FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, FEB. 21, 2012
||Dr. Lee Hunter, director
NCDA&CS Animal Welfare Section
N.C. ‘Animal Lovers’ license plates help fund
almost $400,000 in spay/neuter procedures
February is National Spay Neuter month
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Animal Welfare Section reimbursed counties almost $400,000 for spay/neuter procedures for pets belonging to low-income residents in 2011. The reimbursements are partially funded by fees collected from the “Animal Lovers” specialty license plate.
Overall, 27 counties requested more than $432,000 in reimbursements for more than 8,000 surgeries performed. The Animal Welfare Section was able to reimburse $398,955. (View PDF list of the county reimbursements)
“I am proud that we are able to help counties offer low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to low-income families, because fixing cats and dogs is the best answer to the pet overpopulation problem in North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, whose retriever, Kate, is fixed. “I encourage more people to get the $30 Animal Lovers license plate so that we can cover 100 percent of the requests in the future.”
NCDA&CS recently named Penny Page as the department’s first spay/neuter coordinator. Her job is to help raise awareness about fixing pets and encourage more counties to offer low-cost surgeries. She is traveling the state to meet with county animal shelters and regional organizations that offer low-cost fixes.
According to the N.C. Veterinary Medical Association, spaying or neutering decreases the risk of cancer in dogs and cats, decreases aggressive behaviors and eliminates most urine marking behaviors, among a host of other benefits.