Funding Critical Health Services for Animals In Need (Massachusetts)
State Budget Allocates Funds for Spay, Neuter, and Vaccination Services
Amendments to Massachusetts state budget would allocate funds to the Mass Animal Fund (Fund), which provides critical animal health services—including spay and neuter surgeries and vaccinations—to animals in need.
The House and Senate have each adopted an in important animal protection amendment to their respective versions of the Fiscal Year 2022 Massachusetts state budget. The amendments would allocate funds to the Mass Animal Fund (Fund), which provides critical animal health services—including spay and neuter surgeries and vaccinations—to animals in need. The Fund is prioritizing animals in families impacted by the pandemic and related medical, financial, and housing hardships. It currently has a wait list of more than 600 people, and without additional funding many animals will go unserved.
The Fund’s mission is to end animal homelessness in Massachusetts and to support local animals in need. Administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the Fund is primarily funded by the voluntary tax check off (Line 33f) on the Massachusetts resident income tax form. Allocating funds in the state budget will increase the Fund’s capacity to help animals in need.
The House and Senate, respectively, have adopted Amendment #433, filed by Representative Ted Phillips (D-8th Norfolk), allocating $50,000 to the Fund and Amendment #34, filed by Senator John Velis (D-2nd Hampden & Hampshire), allocating $100,000 to the Fund to their versions of the FY 2022 state budget. Once the Senate debate concludes and a Senate budget is finalized, discrepancies between the House and Senate budgets will be resolved by a Conference Committee and a final budget will be sent to the Governor.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund thanks Representative Phillips and Senator Velis for filing these amendments. We are grateful to Speaker Ronald Mariano (D-3rd Norfolk), Senate President Karen Spilka (D-2nd Middlesex & Norfolk), House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz (D, 3rd Suffolk), and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues (D, 1st Bristol & Plymouth) for their leadership during the budget process. We appreciate the many advocates who contacted their legislators in support of these amendments and the many legislators who co-spored them.
Co-sponsors of House Budget Amendment #433, filed by Representative Ted Phillips, include Representatives Adam J. Scanlon (D-14th Bristol); Marcos A. Devers (D-16th Essex); Brian M. Ashe (D-2nd Hampden); Lindsay N. Sabadosa (D-1st Hampshire); Mathew J. Muratore (R-1st Plymouth); Paul W. Mark (D-2nd Berkshire); Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-20th Middlesex); Tommy Vitolo (D-15th Norfolk); Hannah Kane (R-11th Worcester); Paul F. Tucker (D-7th Essex); Tram T. Nguyen (D-18th Essex); Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. (D-12th Hampden); Jack Patrick Lewis (D-7th Middlesex); Paul McMurtry (D-11th Norfolk); Daniel Cahill (D-10th Essex); Angelo L. D’Emilia (R-8th Plymouth); Frank A. Moran (D-17th Essex); Tackey Chan (D-2nd Norfolk); Vanna Howard (D-17th Middlesex); Steven G. Xiarhos (R-5th Barnstable); Antonio F. D. Cabral (D-13th Bristol); James K. Hawkins (D-2nd Bristol); Peter Capano (D-11th Essex); and Natalie M. Higgins (D-4th Worcester).
Co-sponsors of Senate Budget Amendment #34, filed by Senator John Velis, include Senators Diana DiZoglio (D-1st Essex), Michael Brady (D-2nd Plymouth & Bristol), Bruce Tarr (R-1st Essex & Middlesex), Mark Montigny (D-2nd Bristol & Plymouth), Mike Moore (D-2nd Worcester), Paul Feeney (D-Bristol & Norfolk), Patrick O’Connor (R- Plymouth & Norfolk), Jamie Eldridge (D-Middlesex & Worcester), Adam Hinds (D-Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, & Hampden), Walter Timilty (D- Norfolk, Bristol, & Plymouth), Adam Gomez (D-Hampden), Brendan Crighton (D-3rd Essex), Julian Cyr (D-Cape & Islands), Marc Pacheco (D-1st Plymouth & Bristol), Joan Lovely (D-2nd Essex), and Patricia Jehlen (D-2nd Middlesex).