February is National Spay/Neuter Month and on the 5th and 6th, the Washington State Legislature in Olympia had hearings on the recent spay/neuter assistance bills introduced this year. Senate bill 5202 and House bill 1229. In addition to reducing the number of healthy animals put down for lack of homes, it's hoping to, in the long run, save WA State taxpayers money. Millions of tax dollars are spent each year between animal control agencies, shelters, and rescues to handle these homeless pets.
If passed into effect, this new legislature would use a network of private, public, and non-profit services around the state to perform the spay/neuter surgeries. The goal is to help fund 60,000 surgeries per year under the program. It is aimed at the low-income pet owners who would normally not have the funds to spay or neuter their pets that are more likely to have unwanted litters. It would help low income folks afford these important surgeries as well as provide spay/neuter services on feral and free roaming cats. It does NOT make spay/neuter surgery mandatory.
The program would be funded by a fee on pet food distributed in WA state and would be collected at the distributor level and not the retail one (from registered pet food manufacturers). The law already states that pet food manufactures must have their products registered with the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The direct impact to consumers would be minimal at 2.5 cents per pound of dog or cat food.
Saving lives and saving money. Please help support these bills!
For more information, check out: www.savewashingtonpets.org