Mandatory Neuter- Spay Law Proposed in Deltona Florida: Saving Animal Lives and City FundsPublished June 14, 2012
Outdoor Cat: Getty Images
A spay - neuter law may be on the way for Deltona, Florida. Spay and neuter laws like this could go a long way for animal welfare.
It seems that with all the negative publicity concerning the plight of the colony of feral cats ousted this past April by the Loews Hotel Chain in Orlando, Florida may have sparked a growing interest by City Commissioner Heidi Herzberg, a passionate animal welfare advocate with some excellent ideas which will both save the lives of feral cats and dogs, control animal population and help Volusia County, Florida residents to be able to afford neutering and spaying their pets.
According to an article in our local newspaper, the Hometown News, the city of Deltona, Florida is looking at the spay/neuter law. Presently the city pays Halifax Humane Society approximately $160,000 a year for the local animal control officers to capture, transport and impound. The breakdown of the numbers of captured animals in 2011 was 505 dogs, 1,266 cats and 128 of other animals. At least fifty percent of these captured animals are euthanized by the Halifax Humane Society.
Herzberg thinks that the money they are presently spending could be better spent by finding a much more humane system to handle feral animals in Volusia County. During a workshop held several weeks ago held in Deltona, Herzberg presented her proposal to put in place a mandatory spay and neuter program in the city, to begin trapping, neutering and spaying feral cats,(TNR) and then returning them to locations around the town. Additionally she proposed discounted neuter and spay services as well.
In talking about the numbers of wild animals roaming the area, Herzberg said, “The numbers have not gone down. If you’re looking at $160,000 every year for five years, what we are doing is not working.”
Herzberg, who had been doing a considerable amount of research prior to the workshop on this issue, went on to describe how other cities in the area have been adopting measures similar to those she was proposing. For example, in the bordering town of Orange City that recently instituted a TNR program resulted in approximately 600 fewer cats being impounded at a savings $16,000. During the first year that their mandatory spay and neuter program had been initiated, the neighboring town of DeLand was able to save $34,000.
Since the average cost to neuter a pet in the area is about $40, the cost to transport, impound and then euthanize an animal is roughly double that. Herzberg said that her proposed program of mandatory spay and neutering pets would not only require any animal that is impounded during the year to be sterilized, but would also mandate residents to have their pets “fixed”. If the proposal is accepted, it would also allow the city to take advantage of grant funding which would offer residents discounted prices for spaying and neutering services.
The proactive TNR program Herzberg proposed is aimed at sterilizing feral cat colonies. From her own personal experience in seeing programs of this kind work, she reported that they have been extremely successful.
The Pet Vet Cruiser, a local veterinary service already offers discounted prices for sterilizing pets. The organization is thinking about purchasing another vehicle to expand its services. Although Pet Vet Cruiser has the capability of “fixing” 10,000 animals a year, its services cannot be tapped by the town until Deltona institutes a mandatory neuter/spay program.
Let’s hope that Herzberg’s dream to save animals will come true. This writer thinks this both a humane and sensible solution that will save the lives of many animals, and preserve the local colonies of feral cats. What do you think? Share with a comment.