Planet Dog is proud to announce that the Maine Adoption Leaders Team (MALT) has succeeded in pre-selling the required 2,000 "adopt" specialty license plates to Maine citizens in order to propose a bill for the 2009 legislative session. MALT is a partnership of Maine private businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies working on behalf of Maine's 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 this 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 recent seizures, additional funding for the Animal Welfare Program is sorely needed," says Norma Worley, Director of the State of Maine Animal Welfare Program. "This specialty plate would enable animal lovers in the state of Maine to show their support and make a difference for Maine's homeless animals," adds 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.
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 two years. “The addition of this specialty plate shows the deep commitment Mainers have for animal welfare,” added Frost.
MALT's next step in the process is to propose a bill for the 2009 legislative session. Several Legislators have already agreed to sponsor a bill and if successful, the plate could be available by late Summer 2009. The initiative's Sponsor is Senator John Nutting of Leeds, Maine. Please visit www.planetdog.com/plate for more information, including a detailed list of FAQs.