There are unwritten rules for being a pet owner: food stays on high shelves, going for a walk is a necessity, not an option, and accidents will happen. However, the city of Las Vegas has added a written rule to the books this week when it passed a law requiring owners to spay or neuter all dogs and cats by the time the pets turn four months old.
The bill, which was introduced last month and was passed by the City Council on Wednesday, is aimed at curbing Las Vegas’ purported problem with pet overpopulation, NBC affiliate News 3 reports. Owners would be granted a one-time warning for not having their pets fixed before receiving a citation on the second offense.
Representatives from Lied Animal Shelter, which services Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Clark County, told the news source the facility houses about 50,000 animals each year, of which about 86 percent are not spayed or neutered.
Additionally, the legislation requires all dogs and cats to be embedded with a microchip for tracking purposes, before they are adopted or recovered from a city pound.
According to the Bill Foundation, which aims to rescue homeless dogs from shelters, the procedure to fix a pet usually costs between $50 and $100.