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License plate purchase can fight pet over-population

A program is in place to help low-income Alabamians get their pets spayed and neutered at an affordable cost.

But the number of people able to take advantage of this program will be greatly limited if other animal lovers don’t step up to the plate. The license plate, that is.

The Alabama Spay/Neuter License Plate Program allows Alabama residents to purchase a specialty license plate for $50, with $41.25 of the cost going to the Alabama Veterinary Medical Foundation (ALVMF) to assist Medicaid families with the cost of spaying and neutering.

The good news is the 1,000 tag minimum order required for the “Love Them, Fix Them” plates has been met and surpassed.

The bad news? “Dr. Watson and his staff can only do 20 of these surgeries per month through the end of this year. That’s all the current funds available will allow,” said Kandys Killough of the Butler County Humane Society. “Yes, the program is in place now, but we need many more of the license plates sold in order to really meet the needs of the low-income families in our county.”

The cost to those who are eligible for the low-cost program, is a $10 co-pay for a cat and $20 co-pay for a dog (a limit of two surgeries per household per year.) They must also be a resident of Alabama and an Alabama Medicaid recipient.

“We know there are people who love animals and want to see the homeless pet population reduced, who also have the funds to be able to purchase these plates. We want to encourage them to be aware these great-looking plates are available, and that the monies will go to a very worthy cause,” said Killough.

Because of the current restrictions on the number of surgeries available, eligible applicants are encouraged to contact Watson’s Clinic to schedule spaying and neutering for their pets in the months to come.

“We really appreciate Dr. Watson and his staff for participating in this, and we don’t want to inundate them with animals. Please call in advance and see how their schedule is going,” Killough said.

To learn more about the Spay/Neuter License Plate Surgery Program, visit www.alvma.com or call (334) 395-0086.

The spay/neuter specialty plates are available through the county courthouse and can be purchased by any supporter of animal welfare. Over 135,000 dogs and cats are euthanized each year in Alabama, with 3.7 million put to sleep nationwide on an annual basis.