This program is designed to reduce the number of cats and dogs surrendered to and euthanized in shelters across the state. We hope to reduce these numbers by providing competitive grants to local governments and non-profit animal welfare organizations who will then provide free spay and neuter services. There are three grant opportunities, which provide funding so that these organizations can offer free spay/neuter in their communities for pets of low-income Marylanders; colonies of free-roaming, unowned community cats; and for capital expense projects such as opening or enhancing a low-cost spay/neuter clinic or mobile unit.
This program does not provide funding directly to individuals. If you are a pet owner seeking services for your dog or cat, please click here to see a list of our active pet programs. If you are seeking programs for unowned/feral cats, please click here to see a list of programs for free roaming cats.
Grant Processing Timeline
- Each year, the window to submit an application is open generally from early January to late March/early April.
- The Program Coordinator begins the due diligence process once the application window closes.
- The Spay & Neuter Advisory Board (SNAB) receives the applications once the due diligence process is completed, typically in mid-May, to review and score them.
- The SNAB meets in August to discuss the applications and make their funding level recommendations. As this is a competitive grant process, the applications are weighed against each other. Applicants may be approved for their full request, a portion of the request, or they may be rejected.
- The Advisory Board's funding recommendations are provided to the Maryland Secretary of Agriculture for review shortly after the SNAB meeting. Once approved, the Program Coordinator contacts the applicants to notify them of the SNAB's recommendations, and to inquire whether the project is still able to be completed if there are any cuts to the request. If so, the process moves forward to the next step of creating the Grant Contract. If not, the application is canceled.
- Once the Grant Contract is signed, the first payment allocation can be made to the grantee, usually in November or later of the grant year. The first allocation will be comprised of 50% of your surgery funding request and 100% of your rabies vaccine funding request (if one is made). The second allocation will be released once a grantee has reached 35% of their budget spent (determined via the required quarterly reporting), and it will consist of the remaining 50% of the requested surgery funding.
On January 6, 2023 at 12:00pm, the FY24 Spay and Neuter Grant Application window opened, and it closed at 5:01pm on Friday, March 31, 2023. For more information, please see this press release.
The next grant cycle will be for FY25. The grant application window will open in early January 2024 and will close in late March/early April 2024. Please see the FY24 forms and instructions below for guidance, if you wish to submit a grant in the future.
Applicants must submit their funding request via the Maryland OneStop portal. Paper applications are not accepted.
If you have had a grant in the past, or are an organization that submits quarterly shelter activity reports, please use your existing account to submit your application. If not, then you must create an account on the Maryland OneStop portal in order to apply. Please click the Maryland OneStop logo below to access the portal or to create an account.
For detailed instructions on how to submit an application, please download the following guide: