FARMINGTON — Farmington City Councilors may soon cast a vote on the city's first spay and neuter ordinance.

The council approved a staff proposal Tuesday evening to begin preparing an ordinance that could require pet owners to spay or neuter their cats and dogs, and directed staff to conduct a comprehensive review of the city's animal ordinances.

"It's going to be all for naught if we don't do something now," said Cory Styron, the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department director. "We need an ordinance revision. I think it's time we take the stance."

A previous city administration decided against conducting low-cost spay and neuter because they would be competing with local veterinarians, Styron said.

But city officials say the need to control the dog and cat population has reached a critical level.

City Manager Rob Mayes said the city needs to become a county leader in spay and neuter services.

"It's time to make a big commitment," he said. "The stakes are too high."