by the Animal Shelter Committee,
New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine
Q: What is the Spay and Neuter Assistance Fund?
A: The passage of New Mexico Senate Bill 57 (SB57) in 2020 provides a mechanism for funding affordable spay and neuter surgeries by qualified providers across New Mexico. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture collects these funds from fees charged to non-exempted pet food manufacturers that sell their products in New Mexico. The New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine (NMBVM) distributes the funds annually upon the recommendations of the Animal Shelter Committee (ASC), under the NMBVM.
Q: What is the application process?
A: In general, the disbursement of funds collected through SB57 will be very different from how other spay and neuter funds (tax check-off and license plate fee funds) have been distributed in the past through the Animal Shelter Board (the Animal Shelter Committee’s predecessor). The SB57 process will be much like applying for a grant, where entities must fill out an application and request a specific amount of funds in order to complete a proposed number of surgeries.
Q: What is the SB57 implementation timeline? How are awardees decided?
A: The Animal Shelter Committee, under the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine (NMBVM), is responsible for creating the application process. The Committee has the goal of opening the application period in early March 2021. The application will be available for download from the NMBVM website, www.NMBVM.org. Once completed, applications are to be sent to the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine, with a due date of April 30th. The Animal Shelter Committee will review all eligible applications and send its award recommendations to the NMBVM by their July meeting. The NMBVM will make the final award selections and distribute the funds to the awardees. The tentative timeline would include final award selections in July and fund distribution starting in August 2021.
Q: How much funding will be available?
A: The exact amount to distribute is still to be determined. We are expecting an amount of around $500,000 in the first distribution year, 2021. There will be no minimum budget for proposals, but proposals will have a maximum project budget of $50,000.
Q: Who is eligible to apply for SB57 funds? Are there any residency restrictions?
A: Individuals, nonprofit organizations, animal shelters, and euthanasia agencies may receive assistance for dog and cat spaying and neutering, provided that the assistance to individuals and nonprofit organizations shall only be given to individuals who have, or to nonprofit organizations that shall only provide assistance to serve recipients who have, a household income that does not exceed 200% of the current federal poverty level guidelines, below.
|Federal Poverty Guidelines 2021|
|Persons in Family/Household||Poverty Guideline||200% of Poverty Guideline|
Due to the guidelines above, organizations must verify household income for those receiving assistance. A simple way to verify household income is with a filed tax return from the previous year. Other means of verification may include proof of enrollment in other government benefit programs or creating a legal affidavit an individual can use to claim household income.
There are no residence requirements for organizations applying for funds or for practitioners supplying the surgeries. However, all individuals receiving assistance for spay and neuter and all animals receiving the surgeries must be residents of New Mexico.
Multiple organizations may team together and submit a single application that all organizations will be involved with.
Q: What types of projects will be funded?
A: Spay and neuter proposals must meet the purpose of SB57. Proposals should include projects that result in increasing the number of spay and neuter procedures provided and/or building the organization’s capacity to provide spay/neuter services on an ongoing basis.
Projects for spay/neuter can include feral or free-roaming animals. Organizations should be cognizant of local ordinances when dealing with feral or free-roaming animals.
Proposals should contain projects that are 12-18 months in length. Projects should have a specific area to be targeted. Examples include, but are not limited to, a city, zip code, county, neighborhood, etc.
Proposals may contain funding for equipment needed to increase spay and neuter capacity. However, funds needed for capital projects and overhead will not be considered at this time.
Q: What should a proposed budget include?
A: Proposal budgets should include the number of spays and neuters for each species. Price per surgery should be all inclusive of costs associated with that surgery. Rabies vaccines can be included in the cost of surgery. Other vaccination and microchips will not be funded through these funds. However, the cost of such can be listed as matching funds.
Q: What are matching funds?
A: The Animal Shelter Committee encourages groups to use their own funds to “match” in some proportion the funding the Spay and Neuter Assistance Fund provides. Although not required for participation, matching funds increase the total impact of the proposed project. An example of matching funds would be funds from the organization that will cover vaccines, other than rabies, and microchips for animals being spayed and neutered. Matching funds from outside organizations may also be counted if being utilized for the proposed spay and neuter project.
Dog and Cat Shelter in Anytown, NM seeks funding in the amount of $3,645 to provide 50 cat spay/neuter surgeries for free-roaming cats and an additional 25 surgeries for owned cats in the Very Nice Mobile Home Park in the 88842 zip code in Anytown, NM. Dog and Cat Shelter will be using TNR methods to capture and then spay and neuter the 50 free-roaming cats using their clinic. The additional 25 surgeries for owned cats in the mobile home park will be completed using a voucher system. Two local veterinary clinics, Vet Services of Anytown and New Mexico Veterinary Clinic, will be accepting the vouchers at a cost of $100 for cat spays and $75 for cat neuters. Dog and Cat Shelter will provide matching funds of $500 to pay for additional vaccines for all of the cats and microchips for the 25 owned cats.
Total number of surgeries to be performed:
Cat spays: 15
Cat neuters: 10
Community cat spays: 25
Community cat neuters: 25
Total number of surgeries performed: 75
Average cost of cat spay: $30.25
Average cost of cat neuter: $25.50
No copay for surgery
Expect to issue 25 vouchers:
Number of cat spay vouchers: 15
Average cost of cat spay voucher: $100
Number of cat neuter vouchers: 10
Average cost of cat neuter vouchers: $75
No copay for vouchers
Q: What are some suggested voucher costs?
A: While voucher expenditures can vary, organizations should do all they can to negotiate a fair rate. A good range for vouchers for cat surgeries could be $75-$125 and for dog surgeries, $125-$200. This would be the cost for the actual surgery plus a rabies vaccine (if needed). Surcharges for common issues that create more complicated surgeries would be allowed, for example cryptorchid, in heat or pregnant spays, etc.
Q: What type of records should organizations who are awarded funds be prepared to keep?
A: Organizations who are awarded funds need to be prepared to record the number of procedures and separate by methods (in house, mobile unit, vouchers, etc.), species, and sex. They should also be prepared to track the funds spent and be able to supply supporting documentation.
Progress reports, likely quarterly, will also be required and should contain information such as number of procedures completed, funds spent, funds unencumbered, and reports of any roadblocks or delays in project progress.
Further questions? Contact Stacie Voss, Animal Shelter Committee Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Elizabeth Wolf, APNM’s Chief Program Services Officer, at email@example.com.