Articles

A Survey of State Spay and Neuter Laws

  • Cynthia Hodges, J.D., LL.M., M.A.
  • Animal Legal & Historical Center
  • Publish Date: 2010
  • Place of Publication: Michigan State University College of Law

 I. Introduction

The uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats has resulted in the over-population of unwanted animals, according to some state legislatures. 1 Because there are not enough homes for all of these animals, 2 many are left to suffer and die on the streets from starvation, disease, and from being hit by automobiles. 3 This is a situation considered by some state legislatures to constitute a public nuisance and a health hazard. 4 Many of the homeless animals are impounded and destroyed at great public expense. 5 As the homeless animal population grows, so will the burden on animal facilities, along with the associated costs. 6

Legislatures have found that fewer homeless dogs and cats would benefit the public health and safety in several ways. 7 It is projected that fewer stray animals would reduce the number of bite cases, 8 which would lead to a decrease in rabies. 9 Fewer animals roaming the streets would likely reduce the number of automobile collisions involving animals. 10 Nuisance complaints regarding homeless animals would decrease, 11 and there would likely be less animal abuse because there would be fewer unwanted animals around. 12 Finally, reducing the number of strays would save taxpayers money because the burden on county and municipal animal control agencies would decrease. 13     

Legislatures have adopted a public policy of reducing the number of unwanted animals using humane methods. 14 To further that policy, a majority of states have enacted mandatory sterilization programs for dogs and cats. 15 Public programs have been established to educate the public about the benefits of having animals sterilized, 16 and financial incentives, such as lower license fees for sterilized dogs, have been implemented. 17 Some states provide financial assistance to local governments that offer low-income people reduced-cost spay/neuter services. 18 The fines that are collected for violations of these statutes may go towards funding sterilization programs in some states. 19     



II. State Sterilization Laws

Pursuant to the sterilization statutes, animal shelters, animal control agencies and humane societies (collectively termed “releasing agencies” 20) must provide for the sterilization of all dogs or cats they transfer or adopt out. 21 Generally, releasing agencies are required to have a sexually mature dog or cat 22 (usually six months of age or older 23) sterilized by a licensed veterinarian prior to releasing it to a new owner. 24 Veterinarians may sterilize animals by surgically removing or altering the reproductive organs, 25 by injecting an approved serum that permanently renders the animal unable to reproduce, or by causing an animal to ingest such a serum. 26    

Animals may be released prior to sterilization in certain instances and in certain states. In Maine, the animal may be released if an appointment has been scheduled with a veterinarian to spay or neuter the animal. 27 In New Mexico, an unsterilized animal may be adopted out if the person obtains a breeder permit. 28 A sterilization agreement may also be executed (discussion below). If the animal is not sterilized prior to adoption, states often require that the adopting party later provide written proof of sterilization from the veterinarian who performed the operation. 29  


    
III. Sterilization Agreements

In most cases, a person who would like to adopt an unsterilized cat or dog must sign a sterilization agreement. 30 The adopting person must agree in writing to have the animal sterilized by a licensed veterinarian. 31 Typically, the sterilization must occur within 30 days of the date of adoption of sexually mature animals, 32  but Colorado allows 90 days to comply. 33 If the animal is not sexually mature, then the sterilization must usually occur within 30 days of its reaching maturity. 34     

The sterilization agreement must contain certain information, depending on the statute. 35 The information that is typically required is the following:

  • the date of the agreement or adoption; 36
  • the date by which the dog or cat must be sterilized; 37
  • the dog or cat's age, sex, and general description; 38
  • the dollar amount of the deposit remitted; 39
  • the name, address, phone number, and signature of the adopting party; 40
  • the name, address, phone number, and signature of the releasing agency; 41 and
  • a statement, printed in conspicuous bold print, that sterilization of the animal is required. 42

