The Spay and Neuter Grants 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: pets of low-income Marylanders; colonies of free-roaming, unowned community cats; and capital expense projects such as opening or enhancing a low-cost spay/neuter clinic or mobile unit. This program is funded by the Pet Food Industry, and we are grateful for their support over the years.
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:
- January-April: Each year, the window to submit an application is open from early January to early April.
- April-May: The Program Coordinator completes the due diligence process, and in mid-May, sends the applications to the Spay & Neuter Advisory Board (SNAB) for review.
- May-July: The SNAB reviews and scores the applications.
- August: The SNAB meets to discuss the applications and make their funding recommendations. Applications may be approved in full or in part, or they may be rejected.
- August-September: The SNAB'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/or to inquire whether the project will still be feasible with the recommended changes. If so, the process moves forward to the next step of creating the Grant Contract (typically this occurs in mid to late September). If not, the application is canceled.
- September-October: Grant Contract is signed by the applicant in OneStop.
- November-December: First payment allocations usually arrive to the grantee in mid-November or later. The first allocation will be comprised of 50% of the surgery funding amount, and 100% of the rabies vaccine funding amount (if applicable). 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 surgery funding. Due to the workflow timeline of the MDA's grant process, it is advised that projects have a start date of January 1 or later in their project year. Project start dates and work may begin as early as October 1, but BE ADVISED that first allocations may not be received by the awardee until November 15 or later. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the Program Coordinator.
The current grant cycle will be for FY25. The grant application window opened on Friday, January 5, 2024 at 12:00p.m., and will close on Friday, April 5, 2024 at 5:00p.m. Please see the FY25 instructions below for guidance.