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Maryland spay/neuter program flooded with feedback

Proposed rules for Maryland’s new spay/neuter funding program generated more than 340 public comments.
Marc Selinger

Proposed regulations for Maryland’s new spay/neuter funding program have generated more than 400 public comments, state officials said April 25.

Most of the feedback focuses on feral cats, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, which is launching the program.

Some of the people who commented "are under the impression that the proposed regs exclude from consideration all projects related to feral cats, and [so they] are expressing opposition to that," department spokeswoman Vanessa Orlando said. "We want to clarify that this is a competitive grant program and under the proposed regs, we could consider spay and neuter projects to manage feral cat populations as long as they didn't violate local ordinances."

The department’s spay/neuter advisory board is reviewing the comments and plans to submit its recommendations to Agriculture Secretary Earl “Buddy” Hance by the end of May. The proposed regulations were unveiled in March, and the public had until April 21 to comment on them.

The program, which is designed to reduce cat and dog overpopulation, will provide grants to animal welfare groups and local governments to promote and provide spay/neuter services.

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