On Thursday, February 3, the Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business is hosting a work session on LD 1885, An Act to Increase Maine’s Veterinary Workforce. The bill would address the shortage of veterinarians in Maine by expanding the state’s scholarship program to practitioners of veterinary medicine in specialties related to emergency and critical care, instead of exclusively livestock. In addition, the maximum number of annual loans would increase from two to ten. Scholarship funds would increase from $25,000 to $50,000 per year for up to four years.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Maine Federation of Dog Clubs support LD 1885 in recognition of the serious shortage of veterinarians practicing in Maine. The inability to secure veterinary care when emergently needed negatively impacts the health and welfare of all animals, including dogs.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Despite overwhelming testimony in support of LD 1885 and the likely favorable committee vote, LD 1885 would require the legislature to prioritize its funding in order to succeed. Maine residents are encouraged to email their state lawmakers requesting funds for LD 1885.
- Identify your state senator’s email by clicking on the first letter of your town or city
- Identify you state representative’s email by searching for your town or city
- In the subject line write, “Support and fund LD 1885, veterinarian workforce”.
- Share your experience trying to get timely veterinary services in Maine.
- Be certain to provide your name and address.
For more information on these or other legislative issues in Maine, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.