Haywood Spay/Neuter Announces Beat the Heat $10 Spay & Neuter
In an effort to prevent unwanted litters from ending up in local animal shelters, Haywood Spay/Neuter is offering a Beat the Heat promotion, featuring $10 spay/neuter for dogs and cats of Haywood County residents. The promotion also includes a rabies vaccine for pets four months and older and runs until the end of March. Executive Director Chandra Spaulding states, “Spring is around the corner, and that’s often the time of year when our county animal shelters are completely inundated with unwanted litters – strays and surrenders. What we are offering is a chance for our community members to be proactive and fix their pets now…literally beat when animals are in heat, so animals aren’t turned into the shelter and don’t have to be euthanized because there aren’t enough places for them to go. For ten dollars, you can fix your pet and save lives all at once.”
Haywood Spay/Neuter is also offering free spay/neuter, microchip, and vaccines for pit bulls and pittie mixes through its program Operation Pit. Pit bull type dogs are frequently found in animal shelters, and they have a harder time getting adopted due to breed stereotypes. Haywood Spay/Neuter wants to assist county residents in the wellness of their pitties, and fixing them is a major first step. Neutering can decrease territorial aggression and roaming, among other benefits.
“We’ve been receiving lots of calls about both of our current promotions,” says Spaulding. “Operation Pit is really bringing to light the needs of our pittie owners in Haywood County. We’re hearing from folks who have mama pitties with litters of puppies, and we’re encouraging them to sign up the whole “family” for this promotion.” Spaulding continues, “People don’t always think about fixing pups they are planning to sell or give away, but I like to remind them that we are all responsible for pet overpopulation and animals ending up in county animal services. The unneutered puppy they sell or give away could very easily have a litter a few months later and end up abandoned and possibly euthanized. And sometimes shelters give neutered animals a better chance at finding a home. Let’s get them all fixed, and then we solve a bunch of potential problems at once!” The organization just sent out its first batch of Operation Pit recruits for spay/neuter last week. “Thirteen pitties and pit bull mixes went to Humane Alliance and were fixed! Their families were so cooperative and gracious,” says Spaulding. She continues, “I was taking pictures of these dogs after they came back from spay/neuter, and it was a bit of a crazy day, the fourth day of rain and poor weather…their families were extraordinarily patient and helpful. It was definitely a highlight for me as the new Executive Director, because I adore pitties, and I know a lot of times their families want to get them fixed and just don’t have the resources. We’re trying to make a difference and let them know we care.”
Haywood Spay/Neuter's primary partner is Asheville Humane Alliance, the region’s high-volume spay/neuter clinic. “Humane Alliance does a terrific job, and the folks there know what they’re doing,” says Spaulding. “They spayed and neutered 23,531 dogs and cats last year, and they will fix puppies and kittens as young as eight weeks old and weighing two pounds! We send out approximately sixty or more pets to be fixed in Asheville roughly every other week,” says Spaulding. In 2012 Haywood Spay/Neuter assisted 2,560 dogs and cats to be neutered, including over 800 cats as part of their Community Cat Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. Neighborhoods dealing with populations of community cats can reach out to Haywood Spay/Neuter for assistance, which includes spay/neuter, vaccination, shelter, food, and monitoring. It is a team effort. Community Cats are ‘ear-tipped’ at Humane Alliance so they can easily be identified, and the organization keeps a record of each cat so if one ends up at county animal control, it can be returned to its colony. “We are very appreciative of our partnership with Haywood County’s animal services,” says Spaulding. “Last year the shelter’s cat intake decreased by 21 percent, which is a striking change for the better! That number translated to 340 cats who never came in to the county shelter, and it is being attributed, largely, to the Community Cat TNR program.”
Spaulding is a new addition to the Haywood Spay/Neuter team, and it is clear that she is very enthusiastic about the spay/neuter solution. “I believe in the power of community, and I believe in the human-animal bond,” she says. “How we treat our animals reflects on how we are as a humane civilization…how we treat each other. If we realize our role as stewards, caretakers for living things, then we see that spay/neuter is a basic act of being a responsible citizen. I also feel for the veterinarians and animal control officers across the country who are charged with euthanizing millions of pets, most of them loving and amazing animals, because we, as a nation, have failed in our responsibility. I feel for those beautiful animals which end their lives behind bars, away from loving families. And that includes purebreds…Labradors, German Shepherds, Boxers, Chihuahuas…We have the power to evoke great, positive change in our communities, sometimes in simple ways. And spay/neuter is part of that.”
Sign up for any of Haywood Spay/Neuter’s offers goes on at the organization’s office located at 182 Richland Street in Waynesville. The office hours are 12-5pm, Monday through Thursday, and people with questions can call the office at 828.452.1329. Folks signing up are asked to bring a photo identification and proof of income, which helps the organization continue low-cost programs. The organization is a nonprofit and depends largely upon donations and volunteers. “Our goals,” says Spaulding, “are that we will have a county of fixed dogs and cats, our shelter won’t have to euthanize pets due to overpopulation and poor stewardship, and we will be a model for the region. With Humane Alliance being such a great partner, and with community support, which is essential, we have the opportunity to truly transform Haywood County and the entire region of western North Carolina.”