Carmel City Council considers requiring pets to be spayed or neutered


The Carmel City Council is considering an ordinance to enforce the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs in Carmel’s city limits unless someone obtains a $10 breeder’s license. The law is being considered since a countywide order will no longer be enforced and each municipality needs to now have its own law. The ordinance was sent to committee.

The proposal states that each dog or cat older than six months should be sterilized by a licensed veterinarian unless the veterinarian states in writing that it’s in the animal’s best medical interest not to do so. Pets must be spayed or neutered by nine months.

A violation is subject to a fine of not less than $100.

The breeder’s permit only allows for a maximum of one litter birthed per year by a dog or cat. It prohibits selling, trading or giving away more than a litter in a year. Those with a breeder’s permit cannot sell a puppy or kitten that is less than eight weeks old. All dogs or cats offered for sale must be immunized and in good health.

Former Carmel City Councilor Luci Snyder, a longtime board member for the Humane Society for Hamilton County, said it’s important to spay and neuter pets and she approves of the proposal.

“I did read the proposed ordinance and believe that it is excellent,” she said. “It is not a repeal effort but actually gives our police department the wherewithal to enforce the law. This is much like when the police asked the Council to set and post speed limit signs so that tickets could legitimately be issued.”

City Councilor Jeff Worrell said he thinks it’s a good idea, and he’s received calls from people who were concerned about feral cats in the city.

Humane Society for Hamilton County Executive Director Rebecca Stevens said the general purpose of such spay and neuter laws is to crack down on irresponsible breeders who run “puppy mill” operations. She said the goal isn’t to knock on every door and to check if each dog or cat is spayed or neutered.