I've been [Web Link championing] the Pet Lover's License Plate for over a year now. And now I can say, whoopee the magic 7500 pre-orders were reached last week. That means the new License Plate, which will help pay for low cost spay and neuter clinics throughout California, will be a reality next year.
Judie Mancuso, the wonderful woman who spearheaded this effort, emailed me last week that the pre-orders, which had been lagging behind by 1200, reached the quota on December 19th thanks to a generous offer from Pierce Brosnan and Katherine Heigl to cover the cost of the remaining 1200 plates. The photo shows Brosnan on the right, Judie Mancuso in the middle, and Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa on the left.
Here's an excerpt of an email from @caspayplate.com sent on December 18, 2012:
"Currently we have 6,300 pre-orders and need only 1,200 more; our deadline is not until June 2013. But with the pet overpopulation tragedy in our state, it is better to get the program started ASAP!
A handful of pet loving donors including Pierce Brosnan and Katherine Heigl have donated funds to offer a gift that will keep on giving - a free Pet Lover's License Plate."
Well the Free plates went like hotcakes. Within 24 hours from sending the email 1309 pre-orders had been received on the Pet Lovers License Plate website.
I emailed Judie Mancuso to ask more questions in preparation to write my blog for Monday with the good news about reaching 7500 and keeping the preorder period open until December 31st.
Here's our email correspondence. Judie's answers are in ALL CAPS.
How long will it take the DMV to offer the license after you submit the pre-orders?
THEY HAVE NOT TOLD US YET, I WILL POST ON [Web Link OUR WEBSITE] WHEN WE KNOW.
I believe you have been working on this for three or four years.
WE KICKED IT OFF JUNE 2010.
What happens to some of the early orders who no longer live in California or don't want the plates now?
PEOPLE HAVE EITHER CANCELLED AND RECEIVED THEIR MONEY BACK OR THEY DONATE THE MONEY TO THE CAUSE.
The email about the free license was dated December 18, 2012 and you filled all the orders by December 19th. Was it really that fast for 1200 orders?
YES, ACTUALLY WE GAVE AWAY 1309 TO BE EXACT, IT TOOK LESS THAN 24 HOURS.
It looks like the cost factor may have been holding up the orders, or maybe it was just the idea of getting something Free.
THE TOUGH ECONOMY HAS CERTAINLY BEEN A FACTOR. PEOPLE EMAILED ME AND SAID THEY WANTED ONE BUT THINGS WERE TIGHT FOR THEM NOW. SO THE FREE PLATE WAS PERFECT FOR THEM, BECAUSE THEY HAVE MORE THAN A YEAR BEFORE THEY HAVE TO COME UP WITH THE $40 FOR RENEWAL...SO IT GOT THEM IN THERE.
I looked at the DMV's list of Special Plates. I noticed that a California Ag plate will be available in March and the list includes Coastal Conservancy, Veterans, Firefighters, Olympics, Colleges and Kids. I think the Pet Lovers' will do well even with all this competition.
YES, CAL AG ALMOST DID NOT GET THEIR PLATE, THEY BARELY HAD 2000 PREORDERS WHEN THEIR DEADLINE WAS APPROACHING, THEY GOT A DONATION FROM SOME BIG AG BUSINESS THAT GAVE THEM $200,000 TO GIVE AWAY 4000 PLATES. SO OUR PLATE HAS ALREADY BEEN THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SINCE WE WILL BE THE ONLY TWO PLATES TO GET ON THE ROAD IN THE 21ST CENTURY UNDER THIS NEW LAW.
I pre-ordered two for my two cars. The Focus will be SPCATS and the Maverick will be MAV 73. I'm very excited that this is finally going to happen. I foster, or used to foster, for Safe-Cat Foundation and Tri Valley Animal Rescue (TVAR). We always had our cats and kittens spayed and neutered before they were put up for adoption.
There are some low-cost clinics, but too many people cannot afford the cost of spaying or neutering their cat or dog and then they have litters and what happens to the puppies or kittens? The cost to euthanize (kill) all the unwanted pets was $300,000,000 in 2010.
We talk about reducing government waste, and here's a nice big chunk that can be taken out of the State's budget. This is a great thing and I'm looking forward to showing off my new license plates and seeing fewer adoptable animals put to sleep at shelters.