PS- MY "GENERIC" LOW COST_FREE SPAY/NEUTER FOR ANY STATE CAN BE ACCESSED HERE (below URL, just copy and paste on your browser. Please feel free to use it for YOUR STATE.
~~This is NOT a mandatory spay/neuter bill.~~
The impact of homeless/unwanted pets is quite staggering and epidemic, affecting Florida's economy, public safety and community health; without a doubt our economy contributed to homeless pets, also causing great suffering and cruelty to companion animals; spay/neutering also prevents reproductive cancer (breast, uterine, and prostate cancers often malignant in companion animals). This paper demonstrates the economic and community health necessity of a low cost_free State wide spay/neuter bill as outlined here, so please support and/or co-sponsor, for it represents a common sense intervention.
~~This is NOT a mandatory spay/neuter bill.~~
QUESTION: Why does Florida need a low cost_free spay/neuter intervention for the entire State?
ANSWER: In 2008, Florida tax payers paid $93,953,431.00 on animal control whose main designated function is to kill homeless and unwanted pets as a means of population control (they have other functions, but this is the main one).
NEED FOR LOW COST AND FREE SPAY/NEUTER LAW-FUNDED FROM ANIMAL CRUELTY AND ANIMAL ORDINANCE VIOLATION SURCHARGES (also voluntary check mark to donate a dollar towards low cost/free spay/neutering when renewing one's automobile license tags!).
SOLUTION: PLEASE SUPPORT AND HELP REFILE FL HB 1221 and SB 2372 -animal cruelty/ordinance violation surcharges: Collecting surcharges from each animal cruelty/animal ordinance violation so local municipalities use these funds for low cost and free spay/neutering, so it will not cost the State; rather, save the State money since local counties will be able to spend more for education, law enforcement or fireman.
ASSESSMENT: Animal control is extremely expensive throughout the State of Florida. Cost of animal control throughout the State of Florida: $93,953,431 for ONE YEAR (See below table). Cost of animal control goes up yearly. Without a doubt it will be at the $94 million dollar mark next year. Counties pay for animal control, which also funds such services as law enforcement, education, etc., which required State and Federal funds to balance the books.
Animals suffer and 90% die (on the average) in animal shelters. It takes a heavy emotional toll on animal control workers. Killing for the most part entirely adoptable cats, kittens, dogs, and cats as a means of population control is expense, and cruel.
This is an ongoing problem, and all shelters are full to capacity with other alternative than to destroy them as a means of population control. Most animal control conditions are far from humane for both animals; they know they are going to die. Animal control personnel often suffer emotional trauma from compassion for the animals-contrary to popular belief, one never gets used to it.
MOST DOG POUNDS follow this scenario as outlined in Manatee County, FL
-Impounded dogs and cats will only receive minimal care.
-No adoption or transfer program for dogs and cats which results in an estimated 91% euthanasia rate. Any animal not claimed
within 7 to 10 days will be euthanized.
-Loss of shelter staff due to compassion fatigue from high animal euthanasia rate.
-Increased cost for euthanasia solution and propane to operate the incinerator due to increased euthanasia.
-Inability to provide staff for pet friendly shelters in time of disaster.
PLAN: Low cost and free spay/neutering available for all Floridians who choose this intervention to contribute to their community not adding to pet overpopulation explosion. Funded by Surcharges imposed for all animal cruelty and animal ordinance violation, per charge. In addition, another suggestion is to provide a check mark space when one renews their driver's license tags if they voluntarily wish to donate a dollar toward the low cost and free spay/neutering.
GOALS: The cost of spay/neutering on the average is $250 for a single female cat when you call the vet. A male cat is close to $200. Affordability and in certain cases, free, spay/neuterings to motivate more people to voluntarily spay/neuter their pets as a means of helping their community decrease the horrendous expense of breeding cats (mostly), often homeless animals. Homeless cats are highly elusive, and they breed faster than animal control can kill them. Due to a poor economy and jobless rates, people are dumping their pets and not altering them. Dogs and cats do NOT have the option of condoms, so they breed relentlessly. Most people prefer spay/neutering as it curbs the urge to wander (and get hit by cars), spraying, and spay/neutering PREVENTS reproductive cancers and tumors like in the prostate and breast (cats can indeed get breast cancer like people do-spaying prevents that).
