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Several thousand animals spay/neutered thanks to ‘Animal Friendly’ plates

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Massachusetts drivers are letting their love for animals show while aiding efforts to ease the state’s homeless pet problem when they proudly display their “I’m Animal Friendly” license plates.

More than 6,500 plates have been sold since 2004 with proceeds granted out each year by the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) to numerous state nonprofit animal welfare organizations and city and town animal control departments. The grant money is used to prevent the number of homeless animals by funding programs providing spaying and neutering to cats and dogs for free or at minimal cost. MAC granted out more than $130,000 from plate sales in 2007 and hopes to meet or eclipse that mark this year.

“I’m Animal Friendly” license plates can be ordered online through the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle’s Web site, www.mass.gov/rmv, or through any full-service state registry branch. The initial cost of the plate is $40, of which $28 is used to help fund statewide spay/neuter programs. The remaining $12 is a one-time-only cost to cover the manufacturing of the plate. Upon registration renewal, the entire $40 will go to spay/neuter programs.

“The local spay/neuter programs benefiting from plate sales work to reduce the number of homeless animals in Massachusetts,” said chairman of the MAC License Plate Task Force, Kara Holmquist. “Purchasing an “I’m Animal Friendly” license plate not only raises money for local humane societies and animal control programs and efforts but it also lets other drivers know that you love animals and care for their well-being,”

Every year, there are approximately 725,000 homeless dogs and cats in Massachusetts. MAC expects that as of June 2008, a total of almost $500,000 will have been granted out and more than 10,000 animals will have been spayed/neutered as a result of the license plate program since its inception in 2004.

For more information on MAC, please call (978) 779-9880 or visit www.massanimalcoalition.org.

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