Universal Tag County-Wide Spay Neuter Program
Summary of Proposal
The only way to reduce the numbers of animals killed in our shelters each year is to reduce the numbers of animals being born. Aggressive, broad-based spay/neuter programs are the core of every successful â€śno more homeless petsâ€ť program in the country.
The Volusia County Council had supported a spay/neuter rebate program for many years. Under this program, residents of the unincorporated areas of the county were eligible to receive a rebate of $42 if they had a cat or dog altered. This program was so popular, that it ran out of funds about half way through each fiscal year, even though the funding had been increased to $60,000 a year. The County recently replaced this program with a spay/neuter bus that will be available to the residents of the unincorpated areas.
The proposed Universal Tag Program follows the same model as the County rebate program but extends the subsidies to every resident in the county. Because of tight budgetary constraints in every jurisdiction, government funding is simply not available to support a greatly expanded spay/neuter program.
In looking for other money sources to pay for this program, we identified the sale of dog & cat licenses as a possibility. Every city, as well as the county requires that dogs & cats be licensed each year. But, fewer than 13,000 licenses are sold annually in the entire area. We knew that if we could collect these untapped license fees we could support a county-wide spay/neuter subsidy program. Thatâ€™s how the Universal Tag Program evolved.
Under this program, the $600,000 generated each year by the sale of license tags-would then be available to pay for the spay/neuter subsidy for residents in all areas of the county.
Unfortunately this "free" money was turned down by the county because of resistance from a small group of veterinarians who had their own agenda. They provided no solution to the pet overpopulation problem so we continue to kill over 15,000 animals each year at an annual cost of over one million taxpayer dollars.
An accessible, affordable spay/neuter program is the only solution to the pet overpopulation problem in Volusia County. We will continue to propose programs to city and county representatives that will reduce the number of animals being born and in turn reduce the taxpayer dollars being used to kill animals.
UPDATE!! COUNTY SHOOTS DOWN UNIVERSAL TAG PROGRAM!
- Daytona Beach
- South Daytona
- Holly Hill
- Port Orange
- Orange City
- Lake Helen
- Ormond Beach
We tried our best to get Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach and DeBary to join the other participating cities but all three chose to listen to a small group of veterinarians that had their own agenda. Since the Volusia County Council refused to lower the percentage required to implement the program it has been put on hold indefinetly.
This has been a long, sometimes disappointing, road for all of us. There were times when we were ready to give up. But each passing day involved the killing of more and more animals, innocent of only one crime, they did not have a home.
We will continue to work with those cities whose goal it is to reduce the number of animals that are being killed at our shelters. In a time when the county and cities are looking at budget cuts because of the tax reductions being considered by the state, the ONE MILLION taxpayer dollars spent by Volusia County to kill animals will become an issue. We will be there to offer assistance and guidance to those who want to adopt spay and neuter programs that are both fiscally and morally responsible.We will keep you informed of our progress towards helping Volusia County become a "No Kill" community.