Humane Societies in Wicomico, Caroline, and Talbot Counties Rece - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

MDA to Award $475,000 in Grants to Help Reduce Euthanasia Rates of Companion Animals Across the State

Humane Societies in Wicomico, Caroline, and Talbot Counties Receive MDA Grant

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Department of Agriculture is awarding nearly $475,000 in grants to 14 nonprofit and governmental organizations across the state, including several organization on the Eastern Shore. MDA says the grants, provided through its new statewide Spay and Neuter Grant Program, will provide low-cost spay and neuter services targeted to low income pet owners. A total of 51 applications, requesting more than $1.8 million were received.

The Spay and Neuter Grants Program was created by the General Assembly during the 2013 Legislative Session as a new program within MDA. MDA says the goal of the program is to reduce the number of cats and dogs euthanized in shelters across the state by providing competitive grants to local governments and animal welfare organizations that promote and provide spay and neuter services and education. The legislation requires the program to give priority, whenever possible, to those projects that serve low income communities and populations. All funding for this program comes from a special fee paid by pet food companies that sell products in Maryland.

"The demand for these services is evident not only by the number of grant applications we received but also by the high quality of those applications," said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance.  "As this program provides resources to the organizations that are best able to provide spay and neuter services, we expect to see those euthanasia rates go down."

Among the organizations chosen for the grant, several Eastern Shore organizations were chosen. The Humane Society of Wicomico County was awarded $31,810 for their project that provides transportation and no-cost surgeries to any low-income county resident but especially targets low-income pet owners in the north side of Salisbury, southwest side of Delmar, the town of Sharptown, and the Town of Pittsville. The program helps 234 cats and 78 dogs.

The Caroline County Humane Society was also chosen to receive the grant. It was awarded $22,150 for their project that targets low-income pet owners in Federalburg and Denton and will provide no-cost surgeries to 175 cats and 50 pitbulls.

The last organization on the Eastern Shore chosen to receive the grant was the Talbot Humane organization. It was awarded $9,180 for its project that targets low-income pitbull owners in Talbot County and will provide no-cost surgeries to 100 dogs.

A seven-member Spay and Neuter Advisory Board, appointed by Secretary Hance, has spent the last year developing regulations, criteria and materials for the program. The board also reviewed each application before making funding recommendations to the Secretary. In addition, a coordinator was hired to manage the program.

The 14 grantees received a total of $474,785. The other 11 not located on the Eastern Shore are listed below. The next call for proposals is expected to be announced next spring.

The grantees are:

-Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) and Maryland SPCA (Baltimore City), $94,000 - Project targets low-income urban pet owners in those zip codes in the city identified through shelter data as sources of significant shelter intake. The areas with greatest need will be provided outreach, education and no-cost surgeries for up to 750 cats and 250 dogs.

-City of Greenbelt, Planning and Development (Prince George's County), $74,562 - Project is a four-city partnership that targets low-income pet owners in Greenbelt, College Park, New Carrollton, and the Town of Berwyn Heights and will provide outreach, transportation, and no-cost surgeries for 636 cats and 315 dogs.  

-Prince George's County, $49,580 -  Project provides outreach, education and no-cost spay and neuter services (with transportation if necessary) to low-income pet owners in towns throughout western Prince George's County and will provide no-cost surgeries for 146 cats and 219 dogs.

-HART For Animals, Inc, (Garrett & Allegany Counties), $42,345 - Project targets low-income pet owners throughout both counties to provide no-cost surgeries for 400 cats and 275 dogs.

-Baltimore Humane Society (Baltimore County), $34,416 - Project targets Milford Mill (located between Randallstown and Woodlawn) and will provide low-income pet owners with education and weekly events as well as no-cost surgeries for 150 dogs and 50 cats.

-Rude Ranch/Spay Spa and Neuter Nook (Anne Arundel County), $29,275 - Project targets low-income pet owners in Glen Burnie, Brooklyn Park, Severn, and Pasadena and will provide no-cost surgeries to 400 cats and 100 dogs.  

-SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George's County, $20,000 - Project targets low-income pet owners in East Riverdale/Bladensburg and Langley Park, Hillcrest Heights/Marlow Heights, Glassmanor/Oxon Hill, Suitland/Coral Hills, and Kentland/Palmer Park through 10 events over a year and expects to provide no-cost surgeries for up to 1,000 pets.

-Laurel Cats, Inc. (Prince George's County), $18,920 - Project targets low-income pet owners in eastern Laurel and will provide outreach and no-cost surgeries to 300 cats.

-Humane Society of Charles County, $18,348 - Project targets low-income pet owners in the towns of Indianhead and Waldorf and will provide no-cost surgeries to 220 cats and 110 dogs.

-Charm City Companions (Baltimore city), $17,340 - Project targets low-income pet owners in northeast Baltimore city, in and around McElderry Park area and will provide no-cost surgeries to 200 pets.

-ReLove Animals, Inc. (Baltimore city), $12,859 - Project will provides low-income dog owners in Park Heights with transportation and no-cost surgeries, to 120 dogs.
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