Animal Welfare Program

The purpose of the Animal Welfare Program is to ensure humane and proper treatment of animals by developing, implementing and administering a comprehensive program that upholds the animal welfare laws of Maine through communication, education and enforcement.

Public Meetings


9/28/2023 - The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry’s Animal Health program has recently been made aware of unusual respiratory disease in dogs in Maine and other Northeast states. Affected dogs are reportedly developing severe pneumonia that is not always responsive to typical antimicrobials. Situations where dogs co mingle may elevate the risk for disease, including kennels, daycares, and dog parks.

If you think your dog is affected, we recommend working closely with your veterinarian to discuss testing and treatment options. We also appreciate veterinarians reporting severe respiratory cases in dogs to us directly at so that we can begin to quantify and understand the impact in Maine.

Companion Animal Sterilization Fund
Vouchers Paid By County in 2022 (PDF)

ACO Training Opportunities

Spay-Neuter Clinics

AWAC Board Seats Open for Appointment

The following board seats are open on the Animal Welfare Advisory Council. To be considered for appointment, all candidates must apply to the Governor expressing their interest in appointment.

  • Seat 13 -Holds a Kennel license issued under Section 3923-C

Chapter 702 Help Fix ME Updated Rules

The final updated Chapter 702 “Help Fix ME” Rules were filed with the Secretary of State on Friday, February 24. This filing marked the completion of the Rulemaking process. The comment summary (PDF) and the final Rule document (PDF) is available.

These rules will be the basis for the Request for Proposal (RFP) and it will be up to whatever group successfully receives the contract to implement the program however they choose within the parameters of the RFP. Steps to begin the RFP process are underway and will follow state requirements. We will alert stakeholders using our newsletter when the RFP is released.

Animal Shelter Partner News

Legislative Update Affecting Partner Shelters (PDF)

Pet Food Pantries

Maine Pet Food Pantries (PDF)

Aquaculture Petition

The Animal Welfare Program received a petition requesting the Department undertake rulemaking governing fish welfare in aquaculture facilities. The Response to that Petition is available (PDF).

Animal Welfare Annual Report

2021 Annual Report (PDF)

How to Contact the Animal Welfare Office

To report an animal cruelty or neglect complaint during business hours 8 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday:

Complaints received via email must contain the reporting party’s name and phone number; the name of the animal owner, (if known), a physical address, a description of the animals and the type of complaint.

For an emergency outside of business hours:

Please call the Bangor Barracks of the State Police, 207-973-3700, and they will contact an Animal Welfare Program representative.

Animal Control Officer Contacts

Support the Animal Welfare Program

Support Animal Welfare License Plate

AWP license plate

The proceeds from the Support Animal Welfare specialty plate will be equally distributed between the Animal Welfare Auxiliary Fund and the Companion Animal Sterilization Fund.


Help fight animal cruelty and pet overpopulation in the State of Maine by making a donation online!

Donate to Fight Animal Abuse

Income Tax Form Check Off

Make a voluntary contribution to Maine's Companion Animal Sterilization Fund on your income tax return. On your Maine State Tax Form, check the box called The Companion Animal Sterilization Fund.

The fund will be used to save lives by:

  • spaying/neutering cats and dogs
  • preventing unwanted litters
  • lowering shelter intakes
  • lowering shelter euthanasia
  • reducing the number of feral cats
  • reducing dog bites