Spay/Neuter Starts At $10! The Heat Is On!
After a successful Beat The Heat campaign, fixing 536 dogs and cats through the end of March 2013, Haywood Spay/Neuter is unleashing its next initiative: The Heat Is On. The organization has seen record highs in registrations for spay/neuter of Haywood County dogs and cats for its every-other-week trips to Asheville Humane Alliance, and now more that 65 dogs and cats can be fixed on one of their trips. Beat The Heat featured $10 spay/neuter, including a rabies shot, for any dog and cat. Executive Director Chandra Spaulding states, "We were extremely impressed with the turnout for our spay/neuter trips these past three months. Neither rain nor snow kept people away, and what we found is there is a desperate need for very low-cost spay/neuter in our community. Although we cannot maintain a flat $10 spay/neuter fee for everyone, we are going to make sure that those people who need access to that price point the most will get it,"
The new campaign The Heat Is On will feature a $10 spay/neuter fee for cats and dogs belonging to individuals on fixed income, Disability, Medicaid, Social Security, Unemployment, or Food Stamps. All other fees will be on a sliding scale from $25-45 for cats and $30-60 for dogs depending upon family income levels. Spaulding says, "We are also offering a great deal for signing up multiple cats! Additional cats going out on the same spay/neuter trip will be fixed for only $10 each. We know that when the warm weather comes, so do the kittens, and we want to prevent as many unwanted litters as possible!" An additional benefit is that all prices will include a rabies vaccine. "The majority of the dogs and cats going out on our trips need a rabies vaccine. By including this in the fee, we help fill a public health gap in our community," explains Spaulding.
The organization also continues its successful Operation Pit program, featuring free spay/neuter, microchip, and vaccines for pit bull type dogs and mixes. As of the end of March 2013 sixty pit bulls and mixes had been fixed through Operation Pit, and Haywood Spay/Neuter has seen that there is both a wide interest and need for the program to continue.
Why such a focus on spay/neuter? "We know that spay/neuter prevents unwanted litters and also can lead to an end of euthanasia in our animal shelters. If we want to be a community known for leadership and strong values, then spay/neuter has to become a norm," says Haywood Spay/Neuter's Executive Director. She continues, "We want the pets in our county to be loved and cared for, and we want to eliminate unnecessary euthanasia."
There is also a public health aspect to spay/neuter beyond providing rabies vaccinations. According to Spaulding, "It is not uncommon to find out people are trying to manage large numbers of domestic animals due to the lack of spay/neuter in the past. These can be in a home or out of doors. Regardless, by fixing animals, we decrease public health hazards from parasites such as fleas, ticks, and worms. It's amazing how one simple step, fixing our pets, can have such positive benefits."
The organization is very excited to see so many families involving their children in the spay/neuter transport process, bringing them to registrations or the transports themselves. "We know some of it is just because of time schedules," says the Executive Director, "But we also know that this is an opportunity for our area youth to participate in an activity that can shape how they value pets in the future as adults. We bring spay/neuter to their beloved pets now, and it becomes an accepted practice, and then they go out in the world as empathetic and aware adults. It's a bright future for our pets!"
Haywood Spay/Neuter also continues its Community Cat trap-neuter-return program which is attributed to leading to a significant decrease in cats admitted to Haywood County Animal Services last year. In 2012 its TNR team trapped, fixed, and vaccinated over 850 cats. This year the goal is 1,000 cats. Residents who know of or have a colony a cats and who would like assistance in trapping and fixing them are encouraged to reach out to Haywood Spay/Neuter for help.
In order to take advantage of the spay/neuter program for owned cats and dogs, Haywood County residents are asked to bring a photo identification and income verification to the organization's office at 182 Richland Street in Waynesville between 12 and 5 pm, Monday through Thursday. "The i.d. and income verification steps are essential," says Spaulding, "We are a nonprofit, and without those pieces, it is difficult for us to tap into additional funding from grants or the state spay/neuter fund. When we charge a fee of $10 to fix a cat, we have to find a way to come up with the other $45 that comes out of our coffers." Donations are encouraged, and are, indeed, needed to keep the organization operating smoothly. "We want our community to know that we need their involvement if we are going to be successful in this mission of spay/neuter and animal welfare. That means adopting pets from Haywood County Animal Services, Sarge's, FUR, Star Ranch, or other area rescues. It means not breeding your dogs and cats. It means fixing your pets, volunteering your time, spreading the word, and donating to programs," the Executive Director states.
Questions regarding any of the Haywood Spay/Neuter programs can be answered by contacting the organization's office at 828.452.1329, stopping by during business hours, or contacting the organization via its Facebook page.