City Could Make Residents Spay, Neuter Or Pay Up

Anderson Considers Fines To Control Animal Population

"Have your pets spayed or neutered," Bob Barker's popular mantra, better be followed in Anderson, or it might soon cost residents cash.

The population of four-legged animals is exploding in Anderson, and now city officials are engaged in a real dogfight for control of the issue.

The City's Animal Care and Control is behind a proposed ordinance that would penalize pet owners who fail to spay or neuter their puppies or kittens by fining them $100.

The proposal isn't sitting well with some pet owners, who showed up at a council meeting Thursday night to voice their displeasure.

"Here you go again. We think that we can solve social problems by passing laws," said one man.

"I want to be able to walk him inside the city without being fearful that a cop will give me a ticket just because my dog has all his genitals," said another man. "I don't think that's fair."

Animal care and control takes in about 7,500 animals every year, mostly strays. The head of the organization, Maleah Stringer, said the ordinance isn't perfect, but it can work.

"I don't see why we can't write in the ordinance a way to make it so it protects … the good breeders, but that it punishes the back yard breeders," she said. "It takes their animals away from them, that it puts them in jail because they're committing animal abuse."

Many other meeting attendees supported Stringer's stance.

The ordinance would require breeders to purchase a permit. If they don't, they could be fined, too.

The proposal is based on a similar one in Hamilton County that supporters contend works well.