New Ga. bill would prevent cities from requiring pet neutering

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW) -- Georgia lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would prevent cities from requiring dog neutering.

It's a major issue in Waynesboro where local animal control officers are already having a hard time controlling the number of dogs in their kennels.

"There is another dog out there that's having litter after litter because she's just wild out there and there's no control," said Angel Rystrom, animal control officer for the City of Waynesboro.

She runs a local shelter in Waynesboro and houses close to 30 dogs that only share about a 30 by 30 foot space.

She fears the number of dogs she takes care of will go up if this bill passes.

"My population's gonna boom and I have a 10-kennel run, overfull all the time as it is, I would have nowhere to take care of these animals," Rystrom said.

Her kennel has been close to capacity and doesn't want things to get worse.

"I don't want a lot of stray puppies that I have to go and chase down because then they come here and I have to find them homes," Rystrom said.

But a Georgia bill in the works might make Rystrom's job even more difficult, and it would leave local governments like the City of Waynesboro powerless.

The bill would prevent local city governments from:

  • Banning certain dog breeds
  • Requiring neutering
  • Preventing tethering of those used in shows, field trials or disability services

Some residents in Waynesboro, like Nell Mobley, want to make those decisions, though.

"I certainly believe in the rights of the people to make decisions about different things and animals are considered a part of the family," Mobley said.

Decisions that she feels should be made by pet owners, not the government.

But she says responsibility is what matters the most.

"If they want an animal, you need to take care of the animal, and you don't take care of an animal by letting it roam everywhere," Mobley said.

Something that would help Rystrom and her animal control officers have an easier job.

"If the people are responsible enough and they take care of their owners, then I won't have problem with all of the population increase," Mobley said.

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