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Superstars for Voluntary Low-cost Statewide Spay/Neuter Program!

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By Carolyn Kilborn - Posted on 12 April 2013

The Voluntary Low-cost Statewide Spay/Neuter Program has passed the Maryland General Assembly! If you made a phone call, sent an email or came to Humane Lobby Day then know that you played an important part in passage of this landmark legislation! You joined together with other animal advocates to make this happen. Thank you, each and every one!

Now it's time to CELEBRATE!  Maryland Votes For Animals (MVFA) worked with your legislators over the past 3 years to make sure Maryland passed a spay/neuter bill that will save the lives of thousands of homeless cats and dogs.  Our legislative champions work very hard on behalf of animals and we are delighted to invite you to a CELEBRATION to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to those who made it happen.  Click HERE to CELEBRATE!


Who initiated the bill?

Special thanks to Speaker of the House, Michael Busch, who, at the request of MVFA, got behind the concept of a state spay/neuter program, selected the sponsors of the bill and got the entire three-year-long process going.  Also special thanks to MVFA board member, Dr. E. Joseph Lamp, who wrote the initial white paper on spay/neuter for Speaker Busch.

The Senate bill was sponsored by:

Special thanks to all the Senate sponsors: Senator Benson (Chair, Task Force on the Establishment of a Statewide Spay/Neuter Fund) and Senators Rosapepe, Astle, Conway, Jennings,Madaleno, Manno, Montgomery, Pinsky, Pugh, Raskin, Stone, Young, and Zirkin

The House bill was sponsored by:

Special thanks to all the House sponsors: Delegate Frush (Chair, Task Force on the Establishment of a Statewide Spay/Neuter Fund) and Delegates S. Robinson, Arora, Barkley, Barnes, Barve, Beidle, Bobo, Cane, Cardin, Carr, Davis, Frick, Gaines, George, Gilchrist, Guzzone, Haddaway-Riccio, Haynes, Healey, Hogan, Holmes, Hubbard, Hucker, Ivey, Kach, A. Kelly, Kipke, Kramer, Lafferty, Lee, Love, Luedtke, Malone, McComas, McIntosh, McMillan, A. Miller, Minnick, Morhaim, Niemann, Olszewski, Pena-Melnyk, Pendergrass, Reznik, Swain, Valentino-Smith, Waldstreicher, Weir, Wilson, Zucker, Busch, Glenn, and Stein

Wondering how your legislators voted on the spay/neuter bill?

Click HERE to see the full Senate vote. Click HERE to see the full House vote. Click HERE to see the Senate Committee vote. Click HERE to see the House Committee vote. Then send a polite note to your legislators either saying "thank you" or "I'm disappointed."

Remember: Please be polite in your email even if your legislator voted against the bill. The time to fully and effectively express your disappointment is AT THE POLLS, not in a letter. Next year is an election year and MVFA will be making endorsements of animal friendly candidates. Stay tuned to MVFA's endorsements then VOTE FOR animal-friendly candidates and VOTE AGAINST those who are not!

Who were the Coalition Partners who supported the spay/neuter bill?

Special thanks to every single coalition partner who lent their name and gave their support to the spay/neuter bill. Click HERE to see the list of coalition partners.

Who were the Veterinarians who supported the spay/neuter bill?

Special thanks to Dr. Amy Carney for her work to inform Maryland veterinarians about the bill and collect letters of support and written testimony from them.  Also special thanks to Dr. Amy Carney and Dr. Susan Rush for providing oral testimony in support of the Spay/Neuter bill. Click HERE to see the list of veterinarians who wrote letters of support to the committees hearing the bill.

Who were the Witnesses who testified in support of the spay/neuter bill?

Special thanks to all these people who took time off from work and waited for hours for their turn to testify in front of the legislative committees hearing the bill:

Senator Joanne Benson, District 24
Delegate Barbara Frush, District 21
Delegate Shane Robinson, District 39
Earl F. Hance, Secretary of Agriculture
Amy Hanigan, Spay/Neuter Task Force
Carolyn Kilborn, MVFA
Tami Santelli, HSUS
Aileen Gabbey, MDSPCA
Jen Brause, BARCS
Paul Miller, PAWS
Dr. Amy Carney
Dr. Susan Rush
Juliana Brown, Relove
Robin Small, Anne Arundel Animal Control
Brittany Weklow, student
Susan Radov, student
Cheyenne Murphy, student

Who were the spay/neuter task force members?

