Special Colorado license plate would dole out love and money to shelter pets

Shelter pet guardians and animal lovers may be one step closer to showing pound puppies the love when a bill to establish an “Adopt a Shelter Pet” license plate goes before the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday.

HB 1214, sponsored by Denver Democratic Rep. Beth McCann, would create a special license plate to generate profits to fund Colorado animal shelters. Money would go to vetrinarians who would spay and neuter and provide basic care for the animals to make them more readily adoptable.

Shelter pets come in all shapes and sizes but they all want love.

Shelter pets come in all shapes and sizes but they all want love.

In rural areas, McCann said on her website, “shelters are not able to pay the veterinary expenses and since the law currently requires that shelter pets be spayed or neutered in order to be adopted, this bill should help more families adopt a shelter animal.”

The special plates are slated to cost $80, on top of normal registration fees the first year purchased. Annual renewal fees, set at $25, would go completely to shelter pets. The initial fee would go to three different accounts: $25 to the licensing services cash fund, $25 to the highway users tax fund and the final $30 to the animal shelters.

The bill would also extend the ability to voluntarily contribute extra to homeless pets on state individual income tax return forms by way of the state’s already established pet overpopulation fund. Taxpayers can currently contribute to this fund, which was started in 2007. Unless the bill is passed, however, this designation is set to expire as a line on income tax forms in 2010. If adopted, HB 1214 would continue this measure until 2013.

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