STRAY ANIMAL PROGRAM GUIDELINES
Across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, municipal officials, non-profit animal welfare organizations, and the general public are grappling with the health and safety hazards of unwanted and uncontrolled animals. Partnering with Animal Control Officers (ACOs), the MVMA Charities, Inc., Stray Animal Program provides financial assistance for the veterinary care of non-owned animals and unclaimed strays. The ultimate goal of the Stray Animal Program is to help facilitate the rehabilitation of these animals and their adoption into suitable homes. The following guidelines will aid ACOs in applying to the Stray Animal Program and requesting payment for services provided to stray animals by local veterinarians. Please note that these guidelines may be changed at any time.
I. The Stray Animal Program
§ Each town and city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may register to participate in the MVMA Charities, Inc., Stray Animal Program. The town or city must designate a single Animal Control Officer (ACO) as the registered contact person for that community’s submission(s).
§ MVMA Charities, Inc., Stray Animal Program will provide funds for up to 100% of veterinary charges generated for the treatment of stray animals. There is a yearly limit in total payments to a single town or city. This limit is currently based on town or city size as follows:
i. Town or city population less than 50,000: $1,000 per year
ii. Town or city population 50,000 to 99,999: $2,000 per year
iii. Town or city population more than 100,000: $3,000 per year
Please consult the chart listing each municipality and its yearly limit.
§ Payment is made directly to the veterinarian providing treatment once a Request for Funds Form has been submitted by the authorized ACO.
II. Registering with the Stray Animal Program
§ Each town or city may approve only one ACO to register with the Stray Animal Program.
§ The registering ACO should fill out, sign, and submit a Stray Animal Program Application for Participation, along with the accompanying documents (proof that the applicant is an ACO and authorization by the town or city of the applicant as its representative).
§ An ACO may represent more than one town or city, however, a separate application (with documentation) must be submitted for EACH town or city the ACO represents.
§ The ACO submitting the application will be the ONLY person authorized to submit payment requests. To change the authorized ACO, a new application must be submitted, along with appropriate documentation. The new application will replace any previous application submitted for that town or city.
III. Requesting Payment
§ To request payment, the authorized ACO must submit a Request for Funds Form to MVMA Charities, Inc., along with a copy of the bill for veterinary services, clearly indicating that treatment was for a non-owned animal or unclaimed stray animal.
§ Requests for payment may only be submitted by the town or city’s authorized ACO.
§ Payment requests may be made for less than 100% of the outstanding bill; the amount requested should be clearly indicated on the submission form.
§ All payment requests are subject to approval by MVMA Charities, Inc. If a request is not approved, the submitting ACO will be notified within 60 days.
§ Payment will be made for up to 100% of the billed, unpaid total indicated on a receipt from the veterinarian providing treatment. Yearly payments on behalf of each town or city will not exceed the limits listed above.
§ MVMA Charities, Inc., encourages treating veterinarians to waive the remaining amount of the charges unpaid by the Stray Animal Program as a contribution to the care of stray animals; however, such waiver is not required.
§ Payment will be made directly to the veterinarian or clinic providing care. MVMA Charities, Inc., will make payments in a timely manner, though unusual circumstances may cause delays of up to 60 days from receipt of a Request for Funds Form before payment is sent.
§ MVMA Charities does not prohibit ACOs and municipalities from obtaining funds from other sources for payment of charges not paid by the Stray Animal Program, however, if reimbursement is obtained from another source for any charges already paid by MVMA Charities, Inc., an amount equal to the overlapping funds obtained MUST be returned to MVMA Charities, Inc. The town or city to which the returned funds are to be assigned should be clearly indicated.
§ Payment requests must be submitted within 30 days of last date that services were provided. For ongoing care, a new payment request for additional (not previously submitted) services for the same animal is permitted.
§ Only services to stray (non-owned) animals are eligible for payment by MVMA Charities, Inc.
§ If overpayment should occur, the veterinarian(s) who provided veterinary care and services will make a contribution to MVMA Charities, Inc. in the amount of overpayment.
Please direct any questions to the office of the MVMA Charities, Inc. You can reach us at the MVMA office at 508-460-9333 or by email at MVMACharities@massvet.org.