A cowboy in Waco has won his fight to keep his cowdog named Nero from getting neutered.
Nero's owner, Jeremy Echols, said his 9-year-old Catahoula leopard escaped his yard and was caught by animal control officers. A city ordinance said that any animal found wandering the city streets must be microchipped and spayed or neutered before being returned to their owner.
Echols didn't want that to happen and fought for an exemption because he said Nero's ability to control cattle would be compromised. He asked for a health exemption and presented the city with a veterinarian's letter that said a working cowdog needs to remain intact to remain aggressive for what he's bred to do.
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"I don't want him to be neutered because that is going to change his physiology, his behavior and his activity level," said Echols.
The city ultimately agreed, though Nero will still be microchipped in order to be compliant with the city ordinance.
Echols released the following statement on Facebook Tuesday:
Good news! My dog Nero will remain intact! As a result of consultation with an additional veterinarian, the city of Waco has discovered additional health concerns that had previously been overlooked. It was the recommendation of the veterinarian for Nero to remain intact due to the new health concerns. I commend the City for their effort to resolve this situation and I encourage everyone to spay or neuter their pets in an effort to help our Animal shelter achieve a no kill status. Thanks to my attorney Henry Wright for making sure I was treated fairly throughout this whole process and to all of my friends and fellow citizens who offered me a tremendous amount of support.
The City of Waco originally rejected the health exemption because the city's veterinarian said neutering the dog would not adversely affect his health. Wednesday, Nero's veterinarian provided the city with a new statement that exempts the cowdog from the mandatory neuter requirement, keeping Nero intact.
More: Waco Tribune