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Aldermen to Look at Pet Sterilization Again

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 10, 2009 3:20PM

Photo by PhotoAbuse
14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke is renewing his plans to enact an ordinance imposing sterilization of pets. Burke says that the new proposal, which includes some changes from the previous version, has the votes it needs to clear the city council. Unlike the previous version, which would have hit pet owners with a $500 fine, impoundment and forced sterilization, the new version has a $100 a month fine. The new bill also no longer requires veterinarians to report non-sterilized animals, and doesn't require breeders to immunize pets before sale, and then report the name, address and phone number of the buyer.

Burke, along with 19th Ward Alderman Virgnina Rugai, contend that their ordinance will cut the number of euthanized strays, and reduce both dogfighting and attacks on humans. “That is the opinion of almost every expert in the area — that spay [or] neutered dogs and cats are less likely to engage in violent behavior,” Burke told the Sun-Times. "I've been encouraged by the response of the members of the City Council, who I think now are prepared to support this," Burke told the Tribune. But the law isn't without its critics. The Illinois Kennel Club and Chicago Veterinary Medical Association oppose the ordinance, claiming that sterilization decisions are best left to owners and their vets. Burke expects the bill to be voted on in committee the week.