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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- California has come to the rescue of animal lovers who need more time to sell license plates to raise money to reduce pet overpopulation and cut euthanasia rates.

Gov. Brown signed a measure Thursday giving the License Plate Fund an extra year for the sales. Money generated by the effort will pay for spay and neuter surgeries throughout the state.

License Plate Fund president Judie Mancuso says 7,500 plates have to be sold before any can be printed. The group has pre-sold 4,530 plates and needs to sell 2,970 more.

Without a flurry of sales or an extension, the campaign would have had to refund money paid so far.

The bill by Assem. Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana got unanimous House and Senate approval.