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11 July 2001 Issue
"Animal Friendly" License Plate Programs

source - Doris Day Animal League - www.ddal.oorg 

Every year, millions of healthy, adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are killed in our nationís shelters because there are simply not enough good homes. This tragedy is preventable. By spaying or neutering cats and dogs, we can humanely end the overpopulation crisis.

The creation of a special license plate to benefit low-cost spay/neuter or other humane programs is one innovative way to raise funds for these much-needed services. Low-cost spay/neuter programs are a crucial element of an effective cat and dog overpopulation solution.

Fourteen states (AL, AZ, CT, DE, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, TN, TX, UT, and VA) have already passed laws authorizing the creation of special "animal friendly" license plates. In 1993, New Jersey became the first state to enact this innovative system. Proceeds from the sale of the plate go directly to the State Overpopulation Control Fund. In New York, twenty dollars from each plate sale is placed directly into a fund to prevent unwanted litters of dogs and cats. Decisions as to the distribution of funds will be made on a state to state basis.

Vanity license plates are a win/win effort. Concerned drivers can choose to help animals. These license plates educate the public about the importance of spay/neuter programs and testify to how many people care! If the state does not have a fund in place, one must be created where proceeds may be directed. In some states, the Department of Motor Vehicles administers the funds generated from the sales of "animal friendly" plates, in other states the plates are sold from and directly benefit specific animal shelters.

What You Can Do:

If your state does not have an "animal friendly" license plate program, write a letter or start a petition to your state legislators, voicing your commitment to a license plate program to benefit spay/neutering programs and shelters in your state. Cite the states that already have "animal friendly" plates. If your state does have a program in place, set a good example by purchasing a plate and encouraging your friends and neighbors to do the same.

Spread the word by posting flyers or sample license plates in appropriate areas like City Hall, gas stations, houses of worship, and at special events like fairs and farmers' markets. You can request flyers and sample license plates from the Prevent a Litter Coalition (www.palc.org) or by calling (703) 818-8009.

Did You Know?

The DDAL has sample legislation for an "animal friendly" state law. Please contact the League if you would like a copy, or go to the "Downloads" area of the DDAL website.

Compiled with assistance from the Prevent A Litter Coalition.

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