Bluefield, West Virginia

  • Dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered, with some exemptions.
  • Dogs and cats must not be allowed to breed unless the owner has a breeder permit.

Sec. 4-59. – Spaying and neutering.

(a) It is the purpose of this article to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the city by reducing the number of stray dogs and cats. The council finds that each year hundreds of dogs and cats are euthanized because they are not wanted. It is the purpose of this section to eliminate the excessive number of unwanted animals and thereby stop the needless killing of these animals by restricting the breeding practices of pet owners and breeders through legislation that is both reasonable and enforceable.

(b) It shall be unlawful to own, possess, or keep in the city any dog or cat over the age of six months that has not been spayed or neutered except as provided herein.

(1) Owners must alter their dogs and cats unless:

a. The pet is less than six months old;

b. The owner has obtained an unaltered animal permit from the city clerk to keep the pet intact with the cost of such permit to be $50.00 per animal for the life of the animal;

c. A licensed veterinarian states in writing that the animal is medically unfit to undergo the procedure; or

d. The animal is kept in the city for fewer than 30 days in a one-year period.

(2) To qualify for an unaltered animal permit, the owner must:

a. Satisfy the city clerk that the permit is sought for a proper purpose or purchase a breeding permit.

b. Have the pet examined regularly by a licensed veterinarian.

c. Have the pet vaccinated annually.

d. Have the pet housed properly.

e. Have had no more than one violation of the animal code in the preceding 24 months.

(Code 1974, § 3-40; Ord. No. 2008-5, 4-8-2008)

Sec. 4-62. – Breeding permit.

(a) No person shall cause or allow any dog or cat owned, harbored or kept within the city to breed without first obtaining a breeding permit, as described below. The term “breeding permit” means a written authorization, issued annually by the city clerk, giving its lawful holder permission to breed a dog or cat.

(b) Each breeding permit shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance, and may be renewed annually before its expiration date. Each applicant for such a permit shall pay an annual fee of $30.00 per dog or cat. A separate permit must be obtained for each owned dog or cat which is allowed to breed.

(c) The humane officer shall enforce the animal breeding permit program to allow the breeding of dogs and cats that are not sterilized consistent with criteria herein. Under no circumstances shall such a permit be issued to a person who has been convicted of animal cruelty or neglect. All breeding permits shall contain the following terms and conditions: The owner of a female dog or cat that is not sterilized shall not allow the breeding of more than one litter per animal in any household within the permit year. Notwithstanding this provision, the city clerk is hereby authorized, up [sic] application of a permittee allow [sic] on a one-time basis the breeding of up to two dog or cat litters per breeding animal within any domestic household within a permit year. In the event, that a permittee is forced to euthanize a litter of dogs or cats for medical reasons the city clerk may authorize the breeding of one additional litter of dogs or cats within the same permit year by the permittee without penalty.

(Code 1974, § 3-44; Ord. No. 2008-5, 4-8-2008)

Sec. 4-63. – Penalty for violation of breeding permit provisions.

(a) The penalty for a conviction of violation of section 4-62 shall be a fine of $150.00 for each violation. This penalty shall not be waived by the transfer or abandonment of the animal by the noncompliant owner.

(b) The city clerk may revoke any permit issued pursuant to this section upon a finding that the permit holder has violated its terms and conditions. Such a finding shall be made only after giving the owner of the animal in question notice of the violations and an opportunity to explain such violations to the city clerk.

(Code 1974, § 3-45; Ord. No. 2008-5, 4-8-2008)

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