The West Virginia Spay Neuter Assistance Program, or WVSNP, is a legislatively created program with the purpose of having more dogs and cats sterilized, thereby reducing shelter populations and costs, euthanasia rates and threats to public health and safety from rabies and other problems posed by the growing population of stray, feral and abandoned dogs and cats. WVSNP is administered by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA).

How it works

WVSNP Advisory Committee

As permitted by the WVSNP rule, WVDA Commissioner Kent Leonhardt appointed a seven-member advisory committee that meets periodically to help guide WVSNP decisions.  The members were selected to represent diverse geographical areas of the state as well as a wide range of pet/feral industry experience.

Their credentials and home counties are:

  • Pet Food Industry – Monongalia County;
  • Former Animal Shelter director – Kanawha County;
  • Former Animal Control Officer – Wood County;
  • 20+ years’ work in rescue/no-kill shelter – Monroe County;
  • Veterinarian – Monongalia County;
  • Federation of Humane Organizations in West Virginia – Randolph County; and
  • Spay/neuter rescue work and grant programs – Preston County.


West Virginia Code §19-20C-1, et seq.
West Virginia Code of State Rules §61-24-1, et seq.

WVSNP awards grants to local governments and 501(c)(3) organizations, which may issue vouchers to pet owners or use other means of advancing spay neuter services. Funds are provided to grantees on a reimbursement basis, and grantees are paid upon proper invoice demonstrating that the funds were appropriately spent.

How can I get my dog or cat spayed or neutered?

Individual pet owners are not eligible for direct funding.  2021 grant cycle is not yet open but the link will be posted when it is, roughly mid-April.


Andrew B. Yost
WVDA Livestock Marketing Specialist
Work cell (304) 389-9750

Where do the funds for WVSNP come from?

Grants are funded by registration fees paid by pet food manufacturers who sell their products in West Virginia. The vast majority of such fees are paid by out-of-state corporations. Grants are not funded by taxes.

Applying for a Grant

If you are a county or municipal shelter or animal control organization, or a 501(c)(3) corporation, you may be eligible to receive WVSNP grant funding to advance spay and neuter services.  WVDA accepts applications for funding annually, starting in mid-December, with a submission deadline on or around February 1.

The FY 2021 application is currently open. The FY 2021 application is due on February 1, 2021.
Use the link(s) below to download.

FY 2021 application Program FAQs

WVSNP Procedures 2018-2019

  • 0-24
  • 25-99
  • 100-249
  • 250-499
  • 500-999
  • 1000+


FY 18 FY 19 FY 20
Applications Rec’d 60 72 68
$ Requested $1,015,332.50 $821,097.50 $781,170.43
Grants Awarded 47 56 64
$ Awarded $343,003.00 $422,266.00 $525,112.96
$ Spent $321,953.01 $368,955.13 (in progress)
Matching $ Spent $216,111.84 $244,360.42 (in progress)
Procedures 8,953 9,927 (in progress)

History of WVSNP

WVSNP is the legislative result of citizens wanting a publicly funded statewide approach to overpopulation of stray cats and dogs in West Virginia. West Virginia’s feral cat and dog populations pose health and safety problems for humans and pets, impact wildlife, spread disease, and burden communities. Mitigating these problems is expensive, whether handled through county and municipal animal control, volunteer shelters and foster care, or euthanasia. Despite everyone’s best efforts, these resources are regularly overburdened.

In response, the framework of WVSNP was established in 2013, but the program was unfunded until House Bill 2552 was passed by the West Virginia Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jim Justice in 2017.

Each year, grants are made available to eligible county or municipal shelters and nongovernmental, 501(c)(3), entities incorporated in West Virginia. The Spay Neuter Fund is financed by Pet food product registration fees, not by taxes. Several hundred thousand dollars of grant funds are awarded every year, but many more funds are requested by applicant entities. Applicants are ranked based on a number of factors, including efficiency and past success. The ranking structure takes into account the special needs of rural, low population counties and emphasizes support to these communities. WVDA and the Spay Neuter Advisory Committee place a high priority on awarding grants to all eligible applicants, so even though all applicants cannot receive their full request, all eligible applicants receive at least some funding.

The goal of WVSNP is to lower the long-term societal costs associated with high stray and feral populations by increasing spay and neuter rates. Sterilization is a proven method to reduce these populations and associated costs over time. While not the whole answer, WVSNP is part of the answer to this problem in West Virginia. No step in the right direction is too small.