Animal homelessness is a problem that causes animals’ lives to be lost to euthanasia, poses a public safety concern, and costs taxpayers money to pay for services to deal with stray, abandoned, and feral animals and their offspring. It has been proven that the sterilization of animals decreases not only the number of homeless and feral animals born each year, but it also decreases unwanted behavior in animals, including roaming and aggression, which can lead to the surrender and euthanasia of animals. One solution to this problem is offsetting the cost of spaying/neutering animals. Another is standardizing and requiring animal control officer training to create uniform and stronger enforcement of animal control laws. The Department of Agricultural Resources has recently been granted an opportunity to address this important issue, and now the public can help.
On October 31, 2012, a new law took effect that, in part, created the Massachusetts Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund (Massachusetts Animal Fund). The Fund is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and assisted by an advisory committee and seeks to end the problem of animal homelessness in Massachusetts.
Donate to the Fund
Residents may donate to the Massachusetts Animal Fund via voluntary tax check-off on the Massachusetts resident income tax form (Line 32f), through the online donation page, or via check.
To make an online donation, click here.
Checks can be made out to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and send to:
Department of Agricultural Resources
251 Causeway Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114
Attn: Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund
A notation should be made that the funds are for the “Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund.”
Animal Control Officers
Animal control officers may request spay/neuter vouchers to 1) spay/neuter a homeless dog or cat held at a municipal animal control facility, or 2) spay/neuter a pet owned by a low-income Massachusetts resident who receives assistance through a state or federal program (TAFDC, SSI, VS, SNAP, WIC, etc.) who would otherwise be unable to afford the surgery for his/her cat or dog.
Interested animal control officers should download the Voucher Request Form file size 9MB and submit to the Mass Animal Fund. All requests will receive a response within 10 business days.
Do you own a cat or dog that is not spayed or neutered? Is the cost of surgery a financial hardship for you or your family? The Massachusetts Animal Fund dedicates a significant portion of its funds to helping low-income residents who receive assistance through state or federal programs (TAFDC, SSI, VS, SNAP, WIC, etc.) obtain spay/neuter surgery for companion animals free of charge through the Spay/Neuter Voucher Program.
Massachusetts residents interested in participating in this program should contact their local animal control officer. Contact information for municipal animal control officers can be found here .
Become a Spay/Neuter Provider
Are you a Massachusetts-licensed veterinarian interested in becoming a spay/neuter provider? The Massachusetts Animal Fund is actively seeking clinics, hospitals, shelters, and individual providers to participate in the Spay/Neuter Voucher Program to help the state’s most vulnerable animals. Information about joining our efforts can be found here .