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Northwoods-based organization creates Spay-Neuter-Adopt license plates to support mission

Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles

The operation of the Fix Is In has changed over the years.

It started in 2009 as a mobile, low-cost spay and neuter clinic.

In 2022, the Fix Is In was able to open its first brick and mortar clinic in Wausau, but due to the ongoing veterinary shortage, it closed down permanently later that year.

Without a vet of its own, the Fix Is In is now focused on connecting farmers and people with barn or outdoor cats to spay and neuter resources.

“A lot of times people start feeding a couple outdoor kitties. They feel bad for these stray cats. They provide really nice outdoor shelters for them. They started feeding them. Then what happens is they start reproducing if they don't get those cats fixed,” said Karla Ortman, the founder and board vice president of the Fix Is In. “Before they know it, a year or two years or three years, however long they put it off, pretty soon they have a colony of 30, 50 cats.”

Through all the changes, the Fix Is In has remained committed to reducing the number of homeless pets in Wisconsin by making spays and neuters more accessible.

To continue that work and help more clinics and animal shelters in the state that also work towards this goal, the Fix Is In worked with the Wisconsin DMV to create a special license plate.

Like other special license plates offered through the DMV, people pay an additional $25 annually at renewal time that goes directly to the Fix Is In. There is also a one-time $15 issuance fee.

Ortman says that money will go towards grants for humane societies and veterinary clinics that offer spay/neuter programs in their communities.

“Animal shelters are really struggling right now with pet overpopulation, so the importance of spay and neuter is on an uptick as well,” said Ortman.

She is also hoping the plates will bring awareness to the issue as people see them on cars.

You can learn more about the plate and how to apply for one on the Wisconsin DMV website.

Ortman encourages anyone that needs assistance with getting barn cats or other pets fixed to visit The Fix Is In website for additional resources.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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