Bill would prevent cities from requiring dogs be neutered

By Walter C. Jones 
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – Local governments would be powerless to ban certain dog breeds, require neutering or prevent the tethering of those used in shows, field trials or disability services under legislation pending in the House of Representatives.
The bill is pitting animal-rights groups concerned about the 6 million uncared for animals destroyed yearly across the country against hunters in the home state of Waynesboro which bills itself as the Bird Dog Capital of the World.
Monday, the sponsor of the measure, House Bill 409, acknowledged it is likely to generate spirited opposition. But Rep. David Knight, R-Griffin, said he is trying to halt local prohibitions on law-abiding people before they can become a trend sweeping across the state.
"I don't think it's right of the government to say you've got to spay or neuter your dog to keep it," said Knight, who also leads the effort to eliminate red tape as the chairman of the House Small Business Development & Job Creation Committee.
Knight introduced the bill Wednesday, and it's now pending in the House State Planning & Community Affairs Committee. The committee hasn't yet announced a hearing or scheduled a vote on it.
Knight, an avid hunter who shows off photos of his dog to House visitors on his iPad, said many outdoors enthusiasts care for their pets and treat them almost as a member of the family. Tethering, breeding and training are part of the sport.
However, the Atlanta Humane Society President William Shaheen has already been looking to hire a lobbyist to fight the bill.
"As an organization dedicated to animal welfare, Atlanta Humane Society has significant concerns related to proposed House Bill 409 pertaining to limiting the ability of local county and municipal government to enforce spay and neuter legislation," he said. "As part of our ongoing effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals in the state of Georgia each year, Atlanta Humane Society provides low-cost spay and neuter services onsite at our clinic located on Howell Mill Road and to underserved communities outside of Metro Atlanta by utilizing a mobile surgical utility vehicle."


More Local

250 students affected

Homelessness ‘vicious cycle that’s going to continue’

The economy has bounced back from the lows of a few years ago. The housing market is healthy, and the jobless rate has improved. But, for so ... Read More


Annual Sunrise on the Square Road Race a success

The annual Sunrise on the Square included ideal weather and a first-time winner who actually pushed his baby in a stroller. The race, hosted ... Read More


HealthSouth facility scheduled to open Dec. 2

Progress for HealthSouth’s new facility is on track for a Dec. 2 opening, which will add to the town’s growing collection of hea ... Read More


Subsidized medical center proposed for Senoia

Palmetto Health Council is applying for a grant to bring a subsidized medical clinic to Coweta, proposed for the Senoia area. The non-profit ... Read More


Economic Impact

Ports hit new record

The Georgia Ports Authority moved more than 3 million 20-foot equivalent container units in fiscal year 2014 – and set a new record fo ... Read More

Maternity home on zoning board’s agenda

Decisions on a proposed “maternity home” for pregnant teens, expanded outdoor seating for a proposed downtown restaurant, and al ... Read More