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Councilman Questions the Snipping of Spay/Neuter Subsidies

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Budget cuts recently led to the Los Angeles Animal Services Department announcing they would no longer be able to offer low-cost spay/neuter services, despite the fact that just a year ago the City made spaying and neutering mandatory--a law that went into effect last October.The move to snip the subsidies drew ire from public officials, particularly Councilman Tony Cardenas (CD 6), who has now put forth a motion to restore the program, according to the Daily Breeze. Cardenas, along with fellow Councilmember Richard Alarcon, authored the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance in the hopes of moving Los Angeles towards being a "no kill" city and to end the suffering of the many homeless pets left on the streets or who go unadopted and are eventually euthanized at city animal shelters.

Cardenas was also an advocate of offering low-cost vouchers for the spay/neuter services for qualifying pet owners. Next week the City Council will vote on his motion "to restore the program and require Animal Services officials to provide detailed reports on why it was halted." Ed Boks, the General Manager of Animal Services, "said he felt he had to suspend the voucher program, providing savings of $30 to $70 to pet owners, to obey orders that he shave $150,000 from his $19million budget." The budget cutting is a part of a city-wide movement to reduce by 3 percent in the hopes of off-setting "a $17million shortfall this year and another $450 million next year."