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What is the WV Spay Neuter Assistance Program Fund all about?

What is the history of the WV Spay Neuter Assistance Fund?

The WV Spay Neuter Assistance Program Fund was established in 2013.  The rules were completed in 2015.  Now the law needs to be funded.  $25,000 is available to be donated from the ASPCA through FOHO WV.  The West Virginia Department of Agriculture will enforce the law and manage the funds.



Download this special report on the pet overpopulation solution for West Virginia 2017
WV Spay Neuter Special Report 2017


Download this 2 page summary on the WV Spay Neuter Funding Solution for 2017
Spay Neuter Funding 2017


Why does West Virginia need the WV Spay Neuter Assistance Fund?

  • 65%  of  WV households have pets[1]
  • WV tax payers spend nearly $10 million every year for pet population control[2]
  • 20,000 (40%) dogs and cats that enter WV shelters every year are euthanized[3]
  • Funds will help control feral and stray cat populations
  • Lower pet population will reduce incidents of cruelty and neglect, and human/animal conflicts
  • Fewer unwanted litters will increase the value of every dog and cat living in WV
  • Participation in the program will increase compliance with existing laws


Why is increasing the Pet Food Fee the right choice for WV Spay Neuter Assistance Fund?

  • There will be no new fees!  To be added to the existing pet food registration fee[4]
  • A $100 fee increase times 9,000 brands[5] will result in $900,000 annually
  • Funding will be available to residents, non-profits and Animal Control from all 55 counties
  • The Pet Food Industry has reported 2015 sales of approximating $196 million in WV[6].  This is an increase of 18-22% over  2014 sales and an additional 16% increase is expected by 2015[7]
  • If the pet food industry passes the increase on to the consumer, it has been estimated to cost $1.00 per year per pet for the pet owners[8]
  • Immediate implementation will save tax dollars and lives
  • Reliable funding generated for the sole purpose of reducing pet overpopulation will benefit WV residents, their pets, and the animals in their care.


What other funding sources have been considered?  When you read these you will realize the Pet Food Fee increase is the best options!

  • Income tax check off – not dependable and not enough money
  • Surcharge on rabies vaccinations – veterinarians do not support this option
  • Specialty auto license plates – money goes to the DMV and not to spay/neuter
  • Increase dog license/registration fee – low compliance & money supports animal control facility
  • Yearly appropriation from the legislature – unreliable source during lean budget years

Supporting Arguments

Spay & Neuter Saves Lives


34 other states have already established similar funding programs to support spay/neuter services.


After implementing their program, New Jersey experienced a 61% decrease in pet homelessness, and New Hampshire had over a 75% decrease in euthanasia rates over an 8 year period.

fund-2 Spay & Neuter Advances  Public Health and Safety
Increased access to spay/neuter assistance will reduce the number of intact animals that are more prone to human­ animal conflict.Sterilization will reduce undesirable behavior, will lessen the urge to roam, and will reduce the spread of rabies through exposure to local wildlife.
Spay & Neuter Saves Money 
WV spends nearly ten million tax dollars annually to impound, care for, re-home and euthanize dogs and cats throughout WV.In the first seven years of the New Hampshire spay/neuter program, the state saved $3.25 in impoundment costs for every $1 invested.
WV Spay Neuter Act

Chapter 19-Article 20B


WV Spay Neuter Assistance Program

Chapter 19-Article 20C


Code of State Rule

61 CSR 24


There are 930,794 dogs and cats in WV households, 14% of the dogs and 10% of the cats are not altered.9

It is estimated there are 123,355  homeless cats in WV.10


The solution to reducing pet overpopulation in West Virginia lies in population control through the sensible funding of the WV Spay Neuter Assistance Program Fund.


Additional Resources:

“As a point of comparison, the US $26.8 total is nearly smack-dab between other figures we’ve seen for 2015 US pet food sales, such as US $23.05 billion from the American Pet Products Association or about US $24 billion from GfK and, on the high side, US $30.27 billion from Packaged Facts. That tells me the USBLS number is probably the one to trust the most.”   Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry.   May 4 2016.

[1] Source http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/facts/pet_ownership_statistics.html

[2] Source  2015 – Survey Shelter Report & County Commissions – FOHO WV – data of 37 counties

[3] Source 2014 WV Board of Veterinary Medicine Euthanasia Report – 30 counties

[4] Source WV Code 19-14-5(e)(2),

[5] Source  WV Dept. of Agriculture / ​Regulatory & Environmental Affairs Division, 2015

[6] US Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) – 79 million US Pet Households divided into $27 billion Pet Food Sales = $342 per household X 574,078 WV Pet Households =   $196 million in WV Pet Food Sales in 2015  – FOHO WV

[7] Source http://www.petfoodindustry.com/blogs/7-adventures-in-pet-food/post/6038-pet-food-sales-update-us-spending-up-22-in-2015

 8 Source Secovich, Sharon J. Case Study:  Companion Animal Over-Population Programs in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Maine.

9 Source  https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/US-pet-ownership-calculator.aspx
10 Source  https://www.petsmartcharities.org/pro/grant-stories/free-roaming-cats-can-bring-communities-together

http://www.petfoodindustry.com/blogs/7-adventures-in-pet-food/post/5792-us-pet-food-spending-driven-by-higher-income-pet-owners   According to Petfood Industry Editor, WV sales would equal the following based on which source used:
APPA – American Pet Products Association – $167 million in WV Pet Food Sales in 2015
GfK Global Market Research  –  $174 million in WV Pet Food Sales in 2015
Packaged Facts – $210 million in WV Pet Food Sales in 2015.




Permanent link to this article: http://www.fohowv.org/spay-neuter-campaign/wv-spay-neuter-assistance-program-fund/