Spay/neuter saves lives, it must stay in Alabama!
Alabama, we need your help to keep low-cost spay/neuter clinics operating in your state. Please support Alabama House Bill 141, the Spay/Neuter Clinic Protection Act!
Currently, four spay/neuter clinics, which are designated as 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable institutions, provide low-cost, high-volume and high-quality spay/neuter services across the state of Alabama. For four years these clinics have assisted in humanely combating over-crowded shelters, reducing pet overpopulation and euthanasia. Their dedicated veterinarians have performed more than 60,000 sterilization surgeries for humane shelters, qualifying low-income pet owners, animal rescue groups and others!
Introduced by Rep. Patricia Todd, the Spay/Neuter Clinic Protection Act (H.B. 141) is legislation that will address inadequacies in current state law related to the practice of veterinary medicine and the employment of veterinarians. This legislation will ensure that veterinarians are able to legally be employed by and perform services for non-profit, charitable institutions. Passage of this bill is vitally needed to protect the right of veterinarians to practice where they choose, allowing those providing services at these nonprofit clinics to continue their critical work of reducing pet homelessness.
Fortunately on February 25 , H.B. 141, was passed in the House. Now it needs to be brought before the Senate Health Committee before it can come up for vote on the Senate floor, which would ensure that spay/neuter clinics can continue to operate and provide these life-saving services.
What You Can Do:
Please call or email your State Senator TODAY, urging him or her to vote YES on H.B. 141 to protect the spay/neuter clinics of Alabama!
Find contact info below for members of the Senate Health Committee. Remember to be respectful and considerate when voicing your concerns. Here are some suggested talking points:
- The spay/neuter bill, H.B. 141, passed the House February 25 and is slated to come before the Senate Health Committee. I am calling today to ask you to PLEASE SUPPORT this bill. We currently have a pet overpopulation epidemic in Alabama.
- I am a supporter of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, and on average we accept about 10,000 animals annually. This is just an owner-surrender facility, as we are not animal control (that agency also brings in thousands of unowned animals a year). So just in Jefferson county, the homeless pet population is approximately 20,000 pets a year. It costs a lot of money to house, triage and ultimately euthanize these unwanted pets.
- I urge you, for the people of your district, to vote YES on H.B. 141 when it comes before the Senate Health Committee next week. The bill adds an exemption to the veterinary practice act which will allow these low-cost non-profit spay/neuter clinics around the state to operate. Your constituents utilize the services of the clinic in Irondale on a daily basis. Since 2008, that clinic alone has spayed and neutered over 60,000 pets, preventing millions of unwanted pets to be born.
- You may be wondering what the opposition is saying:
They are claiming that the standard of care at these clinics is not at par with a full-service, private veterinary practice. I would argue that a veterinarian working at a spay/neuter clinic is also licensed by the board of veterinary medical examiners. The board has the authority to discipline veterinarians at spay/neuter clinics just as they would at a private practice, and they should do so if there is a standard of care issue.
One lawmaker argued that the low-cost clinics cut into full-service veterinary clinics' profit margins. My response is two-fold: (1) Alabama believes in free market. (2) A different client utilizes a low-cost spay/neuter clinic than one who utilizes a full-service private practice. For example, on February 25, on World Spay Day at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, we sold 129 certificates to well-meaning individuals who simply couldn't afford to have their pets altered without the reduced rate.
Thank you in advance for your support!
How to Contact Members of the Alabama State Senate Health Committee:
Senator Greg Reed, Chairperson (R)
5th District (Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Winston)
Senator Paul Bussman, Vice Chairperson (R)
4th District (Cullman, Lawrence, Winston)
Senator Billy Beasley (D)
28th District (Barbour, Bullock, Henry, Lee, Macon, Russell)
Senator Slade Blackwell (R)
15th District (Jefferson, Shelby)
Senator Linda Coleman (D)
20th District (Jefferson)
Senator Gerald Dial (R) Majority Whip
13th District (Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Lee, Randolph)
Senator Harri Anne Smith (I)
29th District (Dale, Geneva, Houston)
Senator Cam Ward (R)
14th District (Bibb, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby)
Senator J. T. "Jabo" Waggoner (R) Senate Majority Leader
16th District (Jefferson, Shelby)
Senator Tom Whatley (R)
27th District (Lee, Russell, Tallapoosa)
Senator Jerry Fielding (R) President Pro Tempore Designee
11th District (Calhoun, Coosa, Elmore, Talladega)