Planet Dog is proud to announce that the Maine Adoption Leaders Team (MALT) has succeeded in the creation of a new animal welfare specialty license plate for the state of Maine. On May 4th Governor John Baldacci signed into law "An Act to Create the Support Animal Welfare Registration Plate."
MALT is a partnership of Maine private businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies working on behalf of Maine's companion animals. In addition to Planet Dog, it is comprised of Happy Tails (specializing in doggie day care, boarding and training), the Animal Welfare Society, the Animal Refuge League, the Maine Chapter of The Humane Society of the United States, and the State of Maine Animal Welfare Program (AWP).
MALT, which was formed in May of last year, was charged with the difficult task of collecting $25 from 2,000 citizens committed to pre-paying for the license plate by September 1st. "This was a huge collaborative effort," said Catherine Frost, Planet Dog's MALT representative who was responsible for designing the new specialty plate and facilitating the process. "What made it succeed in record time was the combination of teamwork and passion for animal welfare. I don't think there's a better example of several sectors coming together to work for a common goal. That, coupled with the people of Maine rallying behind the effort, made it a win-win-win," added Frost.
The "Adopt" plate will benefit the AWP. Specifically; half of the proceeds of the plate will help fund animal cruelty and abuse investigations and half will help fund the Help Fix ME Program. The AWP is charged with investigating animal cruelty and neglect and also administers the Help Fix ME program. Help Fix ME is Maine’s spay/neuter program for low income citizens.
"Due to the severity of seizures, additional funding for the Animal Welfare Program is sorely needed," said Norma Worley, Director of the State of Maine Animal Welfare Program. "This specialty plate will enable animal lovers in the state of Maine to show their support and make a difference for Maine's homeless animals," added Worley.
MALT designed the brightly colored plate that displays a cat, dog, rabbit, horse, and bird, with the words "respect. love. adopt". Of course, not all animals could be included, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles has specific design guidelines that had to be adhered to.
The new plates are targeted to be available for the public to purchase on October 1st. Drivers will pay $20 for the plate the first year and $15 every year after that.
Maine has been and continues to be a leader in animal welfare. It worked with the legislature to pass the first-in-the-nation law that includes animals in protection from abuse orders. Due to AWP’s effectiveness, Maine has been ranked in the top five states for animal protection laws by the Animal League Defense Fund for the past three years.
“The addition of this specialty plate shows the deep commitment Mainers have for animal welfare,” says Frost. "We are thankful for the hard work of Senator Nutting, the Bill's sponsor and all of the Bill's co-sponsors and supporters: Senator Courtney of York, Senator Perry of Penobscot, Senator Simpson of Androscoggin, Representative Pieh of Bremen, Representative Berry of Bowdoinham, Representative Browne of Vassalboro, Representative Piotti of Unity, Representative Rosen of Bucksport, Representative Wagner of Lewiston and Representative Hill of Cape Neddick," adds Frost.
Planet Dog is a values-based leader in the pet industry and globally recognized designer and developer of premium dog products. Whether creating great products, providing financial resources or helping to educate consumers about canine-related issues, Planet Dog is proud to be a pet industry leader with proven socially responsible initiatives that bring people and dogs together for fun and mutual support.
"As a small company doing big things, our goal will always be to improve the world around us by giving back to our community, our workforce and the environment," says Alex Fisher, Planet Dog's Founder. "Our internal mantra is "think globally, act doggedly." When running a business, it’s easy to get absorbed in just the dollars and cents. The mantra helps keep us focused on the higher cause for which we entered this industry,” adds Fisher.
Planet Dog’s corporate philanthropic arm is the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF). The Foundation, whose mission is to promote and celebrate programs that enable dogs to serve and support their best friends, receives a percentage of every Planet Dog purchase. In turn, it is donated back to non-profit canine service programs nationwide.
“We’re doing what no other pet product company is doing," says Catherine Frost, Planet Dog's Brand and Product Champion. “We offer innovative, top-quality products that dogs love, all while supporting service dog programs, encouraging pet adoption and protecting Planet Earth. Our goal is for our actions to speak louder than woofs,” adds Frost.
Since January 2006, PDF has given away more than a half a million dollars in cash and in-kind donations to several worthy organizations. For more information and a full list of programs and grantees, please visit www.planetdogfoundation.org.