This is just one small example what is happening throughout the State-people are abandoning their pets, which most are neither spayed nor neutered and are breeding like wildfire!-at great expense to local counties affecting State funds (dog pounds come from the same funds as law enforcement and education that State supplements local governments); these ejected pets get no care and the potential for disease is enormous-including rabies, toxoplasmosis and worm parasites; children often go barefoot, and may be exposed to homeless animals which never get vet care or vaccinations. Neutered dogs are less likely to bite.
-There are not enough homes for all the puppies and kittens born from pets whose owners simply did not spay and neuter them.
-One unspayed female dog, her mate and their offspring can produce up to 67,000 dogs in only 6 years.
-ONE unspayed female cat, her mate and all of their offspring can produce 370,092 in just 7 years. There literally millions of homeless cats in a single State alone. One single pair of breeding cats-one male and female-considering six offspring survive yearly-produces 2 million cats over 10 years. This data is Florida specific citing merely a few examples of the result of out of control homeless and breeding pets, especially cats.
--Low cost spay/neutering will begin to save local governments millions of dollars every year.
Over 300,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in Florida (about 10 to 15 million every year nationwide), with each county paying $60 to $250 per animal, even with minimal care. Each dog pound, run by the county, pays enormously to kill homeless and unwanted pets virtually all of them will be killed as a means of population control.
--Low cost spay/neutering will increase public safety. Animal control is most often under local municipalities also funding education, public safety department budgets, burdening taxpayers and taking money away from police and firefighters. By having affordable spay/neutering, cuts the dog and cat overpopulation in half, we can put 500 (or more) new cops on the streets for each State!
One unneutered male dog or cat can impregnate dozens of females in a month, leading to thousands of unwanted animals.
SPAY/NEUTERING PREVENTS REPRODUCTIVE CANCERS! Did you know most cats six years and older get breast cancer-happens commonly with unspayed cats. SPAYED CATS RARELY GET BREAST TUMORS AND CANCERS.
"Breast cancer is rare among spayed females, especially those neutered before their first heat cycle. Early spaying reduces the risk factors sevenfold. Breast tumors occur frequently in unspayed cats. Eighty percent are malignant (adenocarcinoma). The rest are benign adenomas. Breast cancer is the third most common cancer in cats. Most affected cats are unspayed females over 6 years old."
Dogs also suffer breast cancers; male cats and dogs also suffer reproductive cancers which neutering prevents drastically.
(1) IN THE NEWS!
Advocates: Not enough low-cost spaying, neutering
July 16, 2010 12:05 AM
By ArNNE GEGGIS, Staff Writer
THE DAYTONS BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL
In Volusia County animal shelters alone, more than 9,000 animals -- mostly cats -- were killed last year, mainly because of inadequate space to keep them while they wait for adoption... Volusia and Flagler cities and county governments collectively spend about $1 million housing and euthanizing animals. Lori Sheets, a Deltona mother of three, had already taken in two rescued cats, Mike and Ike...But where to get him neutered became another problem. Her husband has been out of work since an accident. Calling around, she found that it would take more than $100 at most veterinarian offices. She investigated the Humane Society in Sanford but there the charge is $75."That's still a lot of money when you don't have enough to pay your electric bill," she said.
Cuts at Hernando County Animal Services could reduce adoptions
By Tony Marrero, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Sunday, July 11, 2010
Michael Steele of Hernando County Animal Services transfers a feral kitten that was captured by Heather Dart, left, on her property off Erma Road in Brooksville on Thursday. Animal Services is facing deep budget cuts, thus cuts in services. Some changes could reduce the number of adoptions.
When it comes to critters, there are few things the county's Animal Services doesn't do.
The headquarters and animal shelter on Oliver Street in Brooksville stay open 38 1/2 hours a week in hopes of connecting would-be pets and owners. Neighbors annoyed by barking dogs or stinking yards can call the animal control officers to investigate. And when an animal meets its end on your property or along the side of the road, a county worker removes it.
But all of those services and more are either on the chopping block or set to be scaled back as the county struggles to bridge a $10.3 million gap for the 2010-11 budget year, which begins Oct. 1.
