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Supporting the Dog & Cat Sterilization Program

April 7, 2016

Every year thousands of cats and dogs are euthanized due to overpopulation in animal shelters. Too many animals have been allowed to stray and breed without sufficient resources to care for the surplus. To help alleviate the problem, in 2003 the Georgia General Assembly created the Dog and Cat Reproductive Sterilization Support Program. The program gives financial aid to animal shelters and rescue organizations for the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats. This method prevents unwanted reproduction in a humane way.

Dog and Cat Sterilization Program

The Georgia Department of Agriculture administers the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program (DCSP) with 3 goals in mind:

  1. Help pay for dog and cat sterilization procedures performed by licensed and accredited veterinarians.
  2. Educate the public about sterilization benefits.
  3. Promote the sale of DCSP license plates.

Since no tax money goes to the program, funds are raised through the sale of specialty license plates, an income tax check-off option, private donations and grants.


Every year, qualifying shelters and organizations can apply to receive grant money to help with their sterilization costs. The organizations must meet certain qualifications outlined by the DCSP Grant Program Rules:

  • Be a licensed municipal animal shelter or licensed nonprofit animal rescue organization with 501(c)(3) status.
  • Complete a grant application and submit to the Georgia Department of Agriculture by Dec. 31.
  • Provide a letter of collaboration from a Georgia licensed and accredited veterinarian who will complete the sterilization procedure.

The applying organization must provide and meet several other qualifications in order to be considered. Once all applications are received, a grant review committee will evaluate and distribute the reward money based on several criteria. Applicants chosen to receive money will be notified no later than March 1 and must then complete several forms and guidelines before receiving their award.

How to Help

Without state funding and tax money, DCSP relies on Georgia residents to support the program. There are several ways to support DCSP:

  • Purchase a Specialty Tag. You can purchase a tag any time during the year by going to your local tag office and trading in your current tag, or you can purchase the tag online. There is a $25 manufacturing fee and a $35 specialty tag fee.
  • State Income Tax Donation Option. You can donate with your state income tax by checking off Line 31 on Form 500 or Line 15 on Form 500EZ.
  • Send a Donation. Donations are accepted and can be mailed to:

    Georgia Department of Agriculture
    Dog and Cat Sterilization Program
    19 MLK Jr. Drive, Room 102
    Atlanta, GA. 30334

In 2015, DCSP was able to reward a total of $200,500 to 41 organizations! Let's see if this year can be even greater!

Chelsea Stephens

About the Author

Chelsea Stephens is the Marketing & Training Lead for Digital Services Georgia. A Georgia native herself, Chelsea enjoys writing on topics that citizens and visitors of Georgia can enjoy and learn from. 

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