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13
May

Help Animals in the State Budget

Ask your state representative to co-sponsor amendment #938

This amendment would ensure the Massachusetts Animal Fund can fund spaying, neutering, and vaccinations for animals in need in the Commonwealth! This budget amendment filed by Senator Jim Welch would allocate $100,000 from the state budget for the Fund. Last year, an additional 712 animals from 169 municipalities across Massachusetts were helped with a similar amendment!

 In 2012, the legislature established this Fund, which receives its primary income from donations on state income tax forms. However, this mechanism is not raising enough funds to meet the need. There is a waitlist of hundreds of animals across all counties, and many animals are going unserved, lacking critical health services. This amendment would help provide these services, benefitting animals, Massachusetts residents, and our communities. With the $100,000 line item for the Fund for FY19, the Fund was able to help an additional 712 animals from 169 municipalities across Massachusetts. Learn more…

Take action!

The debate on the House budget begins Tuesday, May 21, so time is of the essence!   

Please make a quick call and follow up with an email for maximum impact. If you do not know your representative’s information, visit www.wheredoivotema.com to find out.

Email advocacy@mspca.org with questions.


About the Mass Animal Fund

This Fund benefits YOUR community—86% of the Commonwealth’s municipalities participated in the program by requesting vouchers through their local animal control officer (ACO) for residents who have no other opportunity to provide their animal with sterilization or vaccination services.

As much as the Fund benefits animals, it benefits residents too, by reducing the number of homeless animals and associated costs for communities that would pick up, care for, and house them. It is estimated that for every $1 spent on spay/neuter, a community saves $3.

In addition to spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations (for cats/dogs in municipal care, cats/dogs owned by low-income residents, and feral cats), the Fund has covered $67,000 for emergency assistance to help municipalities deal with situations such as animal hoarding, large scale abuse and neglect cases, and disease outbreak—helping an additional 1,478 cats and dogs in dire situations.

While this amendment would provide spay/neuter surgeries, it is important to note that the Fund also provides the mandatory animal control officer training required by the 2012 law. Given the important duties ACOs have to protect public safety, ensure vaccinations and public health, and respond to stray animals, this part of the Fund is critical to increase the professionalism of this important position in our cities and towns. Trained ACOs provide better care of animals and increased public safety.

The Need

Since the Voucher Program’s start in 2014, the Fund has received over 15,300 requests for assistance and has disseminated 14,369 vouchers. There has been a 25% increase in requests from the same period last year; the need for assistance is steadily continuing while the funding available is variable and unable to meet the demands. The current income from donations on Line 33f on state tax forms—about $310,000 annually—is simply not enough to provide the needed services to pets and homeless animals. Using established formulas, it is estimated that 7,689 new owned dogs and cats will require services each year in Massachusetts, which could cost the Fund much more than it receives from the tax mechanism. There are more than 600 people on the waiting list.

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