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Georgia Department of Agriculture

Notice of Intent to Consider the Adoption of Amendments to the Rules of the Georgia Department of Agriculture Dog & Cat Sterilization Program

TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS AND PARTIES:

Pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, O.C.G.A. § 4-15-1(a), notice is hereby given that the Georgia Department of Agriculture Animal Industry Division will be considering the adoption of an amendment to Departmental Rule 40-13-14-.02 and promulgating new rule 40-13-14-.03 relating to the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program.  The Department will be accepting written comments from January 24, 2012, to close of business (4:30 p.m. EDT) on February 24, 2012.

SYNOPSIS, MAIN FEATURES AND DIFFERENCES:

The Dog and Cat Sterilization Program (“DCSP”) aids in controlling the breeding of dogs and cats throughout Georgia by helping pay for dog and cat sterilization procedures performed by Georgia licensed and accredited veterinarians.  The DCSP is further helping curb the pet overpopulation statewide by providing educational materials about the benefits of sterilization and promoting the sale of three Dog and Cat Sterilization License Plates. 

In hopes of increasing the amount of sterilization procedures performed statewide, the Department is proposing to amend Departmental Rule 40-13-14-.02 to increase the number of procedures veterinarians may perform from three (3) to a maximum of five (5) spay and/or neuter surgeries each month.  The veterinarian must still request financial assistance for each spay and/or neuter in writing and obtain approval prior to performing such procedure. 

Additionally, the Department is proposing to add rule 40-13-14-.03 entitled “Dog and Cat Sterilization Grant Program” to allow licensed municipal animal shelters and licensed nonprofit animal rescue organizations with 501(c)(3) status to apply for a grant to assist with sterilization procedures on animals that are owned or in the possession, custody or control of the municipal animal shelter or nonprofit animal rescue.  The Department anticipates that the grant program will ease the burden of municipal animal shelters and nonprofit animal rescues in paying for the spaying and neutering of animals in Georgia, thus increasing the number of dogs and cats sterilized. 

In order for municipal animal shelters and nonprofit rescues to receive grant funds under the Dog and Cat Sterilization Grant Program, a completed application and letter of collaboration from a Georgia licensed and accredited veterinarian that will be performing the sterilization procedure must be supplied to the Department.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Grant applications will be assessed by a grant review committee and funding will be awarded based on the highest priority grant proposals after considering factors such as targeting of important animal populations, ability to increase surgery numbers, cost-benefit ratio, record of grant applicant and sustainability, among others.  Both the animal and municipal animal shelter and nonprofit animal rescue organization must reside in Georgia in order to be eligible for the Dog and Cat Sterilization Grant Program.

Once a grant has been awarded, the recipient must complete a follow up report showing all sterilization procedures performed.  Grant funds may only be used for sterilization surgery and shall not be used for capital or administrative expenses or for procedures not directly related to sterilization surgery, such as promotions, vaccinations, testing, licensing, food, medicine, and/or other medical procedures.  Grant funds may not be used to operate spay and/or neuter clinics, but may be used only for animals that are owned or in possession, custody, and/or control of the licensed municipal animal shelter or licensed nonprofit animal rescue. 

Veterinarians used to perform the sterilization procedure under the Dog and Cat Sterilization Grant Program must be licensed and accredited by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The veterinarian must perform the sterilization procedure using acceptable standards of care. 

The Department will be accepting written comments from January 24, 2012, to close of business (4:30 p.m. EDT) on February 24, 2012.  Comments will be considered on February 27, 2012.  Please submit written comments to:

Dr. Robert Cobb, State Veterinarian
Georgia Department of Agriculture
19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Room 106
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Telephone: (404) 656-3671
FAX: (404) 657-1357

Interested persons may call or submit a written request to obtain a copy of the proposed rule.  You may download a copy of the proposed rules from the link to the right. 

This notice is given in accordance with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act, O.C.G.A. §50-13-4.

 

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