NJ Senate bill would neuter non-profit veterinary clinics

CatA bill introduced in the New Jersey Senate by Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) last week would require that non-profit veterinary services provide services only to animals that are owned by people who are receiving public assistance like food stamps, section 8 housing and welfare.

The bill also requires that all for profit veterinary corporations, partnerships or associations be owned only by licensed veterinarians.

S-297  was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.  The Committee is scheduled to meet on January 27.

The Animal Welfare Association (AWA) said that if the bill becomes law their pet clinic and other non-profit pet clinics in New Jersey could not:

  • Spay/neuter or treat feral cats
  • Spay/neuter or treat shelter animals or rescue animals
  • Continue treating feral cats, shelter or rescue animals after the bill’s immediate effective date
  • Perform services for any clients not on government assistance
  • Provide compassionate euthanasia for medically suffering animals for any clients not on government assistance
  • Use current or future grant money to spay/neuter animals for any clients not on government assistance

AWA said that the bill would limit access to pet owners who cannot afford the cost of spay/neuter or other medical treatment at private veterinary practices. It would lead to more animals being surrendered to animal shelters due to the prohibitive cost of medical treatment as well as more unplanned pregnancies and litters of kittens and puppies in our state. Ultimately, this bill would increase the euthanasia of feral cats and shelter/rescue animals throughout New Jersey.

A call on Friday to Viatle’s office inquiring into the need for and public interest served by the bill was not returned.

Amanda Tate Speedling, Director of Communications for the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA), did not return our call asking for the association’s position on the bill.

Maya Richmond, Executive Director of AWA, said there has been a nationwide effort by the Veterinary industry to curtail competition from non-profits.

In 2010, NJVMA led and effort to strip People for Animals, a spray/neuter and rescue non-profit organization with locations in Robbinsville, Hillside and Clayton, New Jersey, of their state grant funding because they were offering wellness services to feral and abandoned animals, which violated the terms of their state grants.  The organization gave up the grants and stepped up their private fund raising efforts rather than stop providing the services, according to an article on VIN News Service.

The Senate Commerce Committee is Chaired by Senator Nia Gill, (D-Essex). The Vice-Chair is Senator Ray Lesniak, (D-Union).  Senators James Beach (D-Camden), Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen), Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Union), and Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) comprise the rest of the committee.

Posted: January 18th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, New Jersey, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “NJ Senate bill would neuter non-profit veterinary clinics”

  1. Proud Republican said at 10:00 am on January 18th, 2016:

    leave it to a Democrat to dream up another perk for people on the public dole. On another note, if people can’t even support themselves, what business do they have owning animals?

  2. MLynch said at 10:05 am on January 18th, 2016:

    Well we can’t have people paying $180 to have their do neutered when the vet can do it for $600.

  3. Steve Adams said at 11:35 am on January 18th, 2016:

    This looks like crony capitalism. The Veterinarians want special laws that will make even more money for them, while costing citizens more money and putting care for more animals out of reach.

    This is a dumb proposal and shows how NJ State government is for sale.

  4. Kathleen Loures said at 8:20 am on January 19th, 2016:

    There are clearly more important things the government could spend time on.

  5. Miranda said at 11:17 am on January 21st, 2016:

    I have an animal rescue and couldn’t help as many without low cost spay/neuter. The animal population is out of control and the only way to gain control statistically is through spay/neuter. Not even euthanasia of the unwanted will help enough when you look at the facts. I know a lot of rich people where I live that would never get their pets fixed because their ass squeaks when they walk. Many people that rescue couldn’t get all the animals fixed at regular veterinary costs. What the veterinarians do not understand is we spend the same amount of money at the vet office. The less I have to spend on spay and neuter the more I can spend on things like nail trim, grooming,

  6. Miranda said at 11:20 am on January 21st, 2016:

    Blood analysis and better pet food.