Maryland nonprofit Montgomery County Partners for Animal Well-Being (MCPAW), in partnership with the Montgomery County Community Cat Coalition (MC C3), is on the way to saving hundreds of cats’ lives thanks to a new influx of vital funds.

MCPAW is one of 36 organizations that received funds through the Maryland Department of Agriculture Spay and Neuter Grant Program. In September, the program granted a total of $892,867 to provide spay and neuter services in 2019 statewide.

Next year, MCPAW and MC C3, the latter of which Alley Cat Allies is a board member, will use the state grant funds to spay and neuter 225 community cats in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The grant “validates the need for our program and its value in the community,” says Chris Shaughness, executive director of MCPAW.

Alley Cat Allies staff members stand ready to give expertise and guidance as MCPAW and MC C3 work to ensure community cats can live and thrive in their outdoor homes.

In the largest grant award to date, more than $368,000 of the total funds awarded are going toward TNR programs, which will save over 8,500 community cats’ lives across the state.

The funds underscore Maryland’s commitment to supporting TNR, the only humane and effective approach to address community cat populations, as it meets the needs of the community and benefits local governments and shelters.

Five members of Alley Cat Allies’ Feral Friends Networkâ„¢ also received grants: Best Friends in Harford County, Feral Cat Rescue, Inc., Forgotten Cats, Tip Me Frederick, and Snip Tuck Inc.

Feral Cat Rescue, Inc. (FCR) received $10,500 to spay and neuter 200 cats in St. Mary’s County. Alley Cat Allies has helped the organization create humane policies that allow community cats to stay in their outdoor homes. FCR and other TNR groups’ work decreased the number of cats killed in the local tri-county shelter from more than 550 per month in 2007 to 121 per month in 2017, says FCR president Diane Harris.

Forgotten Cats received $29,425 to carry out TNR for 734 community cats in two zip codes in Salisbury, one of highest cat intake areas for the local shelter. The group will follow its protocol of ensuring it traps all of the cats in a colony. Through this targeted effort, “we expect to stabilize 25 large colonies,” says Olivia Westley, development director of Forgotten Cats.

Tip Me Frederick will also work in high shelter intake areas to maximize the lives saved. It plans to use its $27,959 grant to carry out TNR for 540 cats.

The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) received a $83,370 to spay or neuter 2,375 community cats in nine zip codes. Baltimore has a history of successful TNR thanks to Alley Cat Allies. Our expert staff played a critical role in getting the city’s landmark 2007 TNR ordinance passed, which is still one of the strongest and most effective in the nation.

The grants program is funded through fees paid by pet food companies that sell products in the state. More than 36,000 animals have been spayed or neutered through this program.

Many states fund spay and neuter programs. Does yours? Check out our Financial Resources for Cats page to find out.