The most recent statewide publicly funded program is in Maine. The interest in having such a program started several years ago when Maine resident Susan Hall attended a conference called Maine Cares About Cats, held in Augusta. Another SPAY/USA sponsored conference two years later, again featuring speaker Peter Marsh of the New Hampshire state spay/neuter program, convinced Susan that a similar program was needed in Maine.
The time line shows the sequence of events that led to the implementation of this program.
Early on, a fact sheet was developed, which helped convince government officials, legislators and the public of the need for a program targeting low-income family pets.
The rules and regulations are the heart and soul of the program, and were developed before all details of funding were in place. This ensured that once the money began to come in for spay/neuter there were very clear guidelines as to where the money would go, exactly how it would be used and who would be eligible. The Maine Veterinary Medical Association has been very supportive of this legislation, and is now working to ensure the ultimate success of the program.