DHSS Press Release
|Date: July 17, 2015
|Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Office of Animal Welfare Launches New "Fixed and Fabulous" Spay & Neuter Campaign
DOVER (July 17, 2015) - Is your pet "fixed and fabulous?" It's about to get even easier for pet owners to have their furry friends fixed. The Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) is announcing a streamlined application process for the State Spay & Neuter Program to increase access for qualified Delaware pet owners. This effort, which includes a new user-friendly website and more flexible payment options, is part of a "Fixed and Fabulous" campaign to promote pet sterilization and vaccination, pet health, and to eliminate unwanted litters.
"We want more pet owners to know this program exists and that it's now easier than ever to apply," said OAW Director, Hetti Brown. "By increasing program participation, we can decrease the number of animals that face homelessness and euthanasia in Delaware, while also enhancing pet health and well-being."
The Spay & Neuter Program provides low-cost spay or neuter rabies vaccination services to cats and dogs of income-eligible applicants for $20 per animal. Those who qualify may have up to three pets spayed or neutered every fiscal year - from July 1 to June 30. The program also provides grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Delaware to assist in the sterilization of adoptable animals, and to extend sterilization and rabies vaccination services to communities.
The "Fixed and Fabulous" campaign highlights the benefits of pet sterilization. Spaying and neutering pets may help prevent several health issues and unwanted behaviors. Spaying female cats and dogs reduces their chances of developing pyrometra (a fatal uterine infection), uterine cancer, and other reproductive system cancers. Male neutered pets have less risk of getting testicular cancer and possibly prostate cancer. In addition, dogs and cats that are spayed and neutered are less likely to mark their territories with urine, bite, fight, roam, bark, howl or show aggression.
All surgeries are completed by a licensed veterinarian at one of 39 participating clinics. The new website, www.fixedandfab.com, offers a simple application form, list of surgery providers, and details about the state program. Those without access to the Internet may request a paper application by calling the 302-255-4620.
An exciting feature of the streamlined application process is that program participants may now pay the per-pet copay directly to the veterinary clinic or hospital when their pet is dropped off for surgery. Previously, pet owners had to submit the copay upon application to the OAW in the form of a money order or bank certified check. Requiring prepayment of copays presented challenges for people who had difficulty affording the fees associated with the purchase of money orders or securing transportation to a bank.
"One of our goals at OAW was to make it easier for eligible Delawareans to participate in the program," said Program Coordinator Shauna McVey. "Allowing the copay to be paid directly to the veterinary provider simplifies the process and offers pet owners an opportunity to use a variety of payment methods."
To qualify for the Spay & Neuter Program, applicants must be:
- A Delaware resident 18 years of age or older
- Own a companion animal from Delaware
- And receive benefits through one of the following programs: General Assistance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Delaware Medicaid and Medical Assistance, Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC), Social Security – Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security – Disability, or Veterans Administration Disability Compensation with disability rating of 50 percent or higher.
The program is funded by the Spay & Neuter Program Fund, which generates money through a $3 surcharge on all rabies vaccinations administered to cats and dogs in Delaware and $20 per-pet copays submitted by eligible applicants. Funds paid to the Spay & Neuter Program are used to subsidize pre-surgical medical evaluations, spay or neuter surgeries, rabies vaccinations, and routine post-surgical care by participating surgery providers.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.