Orange County, Fla. – In an effort to assist fight the pet overpopulation downside in the area people, Orange County Animal Providers launched the “Spay It Ahead” program late final yr. Initially grant funded, this system offered spay and neuter vouchers for qualifying low-income pet house owners. This system skilled excessive demand after launch and up to now, a complete of 525 vouchers have been issued, exhausting the obtainable funds.  However with the intention to proceed to program, the shelter is now turning to the general public for monetary assist.

“The sheer quantity of deserted and discarded animals coming into our shelter day after day alerts an issue,” mentioned Diane Summers, supervisor for Orange County Animal Providers. “The treatment is accessibility for spay and neuter, to forestall pets from having undesirable litters of puppies and kittens and to assist their house owners get hold of these important veterinary companies.”

Costs for a spay (feminine pets) and neuter (male pets) vary from as little as $50 for cats at low-cost clinics as much as a number of hundred {dollars} for giant canines at different clinics.

“A portion of our Orange County residents are already dwelling paycheck to paycheck so whereas $50 or $100 is undoubtedly an affordable worth for the process, the worth nonetheless places it out of attain for a lot of,” mentioned Summers.

Of the pet house owners surveyed after redeeming their voucher, 92% said they’d not have been in a position to get hold of spay/neuter companies for his or her pets with out the help of this system.

Single mother Heather Olson, who redeemed a voucher for her kitten Mac, said: “Our finances will not be infinite, however we’ve all the time made room in it to handle our two cats. A 3rd was not one thing I felt like we may tackle, however then we heard about an deserted litter. The kittens had been solely 5 weeks outdated and in determined want of properties. We couldn’t say no, however I used to be actually harassed, questioning how I used to be going to pay for his microchipping, his neutering, his vaccines. These prices add up so quick, and it wasn’t one thing we may afford at that time.”

Mac was neutered on January 12 on the Pet Alliance of Better Orlando. Heather continued, “We’re past relieved that he’s dwelling such a protected, cozy, contented life now, and so grateful to this system that helped us present that for him.  That is actually a beautiful service to be offering to the individuals and the pets of Orlando.”

Animal Providers identifies low-income people as those that meet or are under the federal poverty stage, obtain Medicaid advantages or have an ACCESS EBT Card. Proof of low-income standing have to be offered to the taking part clinic and verified for the voucher to be redeemed.

Animal Providers accepted greater than 12,000 homeless pets within the final fiscal yr.

Animal Providers has partnered with high-volume low-cost spay/neuter clinics on the Pet Alliance of Better Orlando, Snip It and Spay N Save for this program and hopes to proceed it indefinitely.

“We all know this neighborhood loves and helps animals and we’re turning to the general public to ask for donations, in any quantity, to proceed and develop this program,” mentioned Summers. “I’m pleased with what we’re carrying out and anybody prepared to donate ought to really feel straight liable for bettering the lives of pets in want.”

Donations to Animal Providers are positioned in a Belief Fund that’s utilized for particular tasks, such because the Spay It Ahead program. Donations are accepted by way of money, examine and on-line by way of PayPal. Extra data on the Spay It Ahead program could be discovered on Animal Providers web site.

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