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CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is now taking 2019 grant applications for the West Virginia Spay Neuter Program. It is the second year in a 10-year funding cycle.

"Our goal is to ensure these monies are utilized efficiently. That is why we formed a committee to make decisions to fund the best applications," said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. "We believe this process helps the program accomplish its mission with a limited amount of funding."

The purpose of the Spay and Neuter Assistance Fund is to offer grants to county entities to pay for spay/neuter services to help control feral, stray and abandoned populations. Eligible entities include county or municipal shelters, animal control agencies and nongovernmental 501(c)(3) entities incorporated in West Virginia. Individual pet owners are not eligible for direct grant funding.

"We were able to utilize $16,000 of grant monies to leverage $32,000 of spay and neutering services in 2018," said Libby Minotti Ballard of the Fix'Em Clinic. "We want to say thank you to the WVDA and the WVSNP for helping animals in Boone, Logan, Mingo, Lincoln and Roane counties,"

In 2018 the program granted $320,197 in WVSNP funds which, combined with grantee matches, totaled $536,950 in support. This led to 8,927 alterations of cats and dogs in 45 counties.

Applications can be found at https://agriculture.wv.gov/Pages/SpayNeuter.aspx and should be emailed to spayneuter@wvda.us with supporting documents by Friday, Feb. 1. For questions or more information, contact Andrew Yost at 304-389-9750, Connie Shoemaker at 304-538-2397 or email spayneuter@wvda.us.

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