In Texas, the agreement must state that a violation is a Class C misdemeanor. 43     

IV. Costs of Sterilization Procedures

Although New York requires the shelter or agency to bear the cost of sterilization, 44 it is more usual for the person acquiring the animal to pay for the procedure. 45 A deposit is charged by the releasing agency to ensure that the person adopting an unsterilized animal will have it sterilized. 46 If the adoption fee includes the cost of spaying or neutering, then it may be that no deposit is required. 47 If it does not, then a sterilization deposit is usually required. The amount of the deposit may vary, but it must generally be enough to encourage the sterilization of the animal. 48 In Maine, the deposit equals the cost of having the surgery done by the animal shelter. 49 In Arizona and Montana, the deposit must be comparable to the lowest fee charged by veterinarians in the county. 50 In Kansas, it must not be less than the lowest nor more than the highest cost of sterilization in the community. 51 Florida bases the deposit on recommended guidelines established by the Florida Federation of Humane Societies. 52 In other states, the deposit range from $10 in Oklahoma, 53 to $25 in New Mexico, 54 to $35 in New York. 55  In California, the deposit increases to $40 to $75 for dogs that are too sick or injured to be spayed or neutered at the time. 56     

The deposit will normally be refunded when the releasing agency receives proof of sterilization. 57 This usually entails the presentation of a written statement signed by a licensed veterinarian that the adopted animal has been sterilized. 58 In California, the presentation of proof must occur within 30 business days of obtaining that proof. 59 If the animal is not spayed or neutered, the deposit will not be refunded. 60     

If a person does not reclaim the deposit within a certain period of time, then the pound or shelter may keep it. 61 Legislators may specify the use to which unrefunded deposits may be put, such as sterilizing dogs and cats, 62 funding spay/neuter programs, 63 covering the cost of confirming that adopted animals are sterilized, 64 and public education programs to prevent overpopulation of dogs and cats. 65     

V. Exceptions to Mandatory Sterilization Laws

There are some exceptions to the mandatory sterilization requirements. People who breed their own animals are exempted from the sterilization requirements in Michigan. 66 If an adopting party wishes to adopt a dog or cat for breeding purposes, he or she may have to sign a written agreement obligating him or her to care for the animal and all of its offspring in Louisiana. 67 Certain dogs that are used for hunting and livestock production are exempted in Missouri. 68
  
A fair number of states do not apply the sterilization requirements to dogs and cats that are claimed by their owners, 69 unless a local governmental ordinance requires otherwise. 70 Some states require that the owner claim the animal within a certain period, 71 such as within five 72 or seven days of being taken into custody by the agency. 73 Arizona requires that the animal shelter hold the impounded animal for a minimum of 72 hours and make reasonable efforts to locate its owner by inspecting it for microchips, tattoos or other identifying information before sterilizing it. 74 Other jurisdictions only allow a releasing agency to release an unsterilized animal to its owner if the owner pays a fee, 75 such as Arizona’s $50 recovery fee. 76 New Mexico requires the owner to pay a $25 sterilization deposit and either sign a sterilization agreement or obtain a breeder permit. 77 
  
 
Animals that are medically unfit are often exempted from the sterilization requirement. Dogs and cats that have a serious medical or health problem, 78 are sexually immature, 79 or are of advanced age, are not required to be sterilized if it would make the procedure unsafe or endanger the life of the animal. 80 If a licensed veterinarian states in writing that sterilization would jeopardize the animal's health. and that the animal may die as a result of the procedure, 81 then the sterilization procedure may be delayed until a veterinarian (or sometimes two 82) determines that the animal is fit to undergo the procedure. 83 At that time, the owner must have the animal sterilized. 84 The extension is usually for 30 days, 85 with no limit on the number of extensions that may be granted. 86 In Arkansas, the sterilization deadline may be extended up to 30 days solely upon the request of the owner. 87 If the timeframe for sterilization is extended, the animal may be released to the new owner after he or she pays a deposit 88 that is enough to ensure that the animal will be sterilized. 89 Deposits range from $10 (Massachusetts) 90 to $150 (Maine). 91     

