SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 57
(By Senators Unger and Stollings)
[Introduced March 2, 2016]
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to authorize a study on county animal shelter dog and cat population and operational costs.
Whereas, West Virginia Code §19-20C-1 created the West Virginia Spay Neuter Assistance Program to reduce the population of homeless dogs and cats; and
Whereas, The Legislature, through Senate Bill 199 in the 2015 regular session, authorized the legislative rules, now published as Title 61, Series 9 of the Code of State Rules, proposed by the Commissioner of Agriculture for the West Virginia Spay Neuter Assistance Program, relieving the burden to county budgets; and
Whereas, A funding mechanism has not been established as set forth in the approved rules; and
Whereas, Independent research from thirty-eight reporting counties has suggested approximately fifty thousand homeless pets require shelter-provided care at a cost of $10,000,000 annually in West Virginia; and
Whereas, West Virginia shelters continue to euthanize nearly half of the homeless dogs and cats; and
Whereas, The West Virginia Spay Neuter Assistance Program is required to produce grants to nonprofit organizations specializing in spay and neuter assistance within communities statewide; and
Whereas, It is in the best interest of the citizens of this state to reduce the population of unwanted and stray dogs and cats in this state, thereby reducing the cost of animal shelter operations; and
Whereas, Determination of the most effective, humane and cost efficient means of reducing the population of unwanted and stray dogs and cats in this state, including, but not limited to, the gathering of information upon which an accurate projection of the costs of achieving this goal can be made and upon which the most fair allocation of the burden of those costs can be devised would assist the Legislature in the formulation of substantial and continuous funding most appropriate to accomplish that goal; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the most effective, humane and cost efficient means of reducing the population of unwanted and stray dogs and cats in this state; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the 2017 regular session of the Legislature, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, prepare a report and draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.