The California Spay and Neuter License Plate Fund and the California Veterinary Medical Board is launching a California Spay and Neuter Specialty License Plate Program to provide funding for free and low-cost spay and neuter surgery programs across California. The plates will feature original artwork created and donated by distinguished actor, producer and artist Pierce Brosnan. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Brosnan and other special guests will celebrate this program today at the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter in Los Angeles.
“The Spay and Neuter License Plate Program is unprecedented in California and a brilliant initiative,” said Stephanie Ferguson, DVM, vice president of the California Veterinary Medical Board. “The proceeds from this program will tremendously benefit animal shelters and help curtail the number of homeless animals throughout the state. We’re also extremely fortunate to have the generosity and crucial support of Pierce Brosnan and other well-known celebrities,” she added.
The California Spay and Neuter License Plate Program will help raise awareness about the overwhelming number of homeless and unwanted dogs and cats in California and the importance of spaying and neutering pets to save animal lives. The program will fund spay and neuter surgeries through local animal care and control agency voucher programs and through in-house or local veterinary clinics. Animal lovers and supporters can pre-order the special license plates starting June 9, 2010.
According to the latest figures available from the California Department of Public Health, the total number of dogs and cats euthanized in public shelters rose from 378,445 in 2004 to 432,512 in 2008. When private shelters are included, an estimated one million pets enter California’s shelters each year and more than half are euthanized.
Initiatives such as the California Spay and Neuter License Plate Program can have a positive impact and significantly reduce pet overpopulation through increased spay and neuter. The new specialty license plates will be produced and issued once an initial 7,500 prepaid applications have been collected per the Special Interest License Plate Program requirements. Net proceeds from the sale and annual renewal of these plates will fund spay and neuter surgeries, not shelter overhead costs.