LOS ANGELES (AP) — California came to the rescue Thursday of animal lovers who need more time to sell license plates to raise money to reduce pet overpopulation and cut euthanasia rates.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure giving the California Spay & Neuter License Plate Fund an extra year for the sales.
Money generated by the effort will pay for spay and neuter surgeries throughout the state.
Under the state's program, 7,500 plates have to be sold before they can be printed.
The group, sponsored by the Department of Consumer Affairs Veterinary Medical Board, pre-sold 4,530 plates and needs to sell 2,970 more, said campaign president and vet board member Judie Mancuso.
Without a flurry of sales or an extension, the campaign would have had to refund money to everyone who paid so far.
Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana, said California spends more than $290 million a year to house and euthanize 1 million homeless dogs and cats.
"The sooner those pre-orders are collected and the Department of Motor Vehicles can get those plates on the road, the sooner city and county animal shelters will reap the benefits," he said.
The bill received unanimous House and Senate approval.
The program is being promoted on a Facebook page set up for Brown's Welsh corgi, Sutter.
California has 10 specialty plates, benefiting groups such as firefighters and veterans.
The plates have been a boon for the causes. The most popular benefits children and has brought in $41 million since 1994.