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Spay-neuter mandate sails through Waco City Council

With no discussion or controversy, Waco City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to an ordinance that requires owners to spay or neuter their dogs and cats.

The measure passed unanimously, as it did on first reading earlier this month. The ordinance will be fully enforced starting in January, but the city-run shelter before then will begin requiring the procedure for reclaimed stray animals.

Under the ordinance, all dogs and cats older than 4 months must be sterilized unless they are medically unfit, trained as working animals or documented as breeding animals. Violators would face a $250 fine.

Local animal organizations have rallied behind the measure as part of a full-court press to shrink the community’s overpopulation of unwanted animals and nudge Waco toward becoming a “no-kill” community with a shelter euthanasia rate below 10 percent.

By J.B. SMITH jbsmith@wacotrib.comWaco Tribune-Herald

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