CAT LOVERS, THIS CAR TAG’S FOR YOU

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Friday, January 23, 2009

Last fall, Hope the cat was homeless and headed to kitty heaven. Today, she is feline fabulous —- she has a new home and is the cat featured on a new Georgia license plate unveiled Thursday.

Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin said he thinks the “Feline Friend” plate will prove more popular than the “Buddy” dog plate, first issued in 2005.

“More people have cats than have dogs,” Irvin said.

The $25 “Feline Friend” tag is to be available by March 1 at tag offices. More than $22 of the tag’s one-time fee will go to the state’s spay/neuter program, which subsidizes procedures by Georgia vets, state Department of Agriculture officials said.

Since 2003, nearly $2.9 million for spaying and neutering cats and dogs has been raised through the sale of the animal tags and through a state income tax checkoff program, state officials said.

Duluth artist Randalyn “Randy” Bieniek did portraits of Hope and three other cats at a Suwanee shelter for a state license plate contest. After seeing the portrait in a newspaper, Josie Wind of Snellville fell in love with Hope and adopted her.

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