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; then on March 5, it passed through the Senate Health Committee meeting. But there is still much work to be done to ensure that spay/neuter clinics can continue to operate and provide these life-saving services! The bill must be chosen by the Rules Committee as a special order. If that happens, it will then be put on the Senate floor for a vote. We need your help to make this happen!
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 Rules Committee. Remember to be respectful and considerate when voicing your concerns. Here are some suggested talking points:
- I am calling today to ask you to PLEASE SUPPORT the spay/neuter bill, H.B. 141. 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). 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 Rules Committee:
Senator J. T. "Jabo" Waggoner, (R) Chairperson, Senate Majority Leader
16th District (Jefferson, Shelby)
State House: (334) 242-7892
Home: (205) 822-7443
Business: (205) 978-7405
Senator Jimmy W. Holley, (R) Vice Chairperson
31st District (Coffee, Covington, Dale, Houston)
State House: (334) 242-7845
Home: (334) 897-5181
Senator Roger H. Bedford, Jr. (D)
6th District (Colbert, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, Winston)
State House: (334) 242-7862
Business: (256) 332-6966
Senator Gerald Dial (R) Majority Whip
13th District (Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Lee, Randolph)
State House: (334) 242-7874
Business: (256) 239-9939
Senator Priscilla Dunn (D)
19th District (Jefferson)
State House: (334) 242-7793
Home: (205) 426-3795
Senator Vivian Davis Figures (D) Senate Minority Leader
33rd District (Mobile)
State House: (334) 242-7871
Business: (251) 208-5480
Senator Rusty Glover (R)
34th District (Mobile)
State House: (334) 242-7886
Home: (251) 649-7380
Senator Tammy Irons (D)
1st District (Colbert, Lauderdale)
State House: (334) 242-7888
Cell: (256) 335-3600
Business: (256) 766-9201
Senator Arthur Orr (R)
3rd District (Limestone, Madison, Morgan)
State House: (334) 242-7891
Business: (256) 260-2147
Senator Trip Pittman (R)
32nd District (Baldwin)
State House: (334) 242-7897
Business: (251) 621-0535
Senator Paul Sanford (R)
7th District (Madison)
State House: (334) 242-7867
Business: (256) 539-5441
Senator Clay Scofield (R)
9th District (Blount, Madison, Marshall)
State House: (334) 242-7876
Business: (256) 582-0619
Senator Paul Bussman (R) President Pro Tempore Designee
4th District (Cullman, Lawrence, Winston)
State House: (334) 242-7855
Business: (256) 734-1700