Dogs and Cats Need a Fix
As of November 1, state residents can show their support for spaying and neutering pets by purchasing Alabama Spay-Neuter vehicle license plates. The Alabama Department of Revenue has approved the Alabama Veterinary Medical Foundation’s program to sell Spay-Neuter tags for $50 each (the same price as any specialized state tag), with $41.25 of each sale going toward defraying the costs of spaying and neutering pets for individuals on Medicaid. The ALVM Foundation is affiliated with the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association.
Pre-sales must reach 1,000 by November 2008 before the tags will actually be manufactured; current license tags will be used until that goal is reached. Purchase of the Spay-Neuter tag requires completing a “commitment to purchase” application and paying the $50 fee at a local county license plate office. The Spay-Neuter tags will be available two months after the minimum pre-sale commitments have been sold. Participants will be notified by the ALVM Foundation once the tags arrive. Purchasers must present both the $50 fee receipt and the “Commitment to Purchase” application to pick up their tags.
Rick Derrick, director of public relations for the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, said that response around the state indicates there should be no problem meeting the 1,000 pre-commitments. “We just encourage folks to go ahead and do the pre-commitment because if we don’t get the 1,000 pre-sold, then we won’t have the program,” said Derrick. “We anticipate we’re going to sell more than that.” He added that the process to make the license plate available took quite some time. “It’s been a year or longer. They had to go into that with the committees in the legislature and so forth,” explained Derrick. “They just don’t hand out those applications. They have to look at what is the benefit to the community . . . It was a long process.”
Greater Birmingham Humane Society Executive Director Jacque Meyer said the benefits of reducing the number of stray animals are obvious. “I think [the tags are] wonderful. I think it’s going to save a noticeable amount of lives, most importantly,” said Meyer. “And secondly, I think it’s going to save taxpayers thousands and thousands of dollars on stray animals and animal issues.”
135,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in Alabama annually. Tags may be purchased by calling (334) 395-0086 or visiting www.alvma.com.