Approximately 62 percent of pets that enter Georgia county shelters each year are euthanized. This does not include the large areas of the state that do not have animal controls, shelters, rescues and/or veterinarians. This under-served portion of Georgia is equivalent to the size of Maryland.
Governor Deal and the Georgia Legislature signed a bill approving the new Georgia Pet Foundation specialty license plate in April 2016 with the mission to raise money for spay neuter programs to end pet overpopulation. This specialty tag has no manufacturing fee and costs $25 more than the standard state tag. Approximately 80 percent of the $25 fee goes to the Georgia Pet Foundation nonprofit for spay/neuter grants.
Funding is strategically targeted for eligible statewide spay-neuter programs. Animal controls, rescues, shelters, nonprofits and veterinarians are eligible to apply for spay/neuter grants for their counties or neighboring counties they serve. The first grant cycles were opened in 2019, when $49,500 was distributed for spay/neuter services. Groups in Barrow, Bulloch, Chattooga, Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson and Polk counties were awarded spay neuter grants in 2019.
The nonprofit Ahimsa House received a $10,000 grant to spay and neuter pets belonging to victims of domestic violence. This partnership helps support Ahimsa House’s program that allows victims to bring their pets into the safety of the program with their humans. New grant cycles will be opening in 2020. Updates are released through a newsletter, which can be received by signing up through the Georgia Pet Foundation website.
The Georgia Pet Foundation can be found on Facebook and Instagram where it has established a community of animal lovers. Many animal welfare sites are emotionally heavy, but the Georgia Pet Foundation strives to create and share daily content that is informational for communities in addition to posts that make people smile.
Through these efforts the Georgia Pet Foundation is working to make Georgia a better place for pets and families. For more information, visit their website and social media pages.
[Click license plate image above to go to Georgia Pet Foundation's FB page.]