There are a few other exceptions to the sterilization requirement. Dogs and cats that are sold or released to the United States armed forces, police or other law enforcement agencies, licensed veterinary facilities, licensed medical facilities, 92 or to institutions of higher education for use in biomedical research, testing, or teaching 93 do not have to be sterilized. Small counties may be exempted from having to comply with the sterilization requirements if their population is less that 20,000 (Texas), 94 100,000 (California), 95 or 300,000 (Arkansas). 96 Finally, Arizona allows unsterilized animals to be released for adoption if there is no veterinary facility capable of performing surgical sterilization within a twenty mile radius of the releasing agency. 97
    

VI. Penalties for Noncompliance

Absent an exception, if an individual fails to comply with the sterilization requirements, that person may be committing a tort or a misdemeanor. In Oklahoma, failing to have an animal sterilized is considered to be either a public or a private nuisance. 98 If it is a public nuisance, then any public body or officer authorized by law may abate it. 99 If it is a private nuisance, then any person may maintain a civil action to enjoin it. 100 South Carolina requires that the person who acquired the animal pay the shelter or agency $200 in liquidated damages. 101 More commonly, states consider the failure to have a dog or cat sterilized to be a misdemeanor. 102 A fine is the usual penalty, but Louisiana may impose a sentence of up to 30 days imprisonment. 103 The fines vary widely, and may include the cost of prosecution, 104 enforcement and court costs. 105 The fines imposed may range from $25 106 to $500. 107 Some states increase the fine for each subsequent violation. For example, in Rhode Island, the fine is $50 for the first offense, $150 for the second, 108 and $400 for subsequent offenses. 109 Utah and Delaware have a minimum fine of $250 for the first violation, 110 and a minimum fine of $500 for each subsequent violation. 111 New Jersey has a maximum penalty of $250 for the first offense, 112 and a maximum fine of $500 for each subsequent offense. 113 In addition to or instead of a fine, the new owner may also forfeit ownership of the animal, 114 the sterilization deposit, 115 and any claim to expenses incurred in caring for the animal. 116 The adopting party may also have to pay legal fees and court costs. 117
    
Agencies and organizations may also be fined for failing to comply with mandatory spay/neuter programs. Maine imposes a fine of $50 to $200 per animal. 118 Delaware imposes a mandatory minimum fine of $500 per violation. 119 Rhode Island increases the fine for each subsequent offense: $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 for the third and subsequent offenses. 120 Upon conviction of three or more offenses, the releasing agency’s license to operate may be temporarily or permanently revoked. 121    

VII. Conclusion

Whether through criminal sanctions or financial incentives, a majority of states have implemented mandatory spay and neuter laws to address the issue of the overpopulation of homeless animals. The goal is to decrease the number of unwanted animals that suffer and die on the streets, decrease the risk to public health and safety, and reduce the cost to local governments for impounding and destroying animals. Exceptions to the mandatory sterilization laws are often made for owners who are reclaiming their animals and for animals that are medically unfit. Violations are punishable both civilly and criminally, with fines being the most common deterrent to non-compliance with the sterilization requirement.


Footnotes

1 NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(1) (“The legislature finds that the uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats in the state results in an overabundance of puppies and kittens. More puppies and kittens are produced than responsible homes for them can be provided”); NC ST § § 19A-60 (“The General Assembly finds that the uncontrolled breeding of cats and dogs in the State has led to unacceptable numbers of unwanted dogs, puppies and cats and kittens”); West's F. S. A. 823.15(1) (“The Legislature has determined that uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats in the state results in the production of many more puppies and kittens than are needed to replace pet animals which have died or become lost or to provide pet animals for new owners”).

