Help Low Income MD-VA-DC Area Get Veterinary Care
Throughout the United States, animals are in desperate need of medical care. This project provides free spay/neuter, vaccinations, and veterinary services to pets belonging to low-income and no-income individuals and families in impoverished areas of Maryland, Virginia, and DC metro area. We aim to help 50 owned dogs and 500 owned cats every year for 10 years. The Maryland Department of Agriculture Spay and Neuter Grant Program provided seed support for this project in 2019, 2020, and 2022.
In Maryland, in Anne Arundel County (AAC) alone, five zip codes represent the highest surrender numbers for both dogs and cats to the county shelter. Not coincidentally, these zip codes are the most economically challenged areas in AAC. This problem exists in many surrounding counties and states, including DC and VA, where surrendered animals are usually not fixed and not vaccinated, and, unfortunately, often euthanized due to lack of funds or adoption options.
Working with our rescue partners and transportation volunteers, we will perform targeted spay/neuter, vaccinations, and veterinary services to these animals that would otherwise go without care. We will provide a much needed social service safety net to under-resourced, under-employed, and unemployed individuals and improve the health and quality of life of animals in low income communities, especially in light of the stresses of COVID.
This project has already proven to be effective in AAC, as the number of nuisance and assistance calls have decreased and will continue to long-term. We expect the intake and euthanasia rate to decrease by several percentage points. We expect area shelters will also be impacted as there should be fewer stray and abandoned animals crossing between the two entities. We expect these agencies’ intake numbers and euthanasia to decrease both in the short and long term.