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Maryland unveils spay/neuter funding rules

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The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) on March 21 released proposed regulations for its new statewide spay/neuter funding program.

The five-page draft document, which can be downloaded here, would guide the operation of the program, which is designed to curb pet overpopulation and reduce the number of cats and dogs put down in shelters across the state. The program will provide grants to animal welfare groups and local governments to promote and provide spay and neuter services. A preference will be given to organizations that target low-income communities.

Public comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted through April 21 and should be sent to Mark Powell, MDA Marketing Chief, 50 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401. He can also be reached by phone at 410-841-5770, fax at 410-841-5987, and e-mail at

“If there are no major issues brought to light as a result of those comments, the regs will take effect May 26,” department spokeswoman Vanessa Orlando told “If there are issues that require the proposed regs to be substantially changed, it will have to go through the regulatory process again, which, generally speaking, is about 100 days.”

The department expects to complete grant guidelines and applications this summer.

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