The proposed Animal Services operating budget of roughly $846,000 is a reduction from last year of about $104,000.
The department plans to cut three full-time positions — an animal control officer, a kennel worker and a customer service attendant — for a net savings of roughly $75,000. That would leave 11.65 positions, including four animal control officers and four kennel workers, said Jean Rags, director of the county's Community Services Division.
11/6/09-Kathleen Fleck, president of Sheltering Hands Inc., said that because of the state of the economy, the number of abandoned animals is on the rise. Fleck said out-of-control cat populations “impact the health of cats everywhere.” Left unchecked, feral cat populations can also threaten humans with rabies and cause a lot of damage to wildlife, she said.“Keep them in a healthy, low-impact population. It helps reduce impact on wildlife.” Karen Parker, a spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said there are about 5 million feral and free-ranging cats statewide, and numbers are rising."
January 8, 2010
"The problem of wild cats in Pinellas County is ongoing. County commissioners last month accepted a report on the issue that was prepared by a citizens’ study group. The unit included representatives from county animal services, nonprofit animal shelters, animal welfare groups, environmental nonprofit groups, county department of environmental management, county health department, as well as feral cat advocacy groups.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 feral cats reside in Pinellas County. That is in addition to so-called “free roaming” cats that populate the county. “Our house is rapidly becoming flea-infested,” Duffy said in an e-mail. “I’ve already spent $140 at the vet for our pets on flea and worm treatment. It would have been much more had it not been for pet insurance.”
Residents complain of the stench from urine and feces, screeching fights at night, burrows under fences and other problems.
Not only are the cages capturing the feral cats, but a few possums and raccoons have been trapped as well. Cats and raccoons for some reason readily co-exist."
Keep in mind raccoons also harbor rabies and other diseases.
Small example: Cats overrun abandoned in trailer parks such as in this vacant Bonita trailer park.
"BONITA SPRINGS — Stand on the roadside at Glade Haven, an abandoned RV and trailer park in Bonita Springs, and you'll see them. Kittens hop in the weeds behind their mother, who lounges on the edge of a dirt road. Adult cats, some skinny and some sickly, emerge from around and beneath the trailers. Some wander over to strangers and brush against their legs. Others run away when approached." Glade Haven's situation is similar to that of Manna Christian Mission RV Park, a low-income park on Bonita Beach Road. Many homeowners abandoned pets when they evacuated for floods last summer. Lee County Domestic Animal Services collected many of the pets and offered to give them back to homeowners, but few were claimed. Cats now roam the empty lots. Solutions are disappearing. A deflated economy is straining animal services, both private and public, in both Lee and Collier counties. Many operations are now turning animals away. Nicki Whaley, an employee of Animal Refuge Center, a Fort Myers rescue operation that takes feral cats, estimated she receives 100 calls inquiring about leaving an animal for every one adoption. "We're not accepting (animals) now," she said. "We're getting much more calls for people dropping them off." She says families can't afford to keep the pets, given job losses and depleted incomes. Collier County commissioners are looking at deep cuts in their Domestic Animal Services budget, a move that had threatened to end an adoption program and increase euthanizations."
(2) There are literally millions of homeless cats throughout the State of Florida, and they are breeding.
(3) Coyotes are all over Florida-they are increasing in numbers due to the availability of food: cat meat.
Outdoor Cats Easy Prey for Coyotes
Thursday, 02 July 2009 10:55
"When coyotes were observed feeding, 42 percent of the meals were cats."
"EUSTIS, Fla., May 30, 2008 (UPI) -- Residents of a Florida neighborhood say they are pretty certain coyotes are behind a recent rash of disappearing house cats.
Folks in the Lake County neighborhood told the Orlando Sentinel Friday they have found fur and bones left behind in their yards and, in one instance, saw a coyote running off with a cat in its jaws."
House cats: To coyotes, they're what's for dinner
May 30, 2008
QUOTED IN PART: "House cats are disappearing in a Lake County neighborhood, and clues point to four-legged suspects:
Ravenous coyotes.Marie Baker's fears for her treasured white ragdoll cat, Stanlee, intensified when her husband, Roy, 55, spotted a big yellow tabby cat trapped in the jaws of a coyote -- "that could have been our cat."
