A ballot initiative aimed at “stabilizing” the city’s pet population goes to Spokane city voters for approval next week.
The measure calls for dedicating one-tenth of 1 percent of the city’s general fund to the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats.
“We need to draw attention to the domestic abuse of animals in this city,” said LaVerne Kettlety, who gathered 3,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.
“There are little animals being born to suffer and die.”
If the measure passes, about $97,450 of the 1996 general fund budget would pay for spaying and neutering city residents’ pets.
Next year’s budget doesn’t include money for the program, said Ken Stone, the city’s budget director. “If it were to pass, we would look for other areas to decrease.”
City Attorney James Sloane said the city would be required to set up a spay-and-neuter program if the measure passes, possibly bidding out a contract to a veterinarian.
The measure contains no specifics about who would be eligible for the program.
Kettlety said she hopes the program makes it easier for people to own pets. “Anyone who buys a pet could use this service.”
Fifty cents of every dog and cat license goes toward spay-and-neuter programs offered by SpokAnimal Care and the Spokane Humane Society, said Gail Mackey, SpokAnimal’s director.