Update on Bill NJ A2275
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
Thanks to your voices and the many different groups represented who signed this petition, we can look forward to revisions to NJ A2275 that help cats and ultimately lead to more spay/neuter surgeries. But I still need your help to make sure this happens!
I was starting to lose hope when NOT ONE of the assembly members addressed by our petition responded or even acknowledged our over 1,000 signatures in just over a month. Before starting the petition, I had reached out to the bill’s sponsors as well as the committee members reviewing NJ A2275. Not one lawmaker replied.
This all changed when I received a phone call from People for Animals, who unlike our elected officials, took our petition seriously and informed me that they were in fact the original authors of the bill! Their executive directors agreed to meet, discussed the bill’s purpose, and agreed to modify the bill’s proposed language to which our petition objected.
For anyone not acquainted with People for Animals, PFA is a lifeline for low-cost spay/neuter for many New Jersey residents, rescues, and shelters. Among other services, they offer a deeply discounted spay/neuter package to the public as well as participating as volunteer veterinarians in the Animal Population Control Program.
According to PFA’s executive directors, the main reason for introducing NJ A2275 was to add veterinarians performing sterilization and vaccinations of unowned cats to the list of veterinarians and services eligible to receive funds collected through municipal licensing fees and license plate sales. It also added very important changes requiring sterilization of animals by shelters prior to adoption. Stopping the bill altogether would mean losing these steps forward, and for this reason we agreed to support the bill provided the following major items proposed by A2275 are revised during the public hearing:
• Removal of proposed definition of “community cat caretaker” in multiple sections
• Removal of proposed changes to C.4:19-15:16 a. paragraphs (5) and (6)
These modifications to NJ A2275 eliminate proposed language at the state level that would allow people who feed outdoor and stray cats to do so without an obligation to spay, neuter or vaccinate.
While Senator Stack has not acknowledged any of these efforts, PFA has committed as the bill’s original author to ensure that these changes are made during the hearing. I will still be reaching out to Senator Stack and watching this bill closely, and request that all of you do the same!
With our pressure and PFA’s commitment to push these revisions to the bill through, NJ A2275 will support sterilization of more cats in New Jersey and as such, will have my support.
Thank you to all those who participated in this petition and spread the word. We are far from done. Please keep the pressure on your legislators and if you need help figuring out how, please reach out to me via e-mail and I will be glad to help you!