Special thanks to all the task forc members who worked for almost 2 years to research and design a spay/neuter program just for Maryland!

Senator Joanne Benson (Co-Chair)
Delegate Barbara Frush (Co-Chair)
Senator James Rosapepe
Delegate Shane Robinson
Amy Hanigan, MVFA
Tami Santelli, HSUS
Aileen Gabbey, MDSPCA
Jennifer Brause and Darlene Harris, BARCS
Tamela Terry, The SPCA/Humane Soc. of Prince George's Co.
Paul Miller, PAWS
Nicky Ratliff, Humane Soc. of Carroll Co.
Ann Selnick, Howard County Animal Advocates
Susan McDonough, V.M.D.
Barbara A. McLean, M.D.
Michael F. Canning, PIJAC
Kurt Gallagher, PFI

Who created and analyzed the survey to determine public attitudes toward the spay/neuter bill?

Special thanks for the research contributions made by the Anne Arundel Community College "Center For The Study Of Local Issues," (CSLI) directed by Dr. Daniel Nataf to this effort. Survey questions written by former CSLI director, Dr. E. Joseph Lamp and approved by CSLI's over-sight board concerning public attitudes toward the spay/neuter initiative, along with options for paying for it were then included on CSLI's fall, 2012 bi-annual telephone survey. After those data were collected, Dr. Nataf and Dr. Lamp analyzed the statistical results, with Lamp then writing and presenting the final reports to the Spay/Neuter Task Force.

Who lobbied the legislators to support the bill?

Special thanks to Carolyn Kilborn, Tami Santelli, Amy Hanigan, Valerie Pringle, Valerie Leonard, David Laroche and every single person who came to Humane Lobby Day.

Who created the Save Maryland Pets website?

Special thanks to Ian Hanigan who worked his magic to create the outstanding Save Maryland Pets website.  Ian's website was responsible for obtaining over 80 coalition members and almost 4000 signatures in support of the spay/neuter bill. 

Web design and development: Ian T. Hanigan, President, Saratoga Direct, Inc.
Web Coordinators: Amy E. Hanigan, Ian T. Hanigan, Carolyn Kilborn, Tami Santelli

Who made the spay/neuter video?

Special thanks to Dani Englander who took the reigns and created the powerful spay/neuter video in no time flat!  Click HERE to watch the video.  Thanks to Dani's entire team, too, Jack Foley - Director of Photography, Steven Epstein - Production Assistant, Andrew Corbin - Editor, Casey Gebhart - Editor, and all the people who came out on a stormy morning to star in the video:

Delegate Barbara Frush
Senator John Astle
Delegate Ron George
Matt Wieters
BARCS and all their compassionate employees
Paws Pet Boutique
Boston Street Animal Hospital
Howl pet food store
Relove Animal Rescue
Charm City Animal Rescue
Harry Browne's Restaurant
Ian Hanigan
Carolne Griffin
Madeline Davis
M.R. Davis
Gladys Datch
Michael Datch
Michelle Kownacki
Larry Kownacki
Valerie Leonard
Darlene Harris
Kathy Burkhardt
Barbara Reed
Julianna Brown and her lovely children
Jan Camaratta and her lovely daughter
Brynn Longenecker and her boyfriend
Wendy Cozonne
Tami Santelli
Jeremy Kilborn
Carolyn Kilborn

Special thanks to the animals too: Little Ben, Nick, Lou, Opal, Katie, Ossie, Jericho the Phoenix, and the many homeless cats and dogs appearing in the film.

This has been a huge collective effort that took each and every one of us to defeat the opposition and pass this landmark bill.  Our deepest and most sincere thanks!

P.S.  If I inadventantly left out anyone who helped in any way to pass this legislation, please forgive me.  Just send me an email and I'll add you to the list!

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