(a) There is a Spay/Neuter Fund in the Department.
(b) The purpose of the Fund is to reduce animal shelter overpopulation and cat and dog euthanasia rates by financing grants to local governments and animal welfare organizations for programs that most efficiently and effectively facilitate and promote the provision of spay and neuter services for cats and dogs in the State.
(c) The Department shall administer the Fund.
(d)(1) The Fund is a special, nonlapsing fund that is not subject to § 7-302 of the State Finance and Procurement Article.
(2) The State Treasurer shall hold the Fund separately, and the Comptroller shall account for the Fund.
(e) The Fund consists of:
(1) Revenue distributed to the Fund from the fee established under § 2-1603 of this subtitle;
(2) Money appropriated in the State budget to the Fund;
(3) Any investment earnings of the Fund; and
(4) Any other money from any other source accepted for the benefit of the Fund.
(f)(1) The Fund may be used only as described in this subsection.
(2)(i) The Fund may be used to finance selected competitive grant proposals submitted by a local government or an animal welfare organization to facilitate and promote the provision of spay and neuter services for cats and dogs.
(ii) The Department shall solicit and evaluate competitive grant proposals.
(iii) A competitive grant proposal:
1. Shall target low-income communities and populations to the maximum extent possible and detail how that goal is to be accomplished;
2. May target feral cat populations if the Department determines that this targeting does not violate local law;
3. Shall efficiently and effectively facilitate and promote the provision of spay and neuter services for cats and dogs; and
4. May include public education and outreach components.
(iv) The Department shall evaluate a competitive grant proposal based on:
1. The standards established under subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph; and
2. Any additional standards the Department adopts by regulation consistent with this section.
(v) The Department shall adopt regulations requiring a grant recipient to report relevant information on how the grant was used, including data on the number and type of spay or neuter surgeries performed and a description of any public education and outreach implemented.
(3) The Department may use money in the Fund:
(i) To finance public education and outreach efforts for the competitive grant program; and
(ii) For the reasonable costs of administering the Fund.
(g)(1) The State Treasurer shall invest the money of the Fund in the same manner as other State money may be invested.
(2) Any investment earnings of the Fund shall be paid into the Fund.
(h) Beginning January 1, 2014, each county and municipal animal control shelter and each organization that contracts with a county or municipality for animal control shall report quarterly to the Department on a form prescribed by the Department describing for the previous 3 months:
(1) The number of cats and dogs taken in;
(2) The number of cats and dogs disposed of, broken down by method of disposal, including euthanasia; and
(3) Any other relevant data the Department requires.
(i) By August 31, 2014, and each year thereafter, the Department shall submit a report to the Governor and, in accordance with § 2-1246 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly that describes the activities financed by the Fund in the previous fiscal year, including:
(1) A description of all grant proposals selected for funding and grant programs implemented;
(2) A statement of the number of spay and neuter surgeries performed under each grant proposal selected;
(3) A description of and accounting for any public education and outreach efforts made for the benefit of Fund programs; and
(4) A summary of the information reported to the Department by local animal control shelters and organizations that contract with local governments for animal control under subsection (h) of this section.
Added by Acts 2013, c. 561, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2013; Acts 2013, c. 562, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2013. Amended by Acts 2013, c. 43, § 5.
<Acts 2013, c. 561, and Acts 2013, c. 562, are abrogated effective at the end of September 30, 2022, under the terms of § 3 of those Acts.>