Some state legislatures specify the unwanted breeding dogs and cats acquired from public or private animal shelters, animal control agencies operated by political subdivisions of the state, humane societies, or public or private animal refuges. Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-1 (“The General Assembly finds that the breeding of dogs and cats acquired from public or private animal shelters, animal control agencies operated by political subdivisions of this state, humane societies, or public or private animal refuges in the State of Georgia results in the birth of thousands of animals who become strays...”). Others target the animals acquired from such facilities for sterilization. West's F. S. A. 823.15(2) (“ ... [P]rovision shall be made for the sterilization of all dogs and cats sold or released for adoption from any public or private animal shelter or animal control agency operated by a humane society or by a county, city, or other incorporated political subdivision...”).

NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(1). A Delaware study found that only 25-33% of the animals received at its primary animal facilities were adopted. 3 Del.C. § 8215(1)(b), (2)(b), (3)(b), (4)(b).

West's F. S. A. 823.15(1) (“This [uncontrolled breeding] leads to many dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens being unwanted, becoming strays and suffering privation and death, being impounded and destroyed at great expense to the community, and constituting a public nuisance and public health hazard.” ); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-1 (“The General Assembly finds that the breeding of dogs and cats acquired from public or private animal shelters, animal control agencies operated by political subdivisions of this state, humane societies, or public or private animal refuges in the State of Georgia results in the birth of thousands of animals who become strays, suffer privation and death, constitute a public nuisance and health hazard, and, ultimately, are impounded and destroyed at great public expense”). See also NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(1); N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-60VT ST T. 20 § 3814(3).

NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(1) (“The legislature finds that the uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats in the state results in an overabundance of puppies and kittens... This leads to many of such animals becoming stray ... and constituting a public nuisance and health hazard”); N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-60 (“These unwanted animals become strays and constitute a public nuisance and a public health hazard”). See also West's F. S. A. 823.15(1); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-1.

Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-1 (“The General Assembly finds that the breeding of dogs and cats acquired from public or private animal shelters, animal control agencies operated by political subdivisions of this state, humane societies, or public or private animal refuges in the State of Georgia results in the birth of thousands of animals who ... are impounded and destroyed at great public expense” ); NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(1) (“This leads to many of such animals ... being impounded and destroyed at great expense to the community...”); N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-60 (“The animals themselves ... are impounded, and most are destroyed at great expense to local governments”); VT ST T. 20 § 3814(3) (“The general assembly finds: [m]any of these animals are ultimately euthanized ...”).

56-65% of the animals received at Delaware’s primary animal facilities were euthanized. 3 Del.C. § 8215(1)(c), (2)(c), (3)(c), (4)(c).

3 Del.C. § 8215(5).

3 Del.C. § 8215(6)(b); NJ ST 4:19A-1510 ILCS 92/5(1), 92/20.

8 510 ILCS 92/5(1); 3 Del.C. § 8215(6)(c).

3 Del.C. § 8215(6)(d).

10 510 ILCS 92/5(1); 3 Del.C. § 8215(6)(e).

11 3 Del.C. § 8215(6)(a).

12 3 Del.C. § 8215(6)(f).

13 Targeted low-cost spay or neuter programs for dogs and cats have proven to save taxpayers money. 510 ILCS 92/5(3) (“Controlling the dog and cat population will save taxpayer dollars by reducing the number of dogs and cats handled by county and municipal animal control agencies. Targeted low-cost spay or neuter programs for dogs and cats in select Illinois counties and other states have proven to save taxpayers money”).

14 NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(1); West's F. S. A. 823.15(1).

15 N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-61; NJ ST 4:19A-1; 510 ILCS 92/20. “Sterilization” is the spaying or neutering of a dog or cat. PA ST 3 P.S § 459-901-A; OK ST T. 4 § 499.1(5). Sterilization often entails the surgical removal of the reproductive organs. Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-1(4); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-2(5); MO ST 273.400(4); TX HEALTH & S § 828.001(3); UT ST § 10-17-101(7). The sterilization programs are targeted especially at those animals acquired from shelters and animal control agencies. Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-1.

16 N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-61(1).

17 In New Hampshire, the yearly license fee increases from $4.50 for sterilized dogs to $7 for unsterilized dogs 7 months old or older. NH ST § 466:4(I)(a)(1), (2).

