My dog got out of our locked gate for the first time. Within 3 hours I’d located her at Animal Services and was ready to pick her up. Six hours later they called me and said I have to allow them to spay her or I cant have her back. Is this legal?? What are my rights?? I’m urgently trying to get this figured out because I only have a day or two before they then say I’ve surrendered her. Can you please help? I don’t want her spayed ESPECIALLY without me present and not having chosen the vet to do it.


Some localities have laws that require shelters to spay/neuter dogs and cats before they are adopted and/or returned to their “parents.” Some localities have laws which provide that dogs and cats over a certain age (usually 4-6 months) must be spayed or neutered unless the animal’s “parent” has a breeder’s license or unaltered animal permit. These laws contain limited exceptions, such as when a veterinarian certifies that the procedure would jeopardize the animal’s health. Consider that when dogs get loose, even accidentally, they can impregnate other dogs or become pregnant, all contributing to the overpopulation of dogs. The purpose of these laws is to prevent this from happening. Contact your local government office or attorney for a copy of the law in your community. Best of luck to you and your dog!

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