Senator McGuire’s legislation to expand access to funding for Marin and other spay and neuter programs signed by Governor Newsom

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Sacramento, CA – Each year, hundreds of thousands of animals enter shelters across California. Experts agree – spay and neuter programs are among the most effective methods for reducing animal homelessness and controlling the pet population.

Senator McGuire’s commonsense bill, SB 637, which will expand access to funding for spay and neuter programs by allowing nonprofit animal care/control/shelter organizations – such as Marin Humane – to apply for voluntary state tax check off funds for the first time in history has been signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

“We know expanding spay and neuter programs across the state is one of the best tools we have to reduce the number of cats and dogs being dropped at shelters,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “We want to thank Governor Newsom for signing this bill. This amended law will help expand the good work of organizations like Marin Humane, allowing them to access state funds to broaden their reach with their spay and neuter programs benefitting low income families and seniors on fixed incomes.”

Since 2016, Californians have contributed over $850,000 of their state personal income tax returns to the The Prevention of Animal Homelessness and Cruelty Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund. Money in the fund is generated through voluntary tax contributions from state personal income tax returns.

The program is administered by California Department of Food and Agriculture with the first $250,000 generated each year going to city and county animal control agencies to support spay and neuter programs. However, a handful of cities and counties across the State contract with nonprofit animal shelters for their animal care and control services – such as Marin Humane.

“As an animal welfare organization providing services to the animals and residents of Marin County, we were grateful to work with Senator McGuire on this important legislation that will make Marin Humane eligible to receive much-needed funding,” said Nancy McKenney, CEO/President of Marin Humane. “Given the rising costs of veterinary care for pet guardians and the benefits to spayed and neutered animals, access to the additional funding from this bill would enable Marin Humane to make an even greater impact in our community.”

Despite non-profits providing critical animal care and control services on behalf local governments, these nonprofit organizations have historically been unable to apply for the first $250,000 of the Fund dedicated to spay and neuter programs. As a result, these cities and counties miss out on the spay and neuter funding, and residents who contribute to the Fund will never see its benefit returned to their community.

SB 637 was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom Friday, Sept. 20.