CANYON LAKE (CBS) — A city in Riverside County will consider a plan to force all pet owners to spay and neuter their pets.
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reports not everyone in the guarded and gated city of Canyon Lake located just east of Lake Elsinore likes the proposal.
Marlene Marich’s dog Skylar is fixed and has a microchip, but she doesn’t like the idea that the Canyon Lake city council is considering a plan to make the spaying, neutering and microchipping of cats and dogs mandatory.
“That’s going too far, asking them to do that,” said dog owner Marlene Marich. “It should be up to the owners what they want to do with their dogs.”
The proposed ordinance would make exceptions for commercial breeders, show dogs and cats, working dogs and animals that aren’t healthy enough for surgery.
Monica Mestas is an animal advocate who supports microchipping, spaying and neutering, but she says a mandate may cause more animals to be put to death at shelters.
It can happen when a pet runs away from home and it isn’t fixed — and the owner can’t afford the fees to get it done.
“The way people are strapped for money, and meantime impound fees are accruing, a lot of times people will just relinquish the animal,” said animal advocate Monica Mestas.
Interim city manager Deborah Harrington told Nguyen over the phone the city has seen a rise in unwanted animals in the last year and the plan is a way to avoid euthanizing more animals.
But pet owners like Marlene Marich say the proposal would be impossible to enforce.
“Basically, you’d have to actually shave the dog to find out if there’s a scar there,” said Marich.
The City Council is expected to take up the matter on Wednesday evening during a public meeting. If the plan fail to garner approval, the council may break it into two separate proposals: one on spaying and neutering and a second on micro-chipping.