ANNAPOLIS, MD - Your state lawmakers in Annapolis want to make sure every animal can get spayed or neutered.
Delegate Kathy Afzali is co-sponsoring a bill in the Maryland General Assembly. It would establish a spay and neuter fund to give vouchers to residents who don't have the money to fix their pets and provide grants for community programs.
"We want to give people an incentive to spay and neuter their animals. Hopefully if there's no financial risk of them doing it, then they'll go ahead and do it," says Afzali, (R) - Frederick County.
Legislators introduced the bill after getting recommendations from a task force studying animal euthanasia.
"We're not all heartless in Annapolis. We do have a love for our four-legged friends and other furry friends," Afzali says. "We do want them to get spayed and neutered because it's heartbreaking to see the thousands of animals we have to put down each year if we can't find homes for them."
Funding would come from a surcharge on manufacturer pet food registration fees.
"It's really a tragedy that we have to kill and put down so many animals every year," Afzali says. "I like animals. I've always had pets all my life and I believe it's a good idea to do."
The task force found 96,000 animals go into Maryland shelters every year, and more than 45,000 of them are put down. This costs taxpayers between $8 and $9 million dollars annually.