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Press Release

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2014
Contact: JOHNNIE SIMPSON, media@alleycat.org or (240) 482-3895
FRANCIE ISRAELI, fisraeli@kellenadams.com or (202) 207-1134

ALLEY CAT ALLIES URGES VIRGINIA SENATE TO SUPPORT SPAY/NEUTER FUNDING BILL
S.B. 622 would establish a fund to spay and neuter dogs and cats in the Commonwealth, saving healthy animals from “euthanasia” in pounds and shelters

BETHESDA, MD—Alley Cat Allies, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for cats, today pressed the Virginia Senate to support S.B. 622, legislation that would establish a commonwealth-wide spay/neuter fund for dogs and cats.

Spay/neuter surgeries for pets in low-income households, feral cats and animals currently in pounds and shelters would be eligible for funding under the bill’s provisions.

“This is truly groundbreaking legislation, and it deserves full support,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “This bill would save the lives of countless animals by addressing the source of the cat and dog population through neutering.”

Funding for the spay/neuter program would come from a small surcharge on wholesale distributors and manufacturers of pet food. “Virginia currently spends millions of dollars each year annually to shelter and “euthanize” (ie, kill) healthy animals, including dogs and cats,” said Robinson. “S.B. 622 will not only save lives—it will save taxpayers money, as fewer animals will be entering the Commonwealth’s shelters every year.”

Robinson noted that research by Alley Cat Allies published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association found that household income was the strongest predictor of whether pet cats living in households are neutered. Other research identifies feral cat population as having one of the greatest needs for spay and neuter services.

For feral (or “community)” cats—which are the same species as pet cats, but not socialized to people, and therefore not adoptable into homes—the program would provide funding to help caregivers carry out Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in their communities. TNR is the only humane and effective way to stabilize and eventually reduce populations of feral cats over time by ending the breeding cycle.

Residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia are urged to contact their Senators and urge them to pass S.B. 622.

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About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has nearly half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org.