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Spay-neuter bill advances in Senate

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Treasure, an 8-year-old lap cat, is available at the East Side animal shelter in Albuquerque. City staff say she’s independent but not shy about letting your know when she wants attention. She will greet you with head butts and rub against your legs to let you know that she is in the mood to be affectionate. (Courtesy Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department)

SANTA FE, N.M. — Legislation aimed at raising money to help low-income families spay or neuter their pets cleared its first Senate committee on Wednesday.

The proposal, Senate Bill 367, would phase in a new fee on dog- and cat-food manufacturers, eventually generating annual revenue of about $1.4 million.

The money would be largely dedicated to spay-neuter programs, with the goal of reducing the overpopulation of pets who end up in animal shelters.

The extra fee, if passed on to consumers, would cost the average pet-food-buying family roughly $2, supporters have said

Senate Bill 367, sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, is now headed to the Senate Finance Committee, potentially its last stop before reaching the full Senate.

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