Hawaii Considering Mandatory Sterilization Bill

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Lawmakers in Hawaii are considering a bill that would require all pet stores to spay/neuter cats and dogs before they are sold.

House Bill 243 indicates that an unsterilized female cat can give birth to two litters a year, which, over seven years, could lead to 400,000 cats. Inga Gibson, Director of The Humane Society of the United States, said, “It’s a tremendous issue. We have a large feral cat issue throughout the state. One of the contributing factors is the sale of unsterilized cats.” The Humane Society opposes euthanization and instead supports responsible feral colony management. This means the caretaker of the colony makes sure the cats are sterilized, microchipped, vaccinated, fed, and monitored.

Tish Rothwell, owner of the Pet Depot in Ewa Beach, said she has stepped up and sterilized cats prior to their adoption since 2009, when the owner of a Waianae no-kill shelter died and she took in the animals left behind. The shelters were full and she didn’t want to see the animals euthanized. She made sure they were all sterilized and adopted them out for an amount that covered her medical costs. “We want to be responsible and keep that out-of-control cat population down,” Rothwell said.

Dogs require a longer recovery time after sterilization and there are some concerns about the adoption costs increasing because of the additional care required. Pet store owners may also insist breeders spay/neuter dogs prior to selling them to pet stores. Because customers often want puppies as young as six weeks old, which is too young for sterilization, some fear the bill will increase the sale of unsterilized dogs outside the stores.

If it passes, the bill is to take effect on January 1, 2012.

9 thoughts on “Hawaii Considering Mandatory Sterilization Bill”

  1. They need to stop allowing pet stores to sell dogs and cats. It would cut out the backyard breeders and puppy mills. Of course this would also up their costs, so that might help too.

  2. This should be mandatory all over the world to prevent the birth of unwanted/mistreated pets.. It’s a start and yes heavy penalties and jail time for back yard breeders and puppy mills

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