Veterinarian suggests cat spaying ordinance

Valdosta Cat Neutering Ordinance

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - One Valdosta woman is hoping to get officials to address the cat overpopulation problem seen across the community.

Veterinarian Amanda Hall went to Valdosta city council members pleading for an ordinance requiring cat owners to get them spayed by the age of six months.

“It’s time for the city and county government to do their part," said Hall.

Hall said the cat population is a huge problem here in the Valdosta-Lowndes County area.

We spoke to Paige Dukes, a county representative, who shared that about half of the cats in the shelter end up being euthanized.

“So it is time to take a look at—do we continue to be reactive to the overpopulation problem here in Lowndes County or do we look at our local policies, our local ordinances? Do our elected officials consider being more proactive in that areas," said Dukes.

Hall said even beyond caring about the lost pet lives, this can become a public health issue — with feral cats spreading diseases like rabies, roundworms, and more.

“Whenever an immunocompromised person is bitten by a cat, that could be a death sentence for them. Someone who is in chemotherapy or HIV positive," said Hall.

Dukes said this hits homes at this time of year because they have taken in more than one hundred cats in the past couple of days.

Something they said is typical for this time of year, otherwise known as puppy and kitten season.

Hall said that she is hoping the ordinance would prohibit residents from having a female cat on their property that is not spayed.

She acknowledges that the law might come with its challenges with possible enforcement.

Hall said that she realizes that pet overpopulation is a complex issue but she has been doing non-profit work with local organizations

She said they have been unable to make a dent in the cat population.

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