The Spay and Neuter Advisory Board will recommend the guidelines and regulations needed to implement the state’s Spay and Neuter Fund, which was established by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2013 Legislative Session as a new program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA).
The program is designed to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs euthanized in shelters across the state by providing grants to local governments and animal welfare organizations that promote and provide spay and neuter services and educational outreach. The legislation creating the program directs the Fund to put an emphasis on efforts that serve low income communities.
Members of the Advisory Board, appointed by the Agriculture Secretary, are:
- Dr. Amy Carney, an Associate Veterinarian at Noah’s Ark Veterinary and Boarding Resort in Millersville, representing veterinarians;
- Robin Catlett, Administrator of Anne Arundel County Animal Control, representing a local animal control agency.
- John Flowers, a surgery technician in the Maryland SPCA Spay and Neuter Clinic, representing a private animal shelter;
- Kurt Gallagher, Director of Communications and Export Development for the Pet Food Institute, representing the pet food industry;
- Amy Hanigan, attorney and private business consultant, one of two members representing an animal welfare advocacy organization;
- Patrick McMillian, MDA Assistant Secretary for Marketing, Animal Industries and Consumer Services, representing the Secretary.
- Tami Santelli, Maryland Senior State Director of the U.S. Humane Society, one of two members representing an animal welfare advocacy organization; and
Specifically, the board will advise the Secretary on how the Fund should be administered; how competitive grants should be solicited and evaluated; determine what information MDA should require from local animal shelters and other animal control agencies, and any propose any needed regulations.
The program is funded by a fee levied on registered dog and cat foods. Based on registered feed records (as of November 2013), MDA estimates the fee will bring in an estimated $400,000 the first year; $600,000 the second year, and $800,000 a year in the third year and beyond. The program expires in 2022.
Read the law establishing the program here