MHS CEO: Mandatory spay and neuter of Detroit dogs will not solve problem

Posted at 4:31 PM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 16:31:57-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The CEO of the Michigan Humane Society says the mandatory spay and neuter of Detroit dogs will compound the problem.

Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones is pushing for changes to the city's current animal ordinance that she hopes will prevent another deadly mauling by dogs, like the attack that killed 9-year-old Emma Hernandez last month.

The proposed changes include mandatory spay/neuter for animals 18 inches in height or over and 35 pounds in weight or heavier.

MHS CEO Matt Pepper, however, says the mandatory spay/neuter is not an easy solution and oversimplifies the issue.

"Imagine you are a family with a dog and you live in Detroit," Pepper said. "It is now law that your dog be sterilized. Studies show that you already do not have the ability to access—or be aware of—a local veterinarian. You probably see law enforcement and animal control as punitive. There are nonprofits who are committed to helping provide services for your pet—but you likely do not know who or where they are."

"The only proven way to have a long-term impact on animal populations is through making services voluntary and accessible—it is an issue that impacts human health just as it does animal welfare, and it is now becoming much more complex."

Read Pepper's full statement here.