Tulsa Animal Lovers Petition City To Enforce Spay, Neuter Laws
TULSA, Oklahoma - Animal lovers are asking Tulsa leaders to enforce a law and address the city's pet overpopulation problem.
They claim, if the city would strictly enforce spay and neuter laws already on the books, 7,000 cats and dogs wouldn't be put down every year.
Marilyn King, with Tulsa Pets Magazine, said the publication has been tracking euthanasia rates at Tulsa Animal Welfare for seven years.
"They seem to be static. The numbers kind of stay the same from year to year," King said.
Last year, nearly 11,500 dogs and cats came to Tulsa Animal Welfare. More than 7,000 were euthanized.
King is one of the organizers behind a petition asking the Mayor to step up enforcement of the city's spay/neuter laws, to cut down on the pet surplus.
"The shelter—it's not their fault they're full," King said. "The SPCA is full, all the fosters are full, there's just too—there's an excess."
According to the city ordinance, every dog and cat in Tulsa over 6 months old must be fixed. The exceptions are police dogs and animals whose owners have a hobbyist permit. Violators face a $200 fine and King said more tickets would mean more revenue for the city.
"The animals are the innocent victims here, and it's a very fixable problem. It's a win-win for the City of Tulsa, for the citizens of Tulsa and especially for the animals," King said.
Tulsa Animal Welfare is in charge of enforcement. Manager Jean Letcher said her officers are enforcing the laws and they write citations every time they see violations. Letcher said all shelter animals are fixed before they're taken home.
King said Tulsa can't adopt its way out of the problem.
"Cut off the supply, prevent the unwanted births, prevent the tragedy of it," King said.
The petition's organizers say they used SPCA numbers to estimate that there are about 20,000 households in Tulsa who ignore the mandatory spay/neuter law.
The organizers are hoping to get 5,000 signatures and then they'll present the petition to Mayor Dewey Bartlett.