18 For example, North Carolina reimburses counties and cities for the direct costs of spay/neuter surgeries for cats and dogs made available to low-income people. N.C.G.S.A. § 19A-60, 61(2). See also 3 Del.C. § 8216VT ST T. 20 § 3814(4); NJ ST 4:19A-1.

19 3 Del.C. § 8221(e); Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-18(c); UT ST § 10-17-106(4).

20 OK ST T. 4 § 499.1(3); TX HEALTH & S § 828.001(2).

21 Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-2(a); MO ST 273.403.1; U.C.A. 1953 § 10-17-103(1).

22 WV ST § 19-20B-2(a)(3)(B); 3 Del.C. § 8220(a)(1). A sexually immature (under six months old) dog or cat may be sterilized at the discretion of a licensed veterinarian with the consent of the new owner. WV ST § 19-20B-2(c); T. C. A  § 44-17-502(b). Applies to dogs, cat, and ferrets.  M.C.L. 287.338a(1).

23 U.C.A. 1953 § 10-17-103(2)(a)(i); WV ST § 19-20B-2(a)(3)(B); MA § 139A; Applies to dogs, cat, and ferrets. M.C.L. 287.338a(1). See also NMSA 1978 § 77-1-20(C).

24 CA FOOD & AG § 30503(a)(1)(G); MA § 139A; Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(a); T. C. A  § 44-17-502(a)(1), (2); OK ST T. 4 § 499.2; ND ST 40-05-19; MT ST 7-23-4202(1)(a); IA ST § 162.20(1)(a), (3)(b), (c); WV ST § 19-20B-2(a)(1), (2); KS ST § 47-1731(a)(1); LA R.S. § 2472(A)(1); SC ST § 47-3-480(A)(1); CO ST § 35-80-106.4(1)(a); West's F. S. A. 823.15(2)(a); Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-2(a)(1); PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-902-A; MO ST 273.403.1(1); MA § 139A.

25 IA ST § 162.20(1); Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-1(4); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-2(5); MO ST 273.400(4); TX HEALTH & S § 828.001(3); UT ST § 10-17-101(7).

26 IA ST § 162.20(1); MO ST 273.400(4). Alternate methods may need to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration or the United States Department of Agriculture. TX HEALTH & S § 828.001(3), 828.0045.

27 In Maine, the animal may be released if an appointment has been made with a licensed veterinarian to sterilize the animal within 30 days of accepting ownership. ME ST T.7 § 3939-A(1).

28 NMSA 1978 § 77-1-20(F).

29 West's Ann.Cal.Food & Agric.Code § 30503(b)(5); MO ST 273.405.2; MT ST 7-23-4202(2); IA ST § 162.20(3)(c). Louisiana requires the certificate to be from a Louisiana licensed veterinarian. LA R.S. § 2474. Pennsylvania provides an example of a Written Statement of Licensed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-904-A. In Utah, the “proof of sterilization” must specify the animal that has been sterilized, the date on which the sterilization was performed, and the location where the sterilization was performed. UT ST § 10-17-101(4)(a)-(c). Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama require that this proof be provided within seven days of sterilization. GA ST § 4-14-3(c); SC ST § 47-3-480(D); Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-2(d). The timeframe may be longer. For example, proof that a dog was sterilized must be provided within 14 business days of that certification in California. CA FOOD & AG § 30503(b)(4).

30 NMSA 1978 § 77-1-20(A); TX HEALTH & S § 828.002; ME ST T.7 § 3939-A(1); OK ST T. 4 § 499.2, § 499.4; ND ST 40-05-19; I. C. A. § 162.20(1)(b); WV ST § 19-20B-2(a)(3)(B); PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-902-A, § 459-904-A; T. C. A. § 44-17-502(a)(3); MT ST 7-23-4202(1)(b); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-3(a)(2); Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-2(a)(2); IA ST § 162.20(1)(b); T. C. A  § 44-17-502(a)(3)(A); SC ST § 47-3-480(A)(2); MO ST 273.403.1(2); CO ST § 35-80-106.4(b)(1); Louisiana-licensed vet only. LA R.S. § 2472(A)(2); The adopting person must agree to have an alteration performed on the dog, cat, or ferret in Michigan. M.C.L. 287.338a(1).