The 54-year-old real-estate legal secretary is one of several Eustis-area residents worried about a growing number of missing felines.
"These cats are disappearing right now," Baker said Thursday. "They're probably looking for food, and now they're just getting people's cats."
It's not unusual for coyotes to find house cats appetizing, said Sara Sillars, wildlife assistant biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. As development spreads into rural areas, coyotes adapt to their new habitat. They also create new eating habits away from their typical meals of small predators and rodents. If a hungry coyote encounters a house cat or small dog, the pets may look like a scrumptious meal.
"If they're hungry and they see an easy meal," Sillars said, "they're going to go for it." Pet owners in Lake are quickly learning how coyotes prey. Eustis resident Deborah Reischmann, 55, made a startling discovery about three months ago in her backyard after her three-legged gray cat went missing: Balls of Zeus' gray fur and cat bones were licked clean. Reischmann found a similar scene a few weeks ago after Rufus, a long-haired marmalade cat, disappeared. The cats are two of five Reischmann lost in the past year and a half..." End quote.
6/15/09: Budget crisis could mean more euthanizations
COLLIER COUNTY: Hundreds of dogs and cats are the latest victims of Collier County's budget crisis. Collier Domestic Animal Services may be forced to end all adoptions next fiscal year and euthanize up to 1,000 MORE animals.
Orange County Animal Services Manger, Katherine Lockett said, "The numbers of animals coming into our shelter continue to increase each year," said Lockett. "Impounds increased by six percent from 2008.
(5) ANIMAL CRUELTY ISSUES WITH HOMELESS CATS AND DOGS:
FACT: Spay/neutering combats animal cruelty: ANIMAL CRUELTY is escalating-homeless and stray animals are vulnerable targets to the multitudes of violent humans who take pleasure torturing and killing homeless cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies, because *they are there* and vulnerable. Nobody protects homeless pets. Literally millions of homeless cats in each state. For example, May 2009 in Miami, Florida, a teenager was charged with the brutal torture and mutilations of 20 cats that were skinned alive with bellies cut open, thrown on people's yards like trophies. Though some were family pets, many were homeless cats.
Less cats and dogs will be hit by cars due to homelessness; spay and neutering also curbs wandering (cats and dogs look for a mate following scents and get hit by automobiles.)
PEOPLE who fail to spay/neuter their cat-often dispose of them with very cruel methods-such as drowning them, throwing the live kittens in plastic bags, sealing it up so they would suffocate, and there are multiple cases where they are thrown out of MOVING vehicles far too many to mention. In one example on JULY 17, 2009, someone left SIX kittens in a sealed suitcase-left them to die (rescued, but barely alive).
Lanius and volunteer Helen Hofman open the suitcase and gasped at the furry, lumping sight. Hofman said inside were six kittens, gasping for air, with their tongues hanging out, who were drenched from their own urine. She estimates they were in the suitcase for about eight hours. The inside of the suitcase reeked. "They were literally skins and bones," said Hofman, before sticking
out her tongue to paint a picture of her initial sight of the felines. It wasn't the first time someone has abandoned animals at the gate of the 400-plus cat property. And during the weekend, the shelter took in another 14 cats found abandoned in a foreclosed home. The non-profit shelter is so full, that a posted sign on a locked animal drop box states they aren't accepting any more cats.
But it also warns people about the dangers of leaving cats in the nearby woods sprinkled with coyotes. " (End quote)
Increase in raccoon population: "It's reasonable to assume the raccoon population in Florida has easily doubled, maybe tripled in the last 50 or 60 years," said William Kern, associate professor of urban entomology at University of Florida.
These raccoons are not afraid of predators-one example a Lakeland woman attacked by pack of raccoons. If they attack people, they also attack stray cats and dogs, and homeless animals NEVER get rabies vaccinations posing threats to community safety and health in addition to the spread of toxoplasmosis and parasitic worms via feces.
Published October 9, 2009
"Gretchen Whitted, 74, was attacked about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at her South Lakeland home. Five raccoons bit Whitted's neck, chest, legs, head and back when she tried to shoo them away from her front porch and fell."
