of the Kitimat Humane Society joined Council to answer any questions they might have concerning the service.

I agree with the statement that we have a problem with the animal population and we problem with feral pets, particularly cats but Im not sure if a mandatory spay and neuter is the best way to proceed. From my perspective, Id like to encourage people to do the micro-chipping and for those who dont microchip, if their animal is picked up, that there be some bigger fines to get their animal returned to them, said Feldhoff.

He suggested they would have a better idea of where an animal may have come from through the micro-chipping program and owners of un-neutered animals which are caught should pay higher fees to get their pets back.

Councillor Phil Germuth asked what the best way to control the animals was, Micro-chip or Spay / Neuter.

I think both, because right now, what were doing is we are micro-chipping just about everything that is being adopted in Kitimat. Our contract for adoption, everyone is required to have that animal spayed or neutered, said Baumbach.

She said there are some animals which slip through the cracks. If the people have not made their appointments within the proper timeframe, the animal shelter will make the appointments for them. She said there are some people who do not want spay or neuter their animals, some who argue it will cause certain pets to become extinct. Baumbach suggested this was a long time coming and most likely would not happen during our lifetime.

It is a healthier way for the animal, said Baumbach. If there is someone who does want to keep their animal in-tact, then I would like to see them present reasons why they need to keep it in tact. If they plan on breeding it, then I think we should become a little more stricter with kennel licensing, that they have it inspected, that they follow certain guidelines and higher licencing fees for those animals.

Councillor Mary Murphy said there was funding they could get for spaying and neutering. Feldhoff pointed out they have discussed this but they have not reached a definitive agreement. He expressed pet owners should have a choice but pets who are un-chipped and un-neutered should pay a higher fine when they are picked up than responsible owners.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan asked for a motion. Feldhoff asked for staff rework a report encouraging owners to microchip their pet and have a different fee structure if the animal is impounded.

Murphy noted one of the proposed changes is to charge an additional $100 to get an un-fixed animal back from the pound along with a $100 voucher for getting the animal fixed. Deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen explained how the proposition would work.

He pointed out when an animal is running at large, accidents happen. He added administration has been spending too much time on animal issues.

Baumbach said their current practice is to give a warning and educate the owner on why they should spay and neuter their animal when they come to pick it up if they do not deal with the animal on a regular basis.

We are being more than fair all the way around, and it usually takes until the third or fourth offense and I actually have pretty good compliance, said Baumbach. I have people come in, the fourth or fifth offense is always the $100. They paid it and the dog is out an hour later.

Feldhoff wanted to know if chipping was mandatory. Baumbach replied they recommend it. Feldhoff pointed out feral cats are a problem because they could lose the collar and no one knows who owns them. He said there should be a requirement. He wanted to add teeth to micro-chipping. The cost for micro chipping is $25.

Murphy made a motion to have staff make a bylaw mandatory spay neuter bylaw, with option for micro-chipping and include the $100 voucher. The motion was called and carried.
spray and neuter
Comment by marymurphy on 22nd May 2013

Spayed or Neutered Dogs Live Longer
Apr. 17, 2013 Many dog owners have their pets spayed or neutered to help control the pet population, but new research from the University of Georgia suggests the procedure could add to the length of their lives and alter the risk of specific causes of death.

Looking at a sample of 40,139 death records from the Veterinary Medical Database from 1984-2004, researchers determined the average age at death for intact dogs dogs that had not been spayed or neutered was 7.9 years versus 9.4 years for sterilized dogs. The results of the study were published April 17 in PLOS ONE.
"There is a long tradition of research into the cost of reproduction, and what has been shown across species is if you reproduce, you don't live as long," said Dr. Kate Creevy, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine. "The question that raises is why would you die younger if you have offspring?"
Creevy added, "At the level of the individual dog owner, our study tells pet owners that, overall, sterilized dogs will live longer, which is good to know. Also, if you are going to sterilize your dog, you should be aware of possible risks of immune-mediated diseases and cancer; and if you are going to keep him or her intact, you need to keep your eye out for trauma and infection."


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.Boy and his dog. Many dog owners have their pets spayed or neutered to help control the pet population, but new research from the University of Georgia suggests the procedure could add to the length of their lives and alter the risk of specific causes of death. (Credit: Dmitriy Kapitonenko / Fotolia)

Dig a Little Deeper
Comment by KRuff on 22nd May 2013
I have concerns with a Mandatory spay and neuter bylaw. My first and foremost concern is the welfare of my pet.
There is much research by reknowed vets, such as Chris Zink, that is showing that early spay and neutering can be a contributing factor in ACL injuries. Spay neuter effects sex hormones that impact growth. We end up with taller dogs and more stress on their joints.
There were some other interesting links shown between cancers and spay/neuter, as well as fear and aggression and spay/neuter.
A recent report of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation reported significantly more behavioral problems in spayed and neutered bitches and dogs. The most commonly observed behavioral problem in spayed females was fearful behavior and the most common problem in males was aggression.
I do not dispute the fact that there are way too many unwanted animals and I do promote spay and neutering to my clients, but I advise them to get all the facts before doing so.
To be told one HAS to alter their animals and to be told WHEN it has to be done is my objection.
I also find it interesting that Council would consider a Mandatory spay and neuter program, yet when asked to intervene with problem dogs, not once have they made a Mandatory Order for the owner and dog to attend training.
Things that make you go hmmmm....
spray and neuter
Comment by marymurphy on 20th May 2013
Cruiff, unable to contact you there is no contact info. pls do call would love to discuss this with you. there is funding available to help with this type of bylaw, and research has been completed by the human society. If you have a love for animals and see the problems associated with over breading, in all communities, you would want to try and come up with a viable solution, and need to start somewhere. i am willing to sit and discuss this with you, you may have a better idea. Including council spending.
spayed and neutered
Comment by J.Cruijff on 19th May 2013
I completely agree that council should be either spayed or neutered and put a chip in them so that we know where they are and prevent them from doing anymore damage to the electorate pocket books. Especially that Feldhoff character who has a love affair with other people's money and cannot wait to spend it.