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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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A terrible waste of State money

Uploaded: Sep 18, 2011
Many Californians are upset about how much money the State wastes each year. Many residents of San Ramon were upset by City Manager, Herb Moniz's high salary. Yet hardly anyone is paying attention to a waste of almost 1/3 billion (with a B) dollars in this State every year. This outrageous expense could be reduced or eliminated by spending a mere $50 once and $40 each following year.

Not only is so much money being wasted, it is spent on something most residents of the Tri-Valley would find appalling, killing homeless dogs and cats. Yes according to the State Controller's website, $300M is spent annually euthanizing unwanted animals. That's right, half-a-million dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, bunnies, and other small animals are killed (lets use the right word here) by County and City Animal Control agencies at a staggering cost of almost 1/3 Billion dollars every year.

Why are so many animals put to death each year in California? Are these unwanted pets or strays? In some cases yes, but most are unplanned and unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. Many adoptable puppies and kittens find homes, but then they take the place of potentially adoptable dogs and cats only a year or two older than that cute puppy or kitten. Many older animals needing homes would be adopted if there were fewer unplanned litters.

A female cat can have two to three litters a year, with 3 to 5 kittens in each litter, from the time she is 6 months old to 15 years if she lives that long. So spaying and neutering a young cat could prevent as many as 10 kittens a year for 10 to 15 years and all of the kittens her kittens would have. You can see how quickly this builds up; so spaying and neutering cats and dogs could reduce the pet overpopulation tens of thousands in a few short years.

Some of you may recall that the State Assembly tried to pass a Spay and Neuter bill a few years ago and the Breeder Lobby killed it. This isn't another Spay and Neuter bill or another State law or an increase in animal license fees.

Instead this is a voluntary program to replace the license plate on your car. The CA Spay Plate is a new Special Interest License Plate that would provide funding for low or no cost spay and neuter clinics to reduce the amount of pet overpopulation by reducing the number of animals born each year.

There's no penalty to breeders in the CA Spay Plate program. In fact they would have a bigger market if fewer puppies and kittens are available for adoption or free in supermarket parking lots. So this is a win-win for everyone in California – dog lovers, cat lovers, and frugal folks who don't like to see the government wasting money on something so pointless.

Right now this program needs you! The State requires a minimum pre-order of 7500 of these Special Interest license plates before giving the go-ahead to offer them through the DMV. The preorder period is up in July, 2012 and so far only 3200 plates have been ordered. The program needs another 4300 orders to move ahead. It would be a shame for this program to fail because 4300 drivers either don't know or don't care about saving animals and money.

Most residents of the Tri-Valley can afford an extra $50 to $100 a year to reduce State spending on this waste. People around here drive expensive luxury cars, but if you really want to show off your car, preorder a CA Spay Plate to put on it. Then when you take your dog to the dog park (how about the new Bark and Ride), you will be appreciated by all the dogs and their owners. Tell everyone at the dog park or the next cat show you attend to preorder a CA Spay Plate now too.

CA Spay Plates are limited to six characters because of Pierce Brosnan's artwork. If your license uses a 7-digit number, a new 6-digit number will be assigned for a $50 sequential plate. For an additional $48, you can preorder a 6-character personalized plate. If you have a personalized plate with 7 characters, you will need to shorten it to 6 characters or come up with a 6-character alternative. I preordered SPCATS for my Focus.

I asked Judie Mancuso, President of the California Spay & Neuter License Plate Fund, Inc., what would happen if the 7500 preorders are not received by the July 2012 deadline.

"In the unlikely event, we would refund everyone's money and the project would be over, which would be awful for California's pets. This specialty license plate gives us a sustainable funding mechanism for spay and neuter throughout the state that we cannot achieve on such a large scale with any other program. We would not start over. This has already cost over $100k that we received from an angel donor used for marketing, and thousands of volunteer hours."

It would be terrible to miss this great opportunity to save so much money and spare so many helpless animals from the horror of euthanasia. If you have one car, please preorder a CA SPAY PLATE now. If you or other family members have more than one car, preorder a CA SPAY PLATE for each one. Let's make sure millions of dollars are not wasted on killing helpless animals in California anymore.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Elise Stewart, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Thank you for writing this Roz. It is important that people learn where their tax money is being spent and how tragic the situation with animal control is in this state. I for one am disgusted that money that could be used to teach our kids is being used to simply kill innocent animals.

Posted by cardinal, a resident of another community,
on Sep 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

Can you believe that even this post is controversial over on the Danville Express site?

Posted by mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 22, 2011 at 9:46 am

mloliver is a registered user.

Roz, From the blog, I don't understand how the money will be allocated. Will it be used to actually subsidize spays and neuters? - or will it simply replace the funds currently being used for euthanasia? You say it will help fund spaying and neutering, but how will this distribution occur? I'd be happy to support the program if I knew the funds were going directly to the cause, and not to a series of middle persons who get to sit around and decide who gets the $$$. BTW - I was on the board of the East Bay SPCA at the time the Spay and Neuter clinic was conceived and built, so I feel very strongly about this issue. So do Charlie and Pixie, our current rescues.


Posted by Renae Wilber, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

This might be something your readers are interested in. There will be a big fundraiser on October 8 with lots of prizes and raffle tickets for a trip to Mazatlan. Save the cats!

Web Link

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Sep 22, 2011 at 11:57 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


The money goes directly to the CA Spay Plate program for now. Judie Mancuso would have to confirm this, but I believe they are only collecting the $50 surcharge that goes into the fund for Spaying and Neutering. You still pay your regular license fee to the DMV.

The cost estimate is based on housing a stray, unspayed animal and cost of euthanasia. My numbers are mainly for cats since I'm more familiar with cat rescue than dog rescue right now. I don't know if dogs cost more or not.

You should visit the CA Spay Plate website and read their FAQs Web Link . You can also ask a question on the Survey Web Link page. It's not really a survey, but a form to enter a comment or question.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Sep 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Thanks for that info, Renae. Several Safe-Cat members are also volunteers for Outcast Cats. We should all do whatever we can for animals.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Sep 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


Thanks for the heads up on the Danville Express. This is why I prefer living in San Ramon. I didn't know there was a competition for keeping people alive vs. dogs and cats. What is it over there?


Posted by Renae Wilber, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

What a small world. Julie Linford has put her heart and soul (blood and sweat)into this organization - she went to high school with me in Alaska. I have an incredible amount of respect for her dedication to saving the cats.

Posted by cardinal, a resident of another community,
on Sep 22, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Thanks for keeping the faith, Roz. I ordered my plates today. CARDNL has a nice look to it, eh?

Do you think San Ramon might be willing to annex my house? I could help pay for the City Mangler. ;-)

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Sep 22, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


I love it. I hope your car is red and flies like a bird (am I being too corny).


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