As you read this, the Massachusetts State Senate is considering a budgetary amendment that would help homeless pets and those belonging to low-income residents. On April 24, 2017, the MA House voted favorably on Bill H.3601, which included establishing a $100,000 fund to help pay for sterilizing and vaccinating homeless pets as well as the pet cats and dogs of low-income residents.
It is expected that the MA Senate Ways and Means Committee, who are currently examining the Bill, will sign off on this lifesaving measure. Other states, such as New Hampshire and New Jersey, saw their animal shelter intake decrease between 25-34%, once they allocated similar spay/neuter funds. As a bonus, with an estimated 20 fewer pets arriving at local shelters each day, whether owner-turn-in or strays, shelters in these states reported a 39% increase in adoptions!
As intake decreases, states with adequately funded programs like this one also report a decrease in the total expenditure needed to feed and shelter their animals. Every dollar that is initially spent towards helping end the homeless pet problem saved three dollars in shelter costs. A pro-social program such as this one is obviously economically beneficial as well!
Studies show that the majority of animals entering a shelter are intact, even if the majority of animals in that same community have already been spayed or neutered. Bills like these are supported by a large number of national animal advocacy groups, because they make perfect sense.
- Bringing lifesaving services to thousands of cats and dogs,
- Assisting low-income residents who love their pets and want them to be as happy and healthy as possible,
- And reducing the burden on overcrowded shelters, are all goals which can and should be accomplished in every state.
Whether a state budgets for this fund, or money is allocated by residents who voluntarily check a donation box on their income tax statement, the bottom line is still the same – saving the life of an animal. You can look up your legislator here, and urge them to support this bill, which is being discussed this week!
And then enjoy an episode of ShelterMe.tv, including this one with award-winning artist Patrick McDonnell, creator of the popular MUTTS comic strip. Don’t forget to follow ShelterMeTV on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for more great stories about animals!