State Reps. Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) and Linda Lawson (D-Hammond) receive awards from two animal welfare groups Feb. 13 at the Indiana Statehouse. Those pictured are, from left, Vicki Deisner, director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Karickhoff; Lawson; and Cheri Storms, executive director of Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana.
State Reps. Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) and Linda Lawson (D-Hammond) receive awards from two animal welfare groups Feb. 13 at the Indiana Statehouse. Those pictured are, from left, Vicki Deisner, director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Karickhoff; Lawson; and Cheri Storms, executive director of Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana.

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 16, 2017) – State Rep. Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) was recognized Monday by animal welfare groups for his work on a law passed in 2016 ensuring that dogs and cats are spayed or neutered prior to being adopted.

Karickhoff was honored by the Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during an awards ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse.

“My office worked with State Rep. Linda Lawson, who had been pursuing a new public policy to cut down on animal euthanasia in the state for several years, on this legislation” Karickhoff said. “We know with this law we will see a significant reduction in local funds used for animal control and a dramatic reduction in animal euthanasia in Indiana.”

The law resulting in Karickhoff being recognized by animal welfare groups requires a dog or cat in an animal care facility to be spayed or neutered before adoption from the facility, authorizes the board of animal health to establish a registry of animal care facilities and stipulates a five-year time period for the transition to take place. This means the law will go into effect in 2021.

“Spaying and neutering before adoption is a ‘best practice,’ because it prevents adopted pets from reproducing, avoiding shelter overpopulation later,” said Cheri Storms, executive director of Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana. “We want to take this opportunity to thank Representatives Karickhoff and Lawson for leading Indiana in adopting this strategic approach.”

“Indiana joins 33 other states with similar laws that require dogs and cats to be fixed prior to adoption,” said Vicki Deisner, Midwest legislative director for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “We are grateful to Representatives Karickhoff and Lawson for their vital legislative work on behalf of Indiana’s cats and dogs."

For more information on the law, visit iga.in.gov.