Thank you all for your support! HB 263 passed and has now become law!
UPDATE (July 1, 2021):
GOOD NEWS! Your VOICE made a difference for animals! Thank you for contacting your legislator asking them to vote for additional funding for our State’s spay/neuter fund. The bill, which was SB 185, now HB 263, has passed in both the House and the Senate all in one day.
We are proud to have led reforms in animal welfare that have become the building blocks for a comprehensive, humane animal welfare system in Delaware. These reforms in Delaware have made us the only recognized no-kill state in the Nation. This bill will increase Delaware’s current Pet Food Manufacturer Fee, collected by the State Department of Agriculture, to expand our State’s spay/neuter program administered by the Office of Animal Welfare to further impact pet overpopulation.
- This law will create an additional, sustainable funding stream for our State’s spay/neuter fund.
- It will increase the current required annual registration fee on pet food manufacturers who sell products in Delaware from $23 per brand to $100 per brand, phased in over 3 years as follows: $50, $75, $100.
- The majority of the increase in fees will go to the spay/neuter fund.
- The fee increase is NOT on manufacturers of commercial animal feed, only pet food.
- Total new revenue for the spay/neuter program each year is forecasted as follows:
– After the first full year, $216,850
– After the second full year, $438,200
– After the third full year, $650,500
*This estimate is based on a Department of Agriculture estimate of approximately 8,674 or more pet food brands.
- This law will provide more low-cost spay/neuter and rabies vaccinations for qualifying pets of low-income pet owners.
- This law will provide additional funding for the spay/neuter and rabies vaccinations of free-roaming cats statewide to reduce their reproduction which in turn will reduce animal suffering, protect the public from disease, reduce nuisance complaints, and help Good Samaritan cat colony caretakers working with shelters and rescues to get cats altered.
- This law will provide funding to nonprofit animal shelters mandated by current law to spay/neuter animals before adoption.
- This law will require the State Office of Animal Welfare to provide an annual report to specific State Government Departments and legislative leadership for program accountability and tracking of results.