The bill, which amends AR. Code 20-19-103, makes it unlawful for any animal control or humane facility or group, statewide, to release any dog or cat to a new owner unless it has been spayed or neutered.
Exceptions to this rule are dogs and cats under the age of three months, and animals which have been deemed medically compromised to the extent that he or she cannot withstand immediate sterilization.
In such cases, the pet may be released to prospective owners on a temporary foster care agreement until it can be safely sterilized, or until two licensed veterinarians certify it to be permanently disabled to the point that it cannot be safely sterilized.
At that time the animal may be adopted to an owner who certifies that the disabled animal will not be used for breeding.
Violations of this law are misdemeanors punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred and not more than five hundred dollars. Costs for sterilization and required vaccination by local veterinarians typically run from $90 to $125.
Persons wishing to adopt an animal from the Horseshoe Bend Animal Control are responsible for sterilization of their new pet. North Arkansas Veterinary Hospital has offered a 20 percent discount to the city for dogs and cats adopted through the Horseshoe Bend Animal Control.