IN FLORIDA EVERY YEAR THERE is an average of 123 CASES OF RABIES WITH
RACCOONS. Over a 20 year period, there were 2,455 cases of rabies in raccoons (reported). There are, on average 13 cases of reported rabies from CATS; 265 cases over 20 year period. See:
BREAKDOWN OF COST OF ANIMAL CONTROL FOR EACH COUNTY:
First row: County
Second row: Cost of Animal Control: Last year (2008) ~OR~ Average cost from Official web sites of each county (or Email inquiries when not on the web-copy of sources available upon request!) These figures are in dollars, have no "cent" but rounded to the next dollar. “Budget allowed” proposed is a projected or “goal” figure for animal control; however, ACTUAL costs almost always exceed budget allowed for that year.
Third row: Population: Current (2008 estimate per Census Bureau)
Fourth row: Percentage unemployed (as of 8/09)-has huge bearing on homeless animals and lack of spay/neutering due to cost (you can't spay/neuter if unemployed). Many unemployed people dump or abandon their animals-and oftentimes breed (especially cats).
COUNTIES FL...2008 Animal control cost...Population....Unemployed
Alachua County____$2,415,794 Cost____241,364__7.2%_(17,378 unemployed)
Baker County_______$126,190 Cost_____ 26,164__10.8%_(2,826 unemployed)
Bay County________ $806,420 Cost______63,946__8.6%_(14,099 unemployed)
Bradford County_______$3,815 Cost_____29,012___8.1%_(2,350 unemployed)
Brevard County____$3,927,602 Cost____536,521_10.8% _(57,944 unemployed)
Broward County____$4,339,210 Cost___751,234_9.5% _(166,367 unemployed)
Calhoun Cty______No animal control_____13,617__8.2% _(1,117 unemployed)
Charlotte County_____$654,435 Cost___ 150,060_12.1%_(18,157 unemployed)
Citrus County______$1,017,796 Cost____241,364_11.9%_(28,722 unemployed)
Clay County_______$1,440,015 Cost____184,727__9.2% _(16,995 unemployed)
Collier County_____$1,326,425 Cost_____315,258_12.6%_(39,723 unemployed)
Columbia County____$230,850 Cost______69,092__8.7% _(6,011 unemployed)
Desoto Cty_________$350,000 Cost_____ 33,991_11.3% _(3,849 unemployed)
Dixie County________$80,881 Cost______14,957_11.9% _ (1,780 unemployed)
Duval County_____$3,830,588 Cost____ 850,962_11.2% _(95,308 unemployed)
Escambia Cty______$769,000 Cost______302,939_9.5% _(28,780 unemployed)
Flagler County_____$157,000 Cost______ 91,247_15.7% _(14,326 unemployed)
Franklin County_____$50,778 Cost_______11,202_7.1% _(795 unemployed)
Gadsden Cty________$93,458 Cost________47,560_9.3% _(4,423 unemployed)
Gilchrist County_____$33,036 Cost________17,191_9.9% _ (1,702 unemployed)
Glades County_______$60,081 Cost_______11,175_10.0%_(1,118 unemployed)
Gulf County________$103,401 Cost_______15,667_9.1% _ (1,426 unemployed)
Hamilton Cty____NO animal control_______14,348_11.0% _ (1,578 unemployed)
Hardee County______$164,378 Cost______28,888_12.6%_(35,243 unemployed)
Hendry County______$189,748 Cost_______39,453_16.4%_(6,470 unemployed)
Hernando Cty______$1,212,537 Cost____71,689_13.3% _(22,835 unemployed)
Highlands County_____$636,568 Cost___100,011_11.4% _(11,401 unemployed)
Hillsborough_______$8,232,248 Cost__1,180,784_11.1% _(131,067unemployed)
Holmes County___NO animal Control_______ 19,328_7.4%_ (1,430 unemployed)
Indian River County___$535,923 Cost___132,315_15.2%_ (20,204 unemployed)
Jackson Cty__________$150,000 est~____49,656_7.4% _ (3,675 unemployed)
Jefferson Cty__________$17,000 Cost____14,547__ 8.2% _(1,193 unemployed)
Lafayetee Cty_____NO animal control_______8,013___7.0% _(560 unemployed)
