ASPCA awards grants to HSN for 'Operation Pit'

By Haywood Spay/Neuter | Apr 10, 2013
Photo by: Chandra M. Spaulding Diamond, an Operation Pit recruit who left to be spayed at Humane Alliance in Asheville through Haywood Spay/Neuter's transport program on April 10th.

Haywood Spay/Neuter today announced the receipt of two grants to support their spay/neuter program for Haywood County pit bulls. The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ®) and Animal Farm Foundation have awarded $5,000 each to Operation Pit in an effort to encourage more owners to spay/neuter their pit bull type dogs.

“Haywood Spay/Neuter is thrilled to receive these important grants, enabling us to continue our successful Operation Pit program for the residents of Haywood County,” said Chandra Spaulding, executive Director of Haywood Spay/Neuter. “These funds will allow the continuation of the program without any pause in this critical service. As of April 10, we have sent 67 pit bull type dogs to Humane Alliance in Asheville for surgery. With Operation Pit we are seeing about 25 percent of the dogs going out on our transports are pit bull type dogs. Their owners have been exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to take part in Operation Pit, as otherwise the vast majority would not have been able to afford to have their dogs fixed.”

“The ASPCA is pleased to provide this grant to Haywood Spay/Neuter, as the organization feels that effective and accessible spay/neuter programs are a key component in reducing intake and preventing unplanned litters,” said Lisa Starr, director of community initiatives at the ASPCA, in reference to the $5,000 grant supporting the Operation Pit program.

Animal Farm Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission statements is "to secure equal treatment and opportunity for 'pit bull' dogs.” The organization is known for its strong reputation in supporting humane organizations in supporting this mission.

The goal of Operation Pit is to reduce the number of unwanted litters being born to pit bull type dogs. Additionally, spaying and neutering these dogs helps to eliminate problem behaviors such as roaming and aggression, which can result in the dog ending up in Haywood County Animal Services, with little chance of adoption or rescue.  Pit bull type dogs made up ten percent of the dogs impounded and were twice as likely to be euthanized as other types of dogs.

The goal of Operation Pit is to reduce the number of unwanted litters being born to pit bull type dogs. Additionally, spaying and neutering these dogs helps to eliminate problem behaviors such as roaming and aggression, which can result in the dog ending up in Haywood County Animal Services, with little chance of adoption or rescue.  Recently, pit bull type dogs have been a focus of sensationalized negative media attention, mainly focusing on stories of dog attacks and dog fighting operations. Therefore, many potential adopters avoid any dog resembling those labeled ‘pit bull.’ When a dog is labeled as a ‘pit bull’ and ends up in our shelter, the outcome is rather dismal. Only four percent of the dogs adopted from the Haywood County Shelter in 2011 fit this category. Pit bull type dogs made up ten percent of the dogs impounded and were twice as likely to be euthanized as other types of dogs.

Operation Pit offers a free spay/neuter, health check-up, rabies and distemper vaccinations, and a free microchip, as well as camouflage bandana and Certificate of Honorable Service to those signing up for this funding-dependent program.  The ASPCA and Animal Farm Foundation grants will ensure that well over 100 pit bulls will be able to benefit from the program.

“We applied for these grants to help county residents be responsible dog owners and to change the outcome for the pitties of Haywood County," said Spaulding. "We know that by providing spay/neuter, vaccines, and a microchip, and by drawing attention to how amazing these dogs can be, we can change the cultural mindset that vilifies them. We’ve seen an outpouring of caring families who needed Operation Pit in order to be the owners they want to be…the owners these dogs need them to be. If we want to end euthanasia in Haywood County, then we must help the pit bull type dogs who live here.”

Register for Operation Pit between noon to 5 p.m. Monday and Thursday, at Haywood Spay/Neuter’s office, 182 Richland St,. in Waynesville, Both adult dogs and puppies are eligible for this program. Puppies must be at least eight weeks old and two pounds at time of surgery. Be prepared with a photo identification and income verification. For further information, call Haywood Spay/Neuter at 452-1329.

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