Georgia Department of Agriculture

Georgia Officials Announce Ongoing Support for Companion Animals

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Georgia Department of Agriculture
Gary W. Black, Commissioner
19 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW
Atlanta, GA 30334

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Press Release
Thursday, June 9, 2022
Office of Communications

Georgia Officials Announce Ongoing Support for Companion Animals

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black applauds Governor Brian P. Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp, and members of the Georgia General Assembly for their support to further protect our companion animal populations. In Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations, Governor Kemp authorized funding under the Prosecuting Attorney's Council to provide for a special prosecutor for the review of animal abuse cases. Animal abuse can often lead to larger systemic issues such as mental health or criminal activity within our communities. This effort will add an extra layer of protection for companion animals as well as protecting our communities.

"Animal abuse is a horrific, intolerable crime," said Governor Brian P. Kemp. "We have laws against this behavior, and now, we are adding a state prosecutor to focus on this area of public safety. Animal abuse can also be a catalyst for other community issues, like violent crimes against people. This effort will add an extra layer of protection for companion animals as well as help protect Georgians."

"Brian, the girls, and I have always valued and worked to protect Georgia's animals - whether it is dogs, cats, horses, or others," said First Lady Marty Kemp. "We value all life, and we are now better prepared to take action against those who threaten them. As this and other important work - like the spay and neuter program - continues through the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Prosecuting Attorney's Council of Georgia, we are sending a strong signal to anyone engaging in these inexcusable acts."

In conjunction with the Governor's action, Commissioner Black is announcing the release of $800,000 in grants to assist with spaying and neutering Georgia's companion animals. "Often local communities have citizens that are burdened by the high costs of having their pets spayed or neutered," said Commissioner Black. "This grant will target and aid these communities across Georgia by keeping strays off the street and controlling the animal population in a humane manner."

Since its inception, the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program has generated over $2M in funding to sexually alter dogs and cats throughout Georgia communities. The program is supported by the Dog and Cat specialty vehicle tag along with tax exempt donations from direct contributions. Additional information and future announcements regarding the program can be found at

Tax-exempt donations are available and welcomed by the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program. Simply visit for details.


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About the GDA The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the voice of the state's agriculture community. The department's mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more information, visit



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