Tuesday, October 10, 2023–11:38 a.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
In a split vote, the Floyd County Commission has approved a new spay-neuter ordinance.
The ordinance requires all dogs to be spayed or neutered and micro-chipped at six months of age. The requirement for cats is four months of age.
There would be several exceptions, such as if the animal is not medically sound or is a working animal, such as police canines or hunting dogs. Licensed breeders would also be exempt.
According to Floyd County Manager Jamie McCord, the goal is to address unintended or uncontrolled breeding of animals.
“We are really struggling with capacity in our shelter,” he said. “We are struggling with picking up dogs that are under the current ordinance and having space for those dogs. We have made vast improvements in our animal control facilities and our shelter over the last several years with our new facility, but unintended breeding has become an issue. We are not doing a good job with this.”
Mary Kate McCaffrey with Floyd Felines spoke in favor of the ordinance.
“Anybody working with community animals – a vet, animal shelters, and rescues will tell you that spay-neuter is the most effective tool we have to truly stop the bleeding, or in this case, breeding,” she said.
Jennifer Morgan who boards rescue dogs spoke in opposition.
“I have a woman threatening to move out of Floyd County because her little five-pound Shih Tzu can’t be spayed because it’s underweight,” she said. “So, let’s try not to panic the public and alienate them. The AKC has options, and they have plans to help.”
McCord noted that this is a secondary ordinance, which means animal control is not going to be actively searching for unaltered pets.
“It will not be surveying properties looking for these problems,” he said. “It will be a secondary enforcement after another issue is identified.”
The final vote was 3-2 with Scotty Hancock and Larry Maxey voting against.