The "Driving Force" For Fighting Pet Overpopulation

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Legislative History

In Arizona, it takes more than metal and paint to create a “specialty” license plate. It requires passage of a bill by the Arizona Legislature.

Such a bill came before the Second Regular Session of the Forty-sixth Legislature in 2004. State Rep. Marian A. McClure (R-Tucson) introduced House Bill 2323 to create a specialty plate that would show support for companion animals and raise revenue to pay for spay and neuter services for dogs and cats statewide. McClure introduced the bill at the request of the Arizona Humane Society, which lobbied strongly on its behalf, with assistance from the Animal Defense League of Arizona. After months of consideration, legislators passed the bill as the session came to a close. Governor Janet Napolitano signed the bill into law in June 2004 – and again during a ceremonial event on August 20, 2004. The law took effect five days later. In sum, HB2323 had the effect of:
  1. Implementing a companion-animal license plate for an annual fee of $25; of that amount, $8 is collected by the Arizona Department of Transportation for administrative purposes and $17 is deposited in the Spay and Neuter Fund;
  2. Creating a governor-appointed Arizona Companion Animal Spay and Neuter Committee to oversee distribution of the Spay and Neuter Fund; and
  3. Outlining the process by which qualifying organizations can apply for funds to make surgical sterilization services for dogs and cats available statewide.
With the passage of HB 2323, Arizona became the 28th state to pass legislation aimed at creating this type of “specialty” license plate for motorists. The “Pet Friendly” plate is Arizona’s 56th specialty plate.

In April 2017, House Bill 2523 passed the Legislature and was signed by Governor Doug Ducey, allowing Arizona residents to make a voluntary contribution through the tax check-off program.
  • A taxpayer may designate an amount of the taxpayer's refund as a voluntary contribution (gift) to the spaying and neutering of animals fund established by section 28-2422.02. The taxpayer may also donate any additional amount to the fund, in lieu of or in addition to the designated portion of the tax refund, by an appropriate indication of the return and by including that amount with the return.
  • Voluntary gift section of AZ Resident Personal Income Tax Return 140, line 74.


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