A viewer called 12News and asked us to look into an animal control ordinance he's been working on for about five years. The ordinance would mandate that pets in the city of Beaumont be spayed and neutered with a couple exceptions.
Beaumont's city manager told me the city is working on a new ordinance, though it's not clear how closely it will resemble the one pitched by the 12News viewer.
Requiring spaying and neutering is something other cities across the country have done, including Henderson, Nevada, which is just outside of Las Vegas. Kathryn Baker, Henderson's animal control administrator, says the city passed its ordinance in 2011.
"We have seen a very good impact," Baker says. "The short story is we are able to save more animals and euthanize fewer animals as a direct result of the ordinance."
In 2011, the city's shelter took in 6,300 animals. This year, it expects to care for 3,800, a 40 percent decrease. However, a big question is enforcement, which Baker says is fairly simple.
"When animals come into our shelter and they are not spayed or neutered, on their way out the door, they will receive a citation from us," she says.
The pet owner can either get the animal spayed or neutered or pay a fine.
12News checked in with Kyle Hayes, Beaumont's city manager, to see if language similar to Henderson's would be included in the ordinance being worked on now.
"We're working on an ordinance for the council to consider, but spaying and neutering all pets is not something the Administration would ever recommend," Hayes said in a statement.
Beaumont Animal Control officers do educate pet owners about altering their animals and require pets adopted out of the shelter to be spayed or neutered in most cases.
As for when the new ordinance will make it to the council for a vote, Hayes says the legal department is reviewing a draft now and will then hand it off to the animal services committee. He expects the council to receive it in 30 days or so.