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   (a)   An owner of a dog or cat commits an offense if the animal is not spayed or neutered.
   (b)   It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that:
      (1)   the animal is under six months of age;
      (2)   a licensed veterinarian annually certifies that the dog or cat should not be spayed or neutered for health reasons or is permanently non-fertile;
      (3)   the animal is being held for adoption by animal services or an animal welfare organization;
      (4)   the animal is certified annually as a competition cat or competition dog;
      (5)   the person charged produces to the court proof of sterilization from a licensed veterinarian showing the dog or cat was sterilized at the time the citation was issued or not later than 20 days after the citation was issued; or
      (6)   the owner holds a valid breeding permit issued under Section 7-4.11 of this chapter for the animal. (Ord. Nos. 27250; 30483; 32194, eff. 11-11-22)