Low-income pet owners and minders of feral cats across the state will have expanded access to free spay and neuter services thanks to the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Spay and Neuter Grant Program.
The more than $892,000 in funding was awarded to 36 programs across 21 counties and Baltimore City. Feral cats are the focus of 14 such programs, with the remaining 22 targeting pets. Since 2015 the program has funded 123 projects that provided for 36,163 sterilization procedures, the department said. Funding for the program comes from fees paid by pet food companies who register to sell their goods in Maryland.
“Our goal is to reduce intake and euthanasia of cats and dogs in Maryland animal shelters,” Program Coordinator Jane Mallory said in a statement. “Every spay and neuter procedure reduces the risk of a dog or cat having an unwanted litter that may end up in a county shelter. Less intake to the shelters helps reduce the financial and manpower burden on county shelters and increases the chances that current shelter dogs and cats will find homes. We have been very impressed by the quality of applications we receive and the terrific results the grantees are able to accomplish.”