These statutes require animal shelters, animal control agencies, and humane societies to sterilize dogs and cats acquired from other animal shelters, animal control agencies, and humane societies. For purposes of this statute, the term "sterilization" refers to the surgical removal of the reproductive organs of a dog or cat in order to render the animal unable to reproduce. Adoptive animals must be sterilized by a licensed veterinarian before the animal is released to the new owner, or the new owner must enter into a written agreement with the facility certifying that sterilization will be performed by a licensed veterinarian within 30 days after acquisition of the animal or within 30 days of the sexual maturity of the animal.
§ 3-9-1. Definitions.
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
(1) ANIMAL SHELTER. Any facility operated by or under contract for the state or any county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the state for the purpose of impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted dogs, cats, and other animals; any veterinary hospital or clinic operated by a veterinarian or veterinarians which operates for such purpose in addition to its customary purposes; and any facility operated, owned, or maintained by a duly incorporated humane society, animal welfare organization, or other nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals.
(2) ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATION. Any unincorporated nonprofit organization or business entity existing for fostering and adopting dogs and cats by the public.
(3) SEXUALLY MATURE ANIMAL. Any dog or cat that has reached the age of 180 days.
(4) STERILIZATION. The surgical removal of the reproductive organs of a dog or cat in order to render the animal unable to reproduce.
(Act 2006-627, p. 1712, § 1.)
§ 3-9-2. Requirements for sterilization.
(a) Any public or private animal shelter, animal control agency operated by a political subdivision of this state, or humane society shall make provisions for the sterilization of all dogs or cats acquired from a shelter, agency, or humane society by providing for all of the following:
(1) Sterilization by a licensed veterinarian before relinquishing custody of the animal.
(2) Entering into a written agreement with the person acquiring the animal guaranteeing that sterilization will be performed by a licensed veterinarian within 30 days after acquisition of the animal, or within 30 days of the sexual maturity of an animal.
(b) The requirements of this chapter shall not apply to any privately owned animal in possession of a shelter, agency, or humane society if the owner of the animal claims or presents evidence that the animal is the property of that person.
(c) All costs of sterilization pursuant to this chapter shall be the responsibility of the person acquiring the animal, and if sterilization is performed prior to acquisition, may be included in any fees charged by the shelter, agency, or humane society for an animal.
(d) Any person acquiring an animal from a public or private animal shelter, animal control agency operated by a political subdivision of this state, or humane society from which an animal is not sterile at the time of acquisition, shall submit to the animal shelter, animal control agency, humane society, or public or private animal shelter a signed statement from the licensed veterinarian attesting that a sterilization procedure has been performed by the veterinarian within seven days after the sterilization.
(Act 2006-627, p. 1712, § 2.)
§ 3-9-3. Violations.
It shall be a misdemeanor to fail or refuse to comply with this chapter. Any person failing or refusing to comply shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of a minimum of fifty dollars ($50) and not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200).
(Act 2006-627, p. 1712, § 3.)
§ 3-9-4. Relation to other shelter policies.
This chapter shall not prohibit the adoption by any political subdivision of this state of shelter policies which are more stringent than the requirements of this chapter.
(Act 2006-627, p. 1712, § 4.)