31 U.C.A. 1953 § 10-17-103(2)(a); I. C. A. § 162.20(1)(b); WV ST § 19-20B-2(a)(3)(B); OK ST T. 4 § 499.4.; PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-902-A, § 459-904-A; T. C. A. § 44-17-502(a)(3); MT ST 7-23-4202(1)(b); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-3(a)(2); Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-2(a)(2); IA ST § 162.20(1)(a); T. C. A  § 44-17-502(a)(3)(A); SC ST § 47-3-480(A)(2); MO ST 273.403.1(2); CO ST § 35-80-106.4(b)(1); TX HEALTH & S § 828.001(4). In Louisiana, the vet must be licensed in Louisiana. LA R.S. § 2472(A)(2).

32 NMSA 1978 § 77-1-20(D), (F); West's F. S. A. 823.15(2)(b); LA R.S. § 2472(A)(2)(d)(i); V. A. M. S. 273.403. 1(2)(e)(a), (b); TX HEALTH & S § 828.003(b)(1); WV ST § 19-20B-2(a)(3)(A); NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(2)(b), (c); U.C.A. 1953 § 10-17-103(2)(a)(i); T. C. A. § 44-17-502(a)(3)(A); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-3(a)(2); Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-2(a)(2); T. C. A  § 44-17-502(a)(3)(A); SC ST § 47-3-480(A)(2); Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(a).

33 CO ST § 35-80-106.4(b)(1).

34 NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(2)(b), (c); LA R.S. § 2472(A)(2)(d)(ii); V. A. M. S. 273.403. 1(2), (2)(e)(b); WV ST § 19-20B-2(a)(3)(B); U.C.A. 1953 § 10-17-103(2)(a)(ii); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-3(a)(2); Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-2(a)(2); T. C. A  § 44-17-502(a)(3)(B); SC ST § 47-3-480(A)(2); Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(a). Texas distinguishes between females and males, stating “the 30th day after a specified date estimated to be the date an adopted infant female animal becomes six months old or an adopted infant male animal becomes eight months old”  TX HEALTH & S § 828.003(b)(2).

35 Oklahoma and Pennsylvania mandate that the sterilization agreement must be in substantially the same form as provided in the statute. OK ST T. 4 § 499.4, PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-904-A.

36 LA R.S. § 2472(A)(2)(a); V. A. M. S. 273.403. 1(2)(a); TX HEALTH & S § 828.003(a)(1); OK ST T. 4 § 499.4; PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-904-A; MO ST 273.403. 1(2)(a); Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-16(2).

37 TX HEALTH & S § 828.003(a)(4); PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-904-A; Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(2); MO ST 273.403.1(2); LA R.S. § 2472(B).

38 LA R.S. § 2472(A)(2)(c); V. A. M. S. 273.403. 1(2)(c); TX HEALTH & S § 828.003(a)(3); OK ST T. 4 § 499.4; PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-904-A; Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(2); MO ST 273.403.1(2)(c).

39 Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-16(2); PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-904-A. See also U.C.A. 1953 § 10-17-103(2)(b), MT ST 7-23-4202(1)(b).

40 MO ST 273.403.1(2)(b); IA ST § 162.20(3)(a); Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(2); LA R.S. § 2472(A)(2)(b); TX HEALTH & S § 828.003(a)(2); I. C. A. § 162.20(3)(a); V. A. M. S. 273.403. 1(2); PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-904-A; OK ST T. 4 § 499.4.

41 MO ST 273.403.1(2)(b); LA R.S. § 2472(A)(2)(b); I. C. A. § 162.20(3)(a); Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-16(2); TX HEALTH & S § 828.003(a)(2); PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-904-A. The signature of the representative of the pound or animal shelter may also be acceptable. IA ST § 162.20(3)(a); OK ST T. 4 § 499.4.

