Chicago Vet Association Opposes MSN

Posted on 02/04/2009


CHICAGO VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

P.O. Box 5017 Oak Brook, IL 60522-5017 Phone: 630/325-1231 Fax: 630/325-4043 Email: cvma@chicagovma.org
PRESIDENT

Shannon Greeley, DVM

PRESIDENT-ELECT

Yuval Nir, DVM

SECRETARY

Elizabeth Cutright, DVM

TREASURER

Bala Rengaragan, DVM

PAST PRESIDENT

Kathleen Heneghan, DVM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
3-YEAR

Georgianne Ludwig, DVM
David Gonsky, DVM
Gurdial Basran, DVM

2-YEAR

Ajaz Alvi, DVM
Natalie Marks, DVM
David Saidel, DVM

1-YEAR

Lori Civello, DVM
Alexis Newman, DVM

ISVMA REPRESENTATIVES

Susan Ferraro, DVM
Todd Florian, DVM
Paul Arndt, DVM
Steve Cairo, DVM

STAFF

Richard Susralski
Office Administrator

LEGAL COUNSEL

Norm Bloch

CVMA POSITION ON MANDATORY SPAY/NEUTER

WHEREAS, in the State of Illinois, only licensed veterinarians are legally allowed to perform the medical/surgical
procedures of ovariohysterectomy/ovariectomy and orchiectomy, which are also known as ÒgonadectomyÓ or
ÒsterilizationÓ and also customarily regarded as “spaying and neutering/castration”, the intent of which is to render an
animal incapable of reproduction, and which are currently mandatory surgical procedures for shelter owned and stray
animals, and customarily regarded as elective procedures for individually owned pets; and

WHEREAS, in the State of Illinois exists a valid “veterinarian-client-patient relationship” as defined in the Veterinary
Medicine and Surgery Practice Act of 2004, which includes the following, “Veterinarian-client-patient relationshipÓ
means: The veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of an animal
and the need for medical treatment and the client, owner, or other caretaker has agreed to follow the instructions of the
veterinarian”; (225 ILCS 115/3) (from Ch. 111, par. 7003); and

WHEREAS, graduated and licensed veterinarians have the most complete medical knowledge of the benefits and
detriments associated with elective ÒgonadectomyÓ and can provide the best counsel to clients in that regard; and

WHEREAS, there is inconclusive evidence regarding the behavioral influences of early neutering for dogs both with
and without a history of behavioral problems; and

WHEREAS, there are conflicting reports regarding euthanasia rates and animal control costs in communities that have
enacted mandatory spay/neuter legislation; and

WHEREAS, the passage of ordinances that strike at easy targets such as law-abiding, responsible pet owners does
little to address the issue of irresponsible pet owners, who will undoubtedly continue to operate outside the legal
system and where enforcement will be dubious in our already overburdened animal control system.

Notwithstanding existing requirements for shelter owned animals, for these and other reasons, the Chicago Veterinary
Medical Association regards the decision of whether an animal should be spayed/neutered or not to be a
medical/surgical decision that is ultimately best determined between the veterinarian and the individual pet owner.

Other municipalities have had success in reducing euthanasia and animal control costs with programs of: (1) public
education, (2) leash laws, (3) free or low cost spay/neuter opportunities for low income families, (4) moderate price
differentials for licensing of intact and altered male and female dogs and cats, (5) vigorous marketing of shelter dogs
and cats for adoption by the public, (6) foster care, (7) off site adoptions and (8) working with rescue groups.

Rather than instituting ÒblanketÓ mandatory spay/neuter laws; we, the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, believe
that the residents of the City of Chicago would be best served by an aggressive public education campaign to promote
responsible pet ownership, as well as, the enactment and enforcement of the strictest penalties for irresponsible animal
owners.

Signed,

Shannon Greeley, DVM

Shannon Greeley, DVM
CVMA President 2008