Alabama House passes spay-neuter bill

Published 02/27 2014 06:25PM

Updated 02/27 2014 08:28PM

Wiregrass Spay/Neuter Alliance is one of four non-profit spay and neuter clinics in Alabama.
Wiregrass Spay/Neuter Alliance is one of four non-profit spay and neuter clinics in Alabama.

Bill supporters say keeping the non-profit clinics open will help them continue to provide cheaper spay and neuter options for people.   That's because it costs less than regular veterinary clinics.


"Keeping us open will allow us to perform more surgeries to help keep down the euthanasia rate in the shelters, help pet owners make healthier, happier pets," said Wiregrass Spay/Neuter Alliance Executive Director Nikki Wyatt.



But if the non-profit clinics close, it could mean more stray animals roaming the streets.  Non-profit clinics say they pose no threat to private clinics.  They say they only spay and neuter pets.


"We do recommend that all pets go and see a full service veterinarian to go do heartworm tests, heartworm treatment, and all the regular tests done for them,” Wyatt said.



Fifty eight representatives supported the bill, while 37 were against it.  Two were undecided.


Opponents say the non-profit clinics are providing other services that veterinary clinics can handle. 


"My concern is that their scope of practice is beginning to expand.  their trying to do more services in the clinics.  That is beginning to have an impact on our small businesses," said State Representative Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva).


But not all opponents want to see the clinics close.


"I believe they provide a valuable service to our pets, the feral cats, the pet owners and the families that otherwise wouldn't be able to use a vet for these services,” Chesteen said.


And that's one thing both sides agree on.

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