This article may be cited as the "West Virginia Spay/Neuter Act."
(a) No person may adopt a dog or cat from an agency, including, but not limited to, an animal shelter, animal control agency or humane shelter operated by a municipality, county, or other governmental agency within the state, or a private organization operating a shelter from which animals are adopted or reclaimed, unless:
(1) The dog or cat has already been spayed or neutered;
(2) The dog or cat has been spayed or neutered by a licensed veterinarian while in the custody of the agency; or
(3) The new owner signs a written agreement with the agency stating that the new owner will have the dog or cat spayed or neutered by a licensed veterinarian:
(A) Within thirty days of the date of the adoption, if the dog or cat is sexually mature; or
(B) Within thirty days after the dog or cat reaches six months of age, if the dog or cat is not sexually mature at the time of the adoption.
(b) Any agency as set forth in subsection (a) of this section which has written policy of not permitting the adopted dog or cat from being released from the custody of the agency to the new owner until the dog or cat has been spayed or neutered, does not have to comply with the provisions of subdivision (3), subsection (a) of this section.
(c) Nothing in this section precludes the spaying or neutering of a sexually immature dog or cat at the discretion of a licensed veterinarian with the consent of the new owner.
(a) If the dog or cat being adopted has not been spayed or neutered, the agency may require a deposit of not more than $50 from the new owner prior to the adoption to ensure that the dog or cat is spayed or neutered. The new owner shall receive a refund of the deposit from the agency upon providing confirmation of the spaying or neutering.
(b) If the new owner fails to have the dog or cat spayed or neutered within the time frame established in section two of this article, or if the spaying or neutering is timely performed, but the new owner fails to request the return of the deposit within an additional thirty days after the date by which the spaying or neutering is required to be performed, the deposit shall be forfeited to the agency holding the deposit and shall be used by the agency to conduct programs to spay or neuter dogs and cats or to conduct educational programs in support of the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats.
If a person fails to comply with the provisions of this article, the agency may file a petition with a court of competent jurisdiction seeking compliance or requesting return of the dog or cat to the agency from which it was adopted.
A person failing to have a dog or cat spayed or neutered within the time frame established in section two of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $150 nor more than $250.
Nothing in this article authorizes an agency to spay or neuter a dog or cat if the dog or cat is claimed by and returned to its lawful owner within five days of being taken into custody by the agency.