Maine Revised Statutes

§3939-A. Spay; neuter of dogs and cats

1. Spay; neuter.   Except as otherwise provided in subsections 2 and 3, an animal shelter may not place with a new owner a dog or cat that has not been spayed or neutered unless an appointment has been made with a licensed veterinarian to spay or neuter the animal within 30 days of accepting ownership. A person who accepts ownership of a dog or cat that is unaltered shall, in addition to any other charges or other fees, make a deposit equal to 100% of the cost of the scheduled surgery with the animal shelter and shall sign a spay-neuter agreement. The animal shelter must refund the deposit upon receiving proof of sterilization.
For purposes of this section, "place" means to sell, give away or otherwise transfer possession of a cat or dog.
[ 2015, c. 223, §9 (AMD) .]
2. Detrimental to health.   If a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician as defined in Title 32, section 4853 determines that a dog or cat is too sick or injured or that it would otherwise be detrimental to the health of the dog or cat to be spayed or neutered within 30 days of placement, the animal shelter shall collect a deposit of not less than $50 and not more than $150 at the time of sale or placement. The animal shelter shall determine the amount of the deposit based on the cost of spaying or neutering within the geographic area served by the animal shelter. A person accepting ownership of the dog or cat under this subsection shall sign an agreement to have the animal sterilized as soon as it is medically advisable.
Upon receipt of proof of sterilization, the animal shelter shall immediately and fully refund the deposit.
[ 2015, c. 494, Pt. A, §4 (RPR) .]
3. Extension.  Notwithstanding subsection 1, an animal shelter may extend the date by which spaying or neutering is to be completed at its discretion for good cause. An extension must be in writing.
[ 2015, c. 223, §9 (AMD) .]
4. Reimbursement of deposit.  If a dog or cat dies prior to spaying or neutering and within the agreement period, the owner is entitled to reimbursement of the deposit paid under subsection 1. If a dog or cat dies prior to spaying or neutering and within 120 days of signing an agreement under subsection 2, the owner is entitled to reimbursement of the deposit paid under subsection 2. To receive reimbursement under this subsection, the owner must provide the animal shelter with a letter signed by a licensed veterinarian stating that the cat or dog has died and providing a description of the animal.
[ 2015, c. 223, §9 (AMD) .]
5. Unclaimed deposits.   Except as provided in subsections 2, 3 and 4, deposits received under subsection 1 or 2 that are unclaimed within 120 days of the date the spay-neuter agreement was signed must be:
A. Used to subsidize spaying or neutering of dogs and cats offered for placement by the animal shelter receiving the deposits; or [2015, c. 223, §9 (AMD).]
B. Remitted to the department for deposit in the Companion Animal Sterilization Fund established under section 3910-B. [2007, c. 439, §23 (NEW).]
When extensions are granted under subsection 3 and the deposits are unclaimed 120 days after the extended date for spaying or neutering, those deposits must be disposed of under paragraphs A and B.
[ 2015, c. 223, §9 (AMD) .]
2007, c. 439, §23 (NEW). 2015, c. 209, §1 (AMD). 2015, c. 223, §9 (AMD). 2015, c. 494, Pt. A, §4 (AMD).