(INDIANAPOLIS) - Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, has introduced legislation aimed at addressing the state's unwanted animal population.
House Bill 1400, filed Tuesday, would establish the Indiana companion animal sterilization fund.
The fund would allow Medicaid recipients to receive spay and neuter services at no charge.
Supporters say the spay/neuter services would not be charged to the taxpayers.
If passed into law, it would also impose a fee of $50 on the retail sale of any unsterilized cat or dog and increase the fee collected from pet food distributors for inspections.
"This legislation will reduce the overpopulation of unwanted pets, reduce euthanasia, and reduce dog bites, which is a public safety concern," said Lawson.
Similar bills have been introduced three times, but all have failed.
Animal advocates are encouraged because House Bill 1400 has a republican co-author, Rep. Mike Karickhoff, and lawmakers are becoming more familiar with the issue of unwanted animals.
Lawson said that the committee report deadline is Jan, 28, so if the bill does not receive a hearing before that day it will not get a hearing this year.
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