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“Kick Off” Date for the Spay/Neuter Program for Low Income Pet Owners
August 4, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Norma Worley, (207) 287-5531
AUGUSTA - Agriculture Commissioner Robert W. Spear said today that he is thrilled that the Department and the Animal Welfare Program are launching the Statewide Spay/Neuter program for low-income dog and cat owners with a kick off Monday, August 9.
Maine will become the third state in the nation to offer such a program according to Spear.
Norma J. Worley, Animal Welfare Program Director, said that they had worked in a cooperative effort for 18 months with Spay Maine. “Together we have started to tackle the problems of pet overpopulation in Maine,” she said. “Our mutual goal was simple, we wanted to save thousands of pets each year.”
“Spay Maine” is a consortium of Maine’s animal shelters, rescue groups, animal control officers, and animal welfare advocates who work together to decrease shelter intakes and euthanasia’s. The state program has been endorsed by the Maine Veterinarians Association and has 65 veterinarians throughout the state that have signed on to participate.
According to Worley, the Department of Agriculture and the Animal Welfare Program were able to set aside funds for this statewide program as a result of the dog license fee increase that began in 2004. In addition to the Department of Agriculture’s funding, beginning January 2005, taxpayers will be able to voluntarily donate to the program when they file their Maine Income Tax Form.
To qualify for the assistance program a dog or cat owner must be receiving or eligible to receive Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability (SSD), or Maine Care (Medicaid).
Eligible applicants must provide a co-payment of $10.00 for cats and $20.00 for dogs; the state funds the remaining cost. The new program also provides a public health benefit; each animal receives a rabies vaccination.
To participate in this program, pet owners should call the “Help Fix ME” toll free number 1-800-367-1317.
Norma Worley will be available to answer questions regarding this program on Friday, August 6, 2:00 p.m. at the Bangor Humane Society, 693 Mt. Hope Avenue in Bangor and Monday, August 9, 10:00 a.m. at the Kennebec Humane Society, 10 Pet Haven Lane in Augusta.
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