Legislation Assemblyman John Burzichelli sponsored to help control animal population and save local governments money was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-3205) prohibits a shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or an auxiliary organization from releasing a dog or cat for adoption unless the dog or cat has been sterilized, and at least seven days have elapsed after arrival of the dog or cat at any of these facilities.
“Overcrowding in animal shelters has become a very serious issue, and one that costs taxpayers money year after year,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “Sadly, a big part of that is the unwanted pet population, so clearly we need to take steps to control it.. This will save local governments money and is the human thing to do.”
The bill provides an exception from the sterilization requirement if a licensed veterinarian determines it would be detrimental to the health of the dog or cat.
The bill would also authorize a shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or auxiliary organization to charge a person adopting a dog or cat for the cost of sterilizing the animal before its release for adoption, up to a maximum of $100 or such higher maximum established by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
The bill was released unanimously by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.