Lake County: _______$1,980,257 Cost_307,243__11.8% _(36,255 unemployed)
Lee County_________$4,045,109 Cost__593,136__13.5%_(80,073 unemployed)
Leon County________$1,130,382 Cost_264,063___7.2% _ (19,013 unemployed)
Levy County_________$334,528 Cost____39,460__11.5% _(4,538 unemployed)
Liberty County________No info given______ 7,957___5.6% _(446 unemployed)
Madison Cty__________$56,065 Cost___ 18,895__11.5% _(2,173 unemployed)
Manatee Cty_________$764,215 Cost__15,766__12.3% _ (38,839 unemployed)
Marion County:______$329,628 Cost___329,628__12.9% _(42,522 unemployed)
Martin County________$99,000 Cost___138,660__11.5% _(15,946 unemployed)
Miami Dade______$10,075,000 Cost__2,398,245_11.8% _(282,993 unemployed)
Monroe County______$947,485 Cost_____72,243___6.5% _(4,696 unemployed)
Nassau County_______$653,304 Cost___ 69,835__10.0%_ (6,983 unemployed)
Okaloosa Cty________$768,884 Cost___179,693__6.9% _(12,399 unemployed)
Okeechobee County___$350,000 Cost____40,359__12.8%_(5,166 unemployed)
Orange County_____$8,410,353 Cost_1,072,801_10.8%(115,863 unemployed)
Osceola County_____$4,528,756 Cost__263,676__11.8% _(31,114 unemployed)
Palm Beach County_$10,321,651 Cost_1,265,293_11.3%_(142,978 unemployed)
Pasco County_______$2,486,044 Cost_471,028__12.1% _(56,994 unemployed)
Pinellas County_____$5,088,100 Cost__910,260__10.9% _(99,218 unemployed)
Polk County________$2,873,153 Cost__580,594__12.2%_(70,832 unemployed)
Putnam County_______$313,768 Cost___73,459__12.2% _(8,962 unemployed)
Santa Rosa Cty_______$457,550 Cost__150,053__9.5%_ (14,255 unemployed)
Sarasota Cty_________$231,507 Cost__372,057__11.6%_(43,159 unemployed)
Seminole County____ $255,000 Cost__410,854__10.3%_ (42,318 unemployed)
St. Lucie County_____ $731,535 Cost__265,108__14.7% _(38,971 unemployed)
St. Johns Cty_______$1,133,548 Cost_181,540___8.5% _(15,431 unemployed)
Sumter County: ______$400,000 Cost____74,721___8.6%_(6,426 unemployed)
Suwanee Cty__________$95,000 Cost___ 39,802___9.3% _(3,702 unemployed)
Taylor Cty___________$160,500 Cost___21,546__10.5% _ (2,262 unemployed)
Union County_____NO animal Control ____15,141__8.3% _ (1,257 unemployed)
Volusia County______$1,445.990 Cost__498,036_11.1% _(55,282 unemployed)
Wakulla Cty__________$250,000 Cost___ 31,089__7.2% _(2,238 unemployed)
Walton County________$149,841 Cost___ 53,837__6.5% _(3,499 unemployed)
Washington Cty_______$132,101 Cost____23,928__9.5% _(2,273 unemployed)
TOTAL COST OF ANIMAL CONTROL IN ONE YEAR FOR THE STATE OF FLORIDA:
$93,953,431 TO KILL ANIMALS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA (Operating animal control in one single year in the State of Florida)
FLORIDA POPULATION TOTAL (2008)
18,328,340 (estimate per Census Bureau)
TOTAL NUMBERS UNEMPLOYED (AUG 2009)
1,192,748 (estimate based on the percentage given)
TOTAL PERCENTAGE IN POVERTY (2007 PER CENSUS BUREAU)
12.1% = 2,217,729 (estimate from 2007)-it's much higher now due to unemployment.
~~JACKSON and LIBERTY Counties have not responded to my emails regarding the cost of their animal control (several enquiries were sent over a period of several months). Jackson County is estimated based on population, using a conservative figure. Liberty County is composed of just Bristol, so it is only assumed there is no animal control.
Hamilton, Lafayette, and Holmes Counties have no animal control due to budgets.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this much needed bill for low cost/free spay/neutering for the State of Florida to help individual counties with such expenses.