Dog and Cat Sterilization Program restricts veterinary reimbursements

Veterinarians utilizing the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program through the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) will now only be able to apply for reimbursement for three spay and neuter procedures per month, a decrease from five procedures announced in 2012. The move is designed to maintain a healthy balance of funds to keep the program solvent for the long term.

When GDA announced it would increase the number of veterinary procedures for reimbursement in August 2012, it also created a new avenue for licensed municipal animal shelters and licensed nonprofit animal rescue organizations to apply for grants to assist with sterilization procedures.

However, the increase in veterinary procedures, combined with an initial influx of grant requests has depleted the GDA program's funds by nearly 50 percent since May 2012. The GDA program has also seen a greater share of its funds being diverted to the general fund controlled by the Georgia General Assembly.

To maintain a healthy balance GDA has halted grant applications and restricted reimbursements to veterinarians.

Tax time means checkoff time
To keep the program funded, GDA asks veterinarians to help promote the income tax checkoff program that allows Georgians filing income tax returns to choose to give to the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program, which is among a list of programs seeking donations. Promoting this checkoff is critical now through the income tax deadline in April, as the checkoff represents a significant portion of the sterilization program’s income.

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