Yesterday's State Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill [HB 1226] Hearing

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    Per ‘Save Washington Pets’: ‘…the hearing was held on the spay/neuter bill, HB 1226. A total of 49 people signed in with many testifying. Of the 49, all but 7 supported the spay/neuter bill. After the hearing, the committee chair, Rep. Kagi, indicated that this house bill would not proceed further this session. ….disappointing news, although the bill remains alive through the 2012 session.

    Per Funkietoo: If you support this Bill, please consider writing a letter, emailing, calling, etc., the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee and your State House Rep(s). I’ll be posting the letter I sent in a few moments…please feel free to plagiarize the letter or email me with questions.

    For more info re: House Bill and ‘links, see: and/or!/SaveWashingtonPets?sk=wall

    OPPOSING the bill was: Greg Hanon, Washington State Vet. Medical Association; Tammie Hetrick, Washington Retail Association; “Babs” Roberts, DSHS (proposed lead agency for spay/neuter bill); David Ducharme, Pet Food Institute; Holly Chesa, NW Grocery Association; Tom Dooley, Central WA Grain Growers; Carolyn Logue, WA Food Industry Association.

    If you support HB 1226, please remember these names/companies when voting with your ballot and with your consumer dollars.



    First…my apologies for somehow posting this topic twice.

    Below is the letter I sent to the ‘House Early Learning & Human Services Committee. (in the original letter, ‘Your support’ is underlined each time it appears)

    And here is their email list:;;;;;;;;

    March 3, 2011

    Subject: Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill HB 1226 Testimony

    Dear House Early Learning & Human Services Committee,

    Thank you for taking your time to hear testimony from the public.

    Your support of Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill HB 1226 will help reduce the number one cause of animal cruelty in Washington State—being a homeless pet.


    • Every day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in this country while only 10,000 people are born.

    • Every year 10-12 million animals are euthanized in shelters for lack of available homes.

    • On average, 64% of all animals taken into shelters nationwide have to be euthanized for this reason.

    • Purebreds account for 30% of all the animals in shelters.

    Washington State

    • A 2005 Washington State survey of shelters, over 60,000 cats and dogs were euthanized. This number has remained consistent.

    • Approximately 133,000 animals enter our Washington shelters annually; 45% – 50% are euthanized. Note: Only 1/3 of survey recipients responded

    Your support of Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill HB 1226 will help reduce the costs associated with sheltering animals, animal control field operations, and cruelty investigations; and court costs.

    • Less animals equates to less costs to taxpayers and rescue groups/shelters.

    • Neutered and spayed animals are less likely to roam/get lost, bite and damage personal property, e.g., cat spraying on neighbor’s front door.

    • Less field calls, cruelty cases and neighbor complaints, result in less court cases.

    • Reduces the number of kittens entering shelters as feral and stray cats give birth to 65 – 85% of the kittens.

    • For every home a person finds for the offspring of a pet they did not neuter/spay, a home is lost for a shelter animal.

    Your support of Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill HB 1226 will help people do the right thing. The number one reason people do not neuter/spay is cost and accessibility. Please see Exhibit 1 for successful programs.

    Each of you can make a positive difference in peoples’ lives and their animals’ lives by passing HB 1226. It is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent animal cruelty. Please help ‘put all of us out of the rescue business’, by supporting this legislation.

    If I can be of any service and/or answer any questions, please contact me.

    Respectfully Yours,

    Exhibit 1

    Examples of Successful Neuter/Spay Programs

    First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Florida

    • 80% of the pet overpopulation problem is caused by 3% of pet owners–these for the most part are low income pet owners.

    • Programs that target these pet owners are the most effective and the only way we will ever get control of the pet overpopulation crisis.”

    Pet Over-Population Prevention Advocates, Inc. of Oregon

    • Very successful program called the Tom and Mom Cat Special

    • Targets the least fortunate of the area–special runs from Valentine’s Day to St. Patrick’s Day

    • Over thirty clinics participate

    • Collaborative effort between the animal organizations and local Vets

    • Administrative side kept simple: screening can be done using a zip code and if an animal needing to be altered is a feral or a stray there are no questions asked.

    • Flat fee for the surgeries – $10 for the spay/neuters.

    • Volunteer power to call and confirm the scheduled appointments.

    • Advertise to target audience: includes flyers with handy pull-off tabs with the pertinent info. Displayed in lower income residences and in discount food stores, welfare offices, cigarette outlets and food banks.

    emanciPET of Texas [East Austin, TX]

    • Built the program by teaming up with the city of Austin.

    • Austin pays for surgeries; does a bulk of the advertising, with flyers that get widely distributed from places like public libraries to community centers.

    Solutions to Overpopulation of Pets: STOP—[New Hampshire]

    • In New Hampshire, the shelter euthanasia rate dropped 75% in the first six years after an affordable neutering assistance program was established for low-income families.

    • Targeted neutering subsidy programs are so cost effective that they are presently affordable in every part of the country

    • Total yearly cost of the New Hampshire low-income program has been less than 15 cents per resident, including all administrative costs.

    • Impoundment and sheltering expenses typically cost taxpayers about $3 per person every year

    • The victims of pet overpopulation are increasingly from poor communities.

    • Programs like this cost effective and only hope to end pet overpopulation. We cannot adopt our way out of pet overpopulation or build our way out.

    • A system that continues to spend upwards of 95% of its resources on reactive programs is doomed to failure and frustration. On the other hand, effective preventive programs reverse this debilitating dynamic.



    I was fortunate enough to be at this meeting. While disappointing that it was to late to even consider the bill, hopefully it will pass in the fall.




    funkietoo: beaucoup good karma points to you and hammerhead for following up on this issue and helping this bill get as far as it did.

    (The original post was a little hard for me to process, what with all the facts and figures . . . but maybe that’s just me.)

    Anyway, it baffles me that this bill didn’t sail through Legislature. It was a cost-cutting, animal-saving measure. A real no-brainer.

    Hopefully you’ll be able to build more institutional support for it the next time around. The Humane Society of Bellevue really SHOULD have been behind this bill. Unfortunately, they weren’t behind it, and this is bad karma for them, since they’ll be left dealing with that many more orphaned pets and euthanizations . . .

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