By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Source: City of Needles (Information and Agenda Packet):
Needles, California: Members of the Needles City Council has majority approved an ordinance regarding animal control, and un-spayed and un-neutered cats during their regular meeting held on Tuesday, January 11th, 2022 inside the Needles City Council Chambers.
The vote was 4 in favor and 1 against on the ordinance.
During public comments regarding the ordinance, former Needles City Council Member and owner of Route 66 Broadband publicly announced that he will be donating $1,000 to the Needles Animal Shelter to help anybody who can’t afford to spayed and neutered their cats.
According to documents from the City of Needles, un-spayed and un-neutered cats propagate far beyond the capacity of local shelters including in the City of Needles. Shelters are often forced to euthanize young and healthy animals to make room for more animals. The financial cost to taxpayers and the emotional toll suffered by shelter employees and the communities who take care of these animals are extremely high.
City Staff has worked with the City Attorney to develop an Ordinance that proposes an amendment to the Animal Control Ordinance requiring spaying and neutering of cats over four (4) months of age and has included exemptions such as (1) a high likelihood the animal will suffer serious bodily harm or death if spayed or neutered due to age or infirmity, and (2) the animal is registered with a recognized national registry.
Owners with unaltered cats may only be cited if they are in violation of another state or local law that concerns possession of a cat. Examples of such state law or local violations include, but are not limited to, the following; cat at large; cattery permit violations; unhealthy or unsanitary conditions; failure to provide adequate care for the subject cat in violation of the Penal Code; rabies quarantine violations for the subject cat; operating a business without a license and/or lack of State Tax ID Number; cats left unattended in motor vehicles; potentially dangerous, dangerous or vicious animals; and noisy animals.
Penalties issued for failure to spay or neuter a cat shall be enforced as set forth below:
- (1) A fine not to exceed $300 for a first violation.
- (2) A fine not to exceed $400 for a second violation within one year.
- (3) A fine not to exceed $500 for each additional violation within the same year.
As for the fiscal impact, the City of Needles said in the documents staff time for of sheltering and adopting animals and cost of drugs to euthanize animals.
The recommended action to members of the Needles City Council is to approve Ordinance No. 645-AC Amending Chapter 4, Animal Control of the Needles Municipal Co elated to Un-Spayed and Un-Neutered Cats.
*** Agenda Packet for Agenda Item #3 (Unless otherwise noted, all downloadable agenda packets that are posted here are in a PDF file format so please make sure to have a PDF file reader or viewer): ***
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