Haywood Spay/Neuter Pays Tribute To 9/11

By Haywood Spay/Neuter | Sep 15, 2013
Photo by: Kessa Thomas Chris Cutting, a Haywood Spay/Neuter volunteer and animal advocate, affixes a 9/11 memorial ribbon to a crate heading out on the organization's spay/neuter trip. It was a record day for the organization, with 90 dogs and cats sent out to be fixed.

September 11th was honored in various ways across Western North Carolina, and the staff and volunteers at Haywood Spay/Neuter offered their own tribute to the solemn day. On September 11, 2013, the organization hosted one of its spay/neuter transports to Asheville Humane Alliance. This was, in fact, a record-breaking day for the organization, with ninety dogs and cats going out to be fixed between their Trap-Neuter-Return and Owned Pets programs. When all's said and done, Haywood Spay/Neuter has assisted over 1,600 dogs and cats get fixed this year.

The organization commemorated 9/11 by tying memorial ribbons to each of the crates sent out on the transport. The crates were also marked with yellow tape, patriotic stars, and the message 'We Remember.' Asked why they chose to draw attention to the day, their Executive Director Chandra Spaulding replied, "For two weeks we've been answering phone calls about when our next spay/neuter trip is, and we've had to reply, "September 11th." This has happened countless times, and each time it has taken our breath away. Sometimes a person stops in their tracks and raises an eyebrow. We felt compelled to honor the day, particularly because our transports load between eight and nine in the morning. The horror of September 11, 2001, is still raw and tangible for many people."

Many of the pets' caretakers participated in the ceremony, taking a solemn moment to affix red, white, blue, and yellow ribbons to the wire doors or handles of crates. The result was a moving statement about remembering, honor, compassion, and community. Asheville Humane Alliance was moved by the gesture, as well, sharing Haywood Spay/Neuter's commemoration with their social media community. Haywood Spay/Neuter also published a slide show tribute on the social media website YouTube, drawing further attention to the hero dogs of 9/11. Hundreds of dogs assisted with search and rescue and therapy during and after 9/11. Since then, all have passed away. Ms. Spaulding remarks, "We are moved by the human-animal bond, and 9/11 demonstrated just how powerful that bond is. People and animals came together during discord and trauma with selflessness and grace. We thought our spay/neuter transport would be an appropriate place to call attention to this, as we are committed to our community."

Haywood Spay/Neuter is located in Waynesville at 182 Richland Street. The office hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 6 pm. For more information about the organization, call 828-452-1329. To view the organization's video tribute for 9/11, visit http://youtu.be/oHTUDz3oHmo

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