The N.C. Spay/Neuter Program changed hands today, moving from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to the Animal Welfare Section of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Veterinary Division. This move was mandated by the General Assembly this year to consolidate companion animal programs.
According to 2008 statistics, North Carolina euthanizes 70 percent of animals that end up in our state’s animal shelters, a statistic that Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler hopes to change. “We are spending a tremendous amount of time and money in this state on shelters and keeping up with the Animal Welfare Act, but none of this addresses the real problem,” said Troxler. “We must do more to encourage spay and neuter if we want to truly address the problem of pet overpopulation.”
The Spay/Neuter Program reimburses participating cities or counties that spay or neuter dogs and cats owned by low-income citizens. It does not provide assistance to individuals. A few changes were made to the program as it moved to NCDA&CS. Funding for the program now comes from the Animal Feed and Pet Food testing program in the Food and Drug Protection Division and sale of the “I Care” Animal Lovers license plates.
The Animal Welfare Section will be in the Jim Graham Building at the N.C. State Fair to promote the spay/neuter program. They will be selling reusable tote bags with the “Prevent a Litter, Fix Your Critter” logo for $1. All money will go into the Spay/Neuter Fund for local spay/neuter efforts.