The 800lb Gorilla in Maryland

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Yesterday, the Maryland Department of Agriculture announced the recipients of the spay& neuter grant:

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) – through its new statewide Spay and Neuter Grant Program – is awarding nearly $475,000 in grants to 14 nonprofit and governmental organizations across the state to 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.

From the Maryland Department of Agriculture:

This exciting program is designed to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs euthanized in shelters across the state.

How was the money distributed? 14 organisations in Maryland received grant money for spay & neuter efforts. From this 14 organisations:

5 Organisations are in the Baltimore area, receiving a total of $158,615

4 Organisations are in Prince Georges County, receiving a total of $163,062

Leaving just $153,323 for the rest of Maryland.

It needs to be noted that Prince Georges County has a Breed Specific Legislation in place that will kill any Pit Bull type dog by default.

The organisation Maryland Votes for Animals as well as the HSUS are the main parties behind the law that made the spay & neuter grant possible. Both organisations are hailing the grant program as a way to reduce shelter intake and shelter killing in the State of Maryland.

Studies have shown that spay & neuter alone does not reduce shelter intake or shelter euthanasia. As example, Dr. Ellen Jefferson from Austin, TX pointed out in her study “Using data to make Austin a No Kill City” that altering 60,000 animals in Austin between 1999 and 2008 did not lower shelter intake or shelter euthanasia in Austin, TX.

The real issue with the spay & neuter grant in Maryland, and the 800lb Gorilla, is the fact that it does not address or help the animals that are mostly being killed in Maryland’s so called animal shelters: stray and feral cats. It is specifically mentioned in the grant that the money can not be used for TNR efforts which of course leaves the doors wide open to continue the mass killing of stray and feral cats.

Way to go, MVFA and HSUS. The stray and feral cats thank you for your efforts.