42 LA R.S. § 2472(A)(2)(e); TX HEALTH & S § 828.003(a)(5); MO ST 273.403.1(2)(d).

43 TX HEALTH & S § 828.003(a)(5).

44 NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(2)(c) (“The written agreement shall require that the animal shelter, pound, dog control officer, humane society, dog or cat protective association or society for the prevention of cruelty to animals from which the dog or cat is adopted bear the cost of the spay or neuter procedure”).

45 Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-2(c); NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(2)(c); Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(a); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-3(b); IA ST § 162.20(2); 3 Del.C. § 8221(c)(3). For example, the owner pays a fifty dollar recovery fee. AZ ST § 11-1022(F)(5). See also MT ST 7-23-4202(2) (“Upon receipt of the completed certificate verifying that the animal has been spayed or neutered, the humane society or publicly operated animal shelter or pound shall forward the deposit to the veterinarian who performed the procedure”).

46 UT ST § 10-17-101(6); PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-902-A; OK ST T. 4 § 499.2; ND ST 40-05-19. See also U.C.A. 1953 § 10-17-103(2)(b), NMSA 1978 § 77-1-20(A); CO ST § 35-80-106.4(b)(1).

47 AZ ST § 11-1022(C).

48 CA FOOD & AG § 30503(b)(2).

49 ME ST T.7 § 3939-A(1).

50 AZ ST § 11-1022(C); MT ST 7-23-4202(1)(b).

51 KS ST § 47-1731(a)(2).

52 West's F. S. A. 823.15(2)(b).

53 OK ST T. 4 § 499.2.

54 NMSA 1978 § 77-1-20(B).

55 NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(2)(b); Pennsylvania sets a different fee for dogs and cats: $30 for a dog and $20 for a cat. PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-902-A.

56 CA FOOD & AG § 30503(b)(1).

57 ME ST T.7 § 3939-A(1). Sterilization must occur within 5 months of the date of adoption in Delaware. 3 Del.C. § 8220.

58 AZ ST § 11-1022(C); CO ST § 35-80-106.4(b)(II); West's F. S. A. 823.15 (2)(b); KS ST § 47-1731(a)(2); NMSA 1978 § 77-1-20(E), (F); MA § 139A; CA FOOD & AG § 30503(b)(3).

59 West's Ann.Cal.Food & Agric.Code § 30503(b)(6).

60 Sterilization must occur within sixty days. MA ST 140 § 139A.

61 Owners have six months to reclaim the deposit in Kansas. KS ST § 47-1731(a)(2).

62 AZ ST § 11-1022(D)(1).

63 West's Ann.Cal.Food & Agric.Code § 30503(d).

64 AZ ST § 11-1022(D)(3).

65 AZ ST § 11-1022(D)(2).

66 MI ST 287.339(1).

67 LA R.S. § 2475(D).

68 MO ST 273.405(5).

69 LA R.S. § 2475(A); Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(b)(1); TX HEALTH & S § 828.013(1); CO ST § 35-80-106.4(3)(a); MO ST 273.405(3); Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-2(b); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-3(2); OK ST T. 4 § 499.9.

70 MI ST 287.339(3).

71 KS ST § 47-1731(d).

72 W. Va. Code, § 19-20B-6.

73 T. C. A  § 44-17-505.

74 AZ ST § 11-1022(A).

75 LA R.S. § 2475(D).

76 AZ ST § 11-1022(F)(5).

77 NMSA 1978 § 77-1-20(F).

78 Ferrets are included in the exemption. M.C.L. 287.338a(4)(1)(b).

79 Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(b)(iii). Sexually immature usually means under the age of 6 months. See 3 Del.C. § 8220(b)(2)(a).

80 NY AGRI & MKTS § 377-a(5); 3 Del.C. § 8220(b)(1); C.G.S.A. § 22-380e(7).

81 PA ST 3 P.S. § 459-906-A; Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(b)(ii); MT ST 7-23-4202(6); SC ST § 47-3-480(A)(2). A telephone report is also acceptable in Louisiana. LA R.S. § 2472(B).

82 AR ST 20-19-103(2)(A).

83 CO ST § 35-80-106.4(2); Gen. Laws, 1956, §4-19-16(b)(iii); AZ ST § 11-1022(A)(3), (F)(4); TX HEALTH & S § 828.004(c); LA R.S. § 2472(B); MO ST 273.403.1(2); West's F. S. A. 823.15(2)(b); IA ST § 162.20(3)(b).

84 CO ST § 35-80-106.4(2); AR ST 20-19-103(a).

85 TX HEALTH & S § 828.004(c); LA R.S. § 2472(B); MO ST 273.403.1(2).

86 TX HEALTH & S § 828.004(c); LA R.S. § 2472(B); MO ST 273.403.1(2).

87 AR ST 20-19-103(b)(1).

88 ME ST T.7 § 3939-A(2).

89 AZ ST § 11-1022(B).

90 MA § 139A.

91 ME ST T.7 § 3939-A(2). The deposit is at least $40 in California. CA FOOD & AG § 30503(b)(1). Delaware has a deposit of $75. 3 Del.C. § 8220 (b)(2)(a).

92 LA R.S. § 2475(C).

93 TX HEALTH & S § 828.013(3).

94 TX HEALTH & S § 828.013(4)(A).

95 West's Ann.Cal.Food & Agric.Code § 30503(e).

96 AR ST 20-19-103(c)(1); Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-3(a)(1).

97 AZ ST § 11-1022(A)(2), (F)(3).

98 OK ST T. 4 § 499.10.

99 OK ST T. 4 § 499.10.

100 OK ST T. 4 § 499.10.

101 SC ST § 47-3-490.

102 WV ST § 19-20B-5; Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-3Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-4; AR ST 20-19-103(d); LA R.S. § 2777. A new owner that violates this chapter commits a Class C misdemeanor. TX HEALTH & S § 828.010(a),(b).

103 LA R.S. § 2777.

104 LA R.S. § 2777.

105 3 Del.C. § 8221(c)(4).

106 LA R.S. § 2777.

107 AR ST 20-19-103(d). $50 -  $200. Ala. Code 1975 § 3-9-3; ME ST T.7 § 3939-B(1); fine not to exceed $200.00. Ga. Code Ann., § 4-14-4; $100 - $500. AR ST 20-19-103(d); $150 to $250. WV ST § 19-20B-5.

108 Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-18(a).

109 Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-18(a).

110 UT ST § 10-17-106(1)(a); 3 Del.C. § 8221(c)(4).

111 UT ST § 10-17-106(1)(a).

112 NJ ST 4:19A-7(d).

113 NJ ST 4:19A-7(d).

114 SC ST § 47-3-490; 3 Del.C. § 8221(c)(5); UT ST § 10-17-105(1), (2); Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-18(a); IA ST § 162.20(3)(d); CO ST § 35-80-106.4(b)(III)(B); AR ST 20-19-103(b)(2)(B).

115 ME ST T.7 § 3939-B(1); UT ST § 10-17-105(3); 3 Del.C. § 8221(c)(3); West's F. S. A. 823.15(2)(b); Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-18(a). In Colorado, the animal shelter must forward the amount of the forfeited deposit to the pet overpopulation fund or a local dedicated spay and neuter fund. CO ST § 35-80-106.4(b)(III)(A).

116 UT ST § 10-17-105(2); Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-18(a).

117 West's F. S. A. 823.15(2)(b). Any person who contests a civil penalty imposed against him is entitled to an administrative hearing that provides for the person's rights of due process. UT ST § 10-17-106(3).

118 ME ST T.7 § 3939-B(2).

119 3 Del.C. § 8221(d)(1).

120 Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-18(b).

121 Gen. Laws, 1956, § 4-19-18(b).

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