Breaking: Senator Patricia Jehlen announced that the new Homeless Animal Prevention and Care fund raised $249,030 this tax season to help animals.
The Fund was created as part of Chapter 193 of the Acts of 2012 that also updated many of the laws pertaining to animal protection and control.
"It is exciting to see the bill I sponsored, S. 2192, making such significant progress for animals," said Senator Pat Jehlen. "Residents of Massachusetts have demonstrated once again how generous they are and how much they care about the health and welfare of animals."
More than 17,000 taxpayers made donations on line 32f of their state tax form. The Fund is administered by the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) and will be used to help reduce the number of homeless cats and dogs by spaying/neutering animals in shelters and animal control facilities, and provide vaccinations. The Fund will also assist families who would not otherwise be able to afford these services for their pets and provide training to municipal animal control officers so that they can safely and effectively protect animals and people in their communities
"We are so grateful to Senator Jehlen, the legislature, the Governor and all the people involved with making this Fund become a reality. This Fund can truly be a game changer for ending the problem of homeless animals in Massachusetts." stated Jean Weber, Director of Animal Protection at the MSPCA-Angell.
The new law also called for the creation of a 5-member advisory committee appointed by the Governor that assists DAR in establishing procedures for the disbursement of funds. To date, 4 of the 5 members have been appointed. They include:
Kara Holmquist, shelter/humane society member
Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM, veterinary member
David Feldman, public member
Cheryl Rudolph, animal control officer member
A fifth member, a pet industry trade representative, has yet to be appointed. All members are required by statute to have an active interest in educating residents relative to the benefits of pet population control.