Posted on August 15, 1999 at 11:43:02:
A year and a half after the General Assembly passed a bill sponsored by Senator Roy Dyson (D-Calvert, St. Mary's) that would create an organizational license plate to help pay for spay and neuter programs for pets, the plates are now ready and will be on Maryland's roads soon.
Already, pet lovers throughout the state are applying for the plates to the Motor Vehicle Administration. For a fee of $50, pet lovers can replace their current license plates with the "pet friendly"
plates that feature a logo of a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and a cat as well as a slogan "Spay and Neuter."
"I'm pleased we're finally going to get these plates on people's cars so we can spread the message how important it is to spay and neuter our pets," Senator Dyson said. "These plates will literally prevent thousands and thousands of births of unwanted pets that are currently taking up much too much space in our state's animal shelters, humane societies and animal welfare leagues.
"There's not too many things more tragic than touring a shelter and seeing so many cute, helpless dogs, cats and other pets without homes, looking out of a cage that's too small and unnatural for them to be confined to, desperate to be adopted, unknowing that if they are not, they will be put to sleep. And believe me, a vast majority of these beautiful, innocent creatures are dying sad, lonely deaths every day. It's just heartbreaking.
"That's why I pushed so hard to get the General Assembly to approve these plates. I want to see those shelters a lot less crowded than they are now. Each of the plates that are sold will almost pay for the cost of spaying or neutering one pet. Think of all the countless unwanted pets that will not be born after their potential mother or father is spayed or neutered.
"Needless to say, I'm very proud of this important legislation."
In order to receive the plates, car owners may contact the MVA or their local animal shelter, humane society or animal welfare league to obtain an application for an organizational license plate. Then, motorists must write a $25 check to the animal protection agency they choose to support and another $25 check to the MVA to receive the plates. On the top of the application, to clarify which organizational plate you want, write "Pet friendly plate, SB88 (1998).
It was Senate Bill 88 that passed the General Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Parris N. Glendening (D) in 1998.
"It's a simple procedure to get these plates," Senator Dyson said. "And as soon as people start buying these plates, the sooner we'll cut down on our booming pet population."
For information on how to receive your plate, call the MVA at 1-800-950-1MVA (1682). From out-of-state, call (301) 729-4550. TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-492-4575.