One of the provisions of the stimulus bill and later the national healthcare law provided for grants from the federal government to local and state governments to prevent chronic diseases. These so-called “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” (CPPW) grants have been used to create gross and inaccurate anti-soda ads in New York and a separate ad campaign attacking soda in Philadelphia.

Well, it seems like the “absurd” New York ads weren’t the only misspent money in the anti-obesity slush fund. The Washington Examiner reports that in Nashville, Tennessee CPPW money was used to–wait for it–spay and neuter dogs and cats.

Why would they claim that neutering pets could fight obesity? Supposedly strays deter exercisers. Now, encouraging exercise and lifestyle physical activity are better than some possible alternative uses for the CPPW grants, but this particular grant strikes us as silly. (Personal responsibility should apply to pet ownership too, after all.)

At least spending federal money on snipping pets so people might be more apt to go for runs is merely silly and wasteful and not a threat to our choices. With public health researchers (and the usual vegan suspects) lining up to put colas, cheeseburgers, candies, and milkshakes under the “addictive” umbrella with drugs and alcohol, neutering pets seems mostly harmless considering what else the grants might fund. One way or the other, aren’t you glad to see your money hard at work?