Actor Pierce Brosnan pitched a proposed license plate on Tuesday (June 8) dedicated specifically to fund free or low-cost spay & neuter surgeries across the Golden State.The star of such films as "The Thomas Crown Affair" and four James Bond films showed up at the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter to help launch the California Spay & Neuter License Plate. The plate is sponsored by the California Veterinary Medical Board.
SPAYplateDESIGN.JPGThe actor told a gathering of roughly 50 animal advocates that he wanted the artwork on the plate to be seen from a distance. He chose a "pop art" style that featured he and his wife's own pets, a dog named Shilo and a cat named Coco. The dog is a purplish hue and the sunglasses-wearing cat is a California gold color. Brosnan named the piece "Wise Dog and Cool Cat.""Times have changed - and they must change - we've really punished the animal kingdom so badly," Brosnan said. "I'm mighty proud of this. I look forward to seeing it on the highways here. Hopefully four years from now, five years from now - a year from now - we will have changed the course for these beautiful creatures that are so part of our lives."
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon each spoke during the news conference. In 2007, Alarcon wanted and lobbied for a tougher spay and neuter ordinance on the books. His law passed in early 2008 by a 14-1 council vote.All dogs and cats in the city of Los Angeles, aged 4 months or older, must be altered, unless the animal is in one of the exempted categories. The ordinance is considered one of the toughest in the nation.Long-time spay & neuter proponent Judie Mancuso of Orange County, one of the founders of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that gave life to the spay plate idea, shared her enthusiasm for the plate and emphasized the need for critical changes.
"It's a fun and easy way for pet lovers to help reduce pet overpopulation," Mancuso said. "In addition to assisting with spay & neuter surgeries, the plates will help raise awareness about the importance of altering your pet."Mancuso said she believes pet overpopulation is out of control, adding that roughly 500,000 animals a year are euthanized in California alone."This is a cost - not only a moral cost - but a staggering quarter of a billion dollars per year," Mancuso said during the news conference on Tuesday morning. "That's taxpayer money - our money - that should be going somewhere else. This killing method is an outmoded way of thinking. But if we are going to change this outcome, we must change our behavior and the way we think about this problem."Mancuso added, "Instead of thinking of this problem after the fact, we need to proactively spay and neuter our pets, thus preventing the unwanted litters and strays that face this grave fate."
SPAYplateDESIGN-wideshot.JPGThe plates go for $50 for an original sequential plate or $98 for those that would like to have their personalized plate with the Spay & Neuter design. The cost for a new, personalized plate with the spay & neuter design is also $98. The state of California will begin production of the new plate after 7,500 pre-order applications have been submitted.Riverside County Animal Services Chief Veterinarian Dr. Allan Drusys attended the news conference launching the plate. He described it as a wonderful way to spread a critical message."I think it's the artwork will really sell this idea," Dr. Drusys said. "Not only will the monies generated go to help the underprivileged dogs and cats get spayed or neutered, but as these plates are seen more on the highways and byways throughout the state, people will be attracted not only to the message but certainly to the art - and that will just feed the educational aspect of this effort."
Check out more at www.CAspayplate.com or call 800-390-1541.