A bill that would grant free neutering services for pet owners was rejected in the Indiana General Assembly last week.
House Bill 1400, a bill that would provide free spay/neuter services to all Medicaid recipients, failed to pass in January. This was the fourth year that the bill had been turned down.
Melissa Kusturin is the Executive Director of PetsALIVE, a nonprofit spay/neuter clinic, and was involved in the early stages of the bill.
“What we know is that there are still people who cannot afford our regular prices of $60 and $30,” Kusturin said.
Director of the City of Bloomington Animal Shelter Laurie Ringquist recognizes that the reason many people don’t spay or neuter is an affordability issue but says, litters of animals flooding into the shelter can be costly for taxpayers and the shelter itself.
“By spaying and neutering and preventing those unwanted litters in the first place, you are reducing the intake at shelters and reducing the costs of running those shelters,” Ringquist said.
Ringquist says animal shelters across the state are overpopulated, and there aren’t enough homes to accommodate all the existing animals in the shelter.