SANTA FE, N.M. — State lawmakers are embracing a proposal to help pay for dog and cat sterilizations by collecting a new annual fee from pet food manufacturers.
A panel of Senate lawmakers on Tuesday unanimously endorsed the annual $100 fee on each brand name of pet food distributed in New Mexico.
New Mexico’s Department of Agriculture says there are more than 13,000 pet food and treat labels registered with its offices. Legislative analysts say the financial impact on pet owners would be negligible.
A state government study found that animal shelters and pounds euthanized 55,000 dogs and cats in 2011 because they could not find enough homes to care for the animals.
Other states including Maryland and Maine have enacted surcharges or special fees on pet food to fund spay and neuter programs.