The SPCA is serving up heaping helpings of spaghetti tonight with a side of responsibility and compassion! Join us tonight for SPAYghetti Dinner at the SPCA from 6 to 9 p.m. Dinner is $7 and includes spaghetti, salad, a roll and a drink. Adult beverages will be available, as well.
What does spaghetti have to do with saving lives, you ask? I often think spaghetti is a life saver, especially after work, between board meetings, with science fair projects due the following day; but, the SPCA has a different life-saving opportunity in mind.
Before 1970, 20 million companion pets were euthanized annually in shelters across the United States. Today, that number is less than 6 million. A combination of mindset shift and affordable options are largely responsible. When pet owners and veterinary clinics are proactive about preventing births, far fewer animals end up in crowded shelters, meaning far fewer are euthanized.
There has been vast improvement in sterilization and, subsequently, a decline in euthanasia in the South. Take Asheville, North Carolina, for instance. The Asheville Humane Alliance Spay and Neuter Clinic opened in 1994. Since then, there has been an almost 80 percent decline in euthanasia within a 60-mile radius of the clinic.
Asheville Humane Alliance not only performs 35,000 sterilizations a year, but it also teaches shelters to follow its model of high volume, high quality, affordable procedures including ergonomic surgeries, transport, marketing and funding operations.
To date, there are more than 125 Humane Alliance clinics, including the SPCA Spay and Neuter Clinic. In total, these clinics sterilize more than 700,000 companion animals annually, preventing millions of unwanted births and thereby millions of deaths.
So, how affordable is “affordable” and what programs are available?
Funding from the SPCA’s Play to Spay, