WV spay, neuter assistance program signed into law - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV spay, neuter assistance program signed into law

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CHARLESTON, WV -

Some new laws are protecting animals in West Virginia, and advocates are pleased.

Summer Wyatt, West Virginia state director for The Humane Society of the United States, issued a statement saying she is "deeply grateful" to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and the full Legislature.

One new bill puts stronger regulations on so-called puppy mills. Senate Bill 437 requires anyone with more than 10 dogs for the purpose of breeding to protect each dog with solid flooring, protection from the elements, adequate lighting, food, water, veterinary care and sanitary conditions.

The statewide spay and neuter assistance program and fund was Senate Bill 202. It will allow state-issued grants to nonprofit spay and neuter programs throughout the state.

According to The Humane Association, West Virginia was ranked 38th in the association's 2012 ranking of state animal protection laws.

Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, issued a statement applauding the passage of the spay and neuter assistance program and fund.

"I have worked for several years to see this bill passed, and I am pleased that lawmakers worked together in order to get this bill to Gov. Tomblin's desk for his signature," Kessler said in a news release. "As a pet owner, I understand the joys dogs and cats bring to a family.

"This program will help families and their pets, as well as lessen burdens on state animal shelters."

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has stated that the bill will save tens of thousands of animals in West Virginia each year.

The spay and neuter assistance program will go into effect July 12.