Last year, about 19,000 cats -- 70% of those brought to the county's six shelters -- were euthanized. At some shelters, the ratio was even higher. The highest was Baldwin Park shelter, where 78% of cats brought in were killed.
The number of cats killed is much higher than that of dogs, which are more frequently adopted or reclaimed from shelters by their owners, or in some cases, transported out of state by rescue groups. Many of the cats killed each year are unweaned kittens or feral cats.
The move to require neutering of cats was proposed by Supervisors
The approximately 1 million residents of unincorporated areas are already required to neuter their dogs, and the county provides vouchers to subsidize the cost for low-income dog owners.
"I'm strongly for it," she said, referring to the spay-neuter mandate. "But I want to make certain that if you're ordering people to do things, they can actually afford to do it."
The details of the mandate remain to be worked out, and supervisors will vote again on a final proposal. Supervisor
The supervisors also asked the Department of Animal Care and Control to look at ways to provide low-cost services to cat owners.
[Updated]: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the number of cats euthanized last year as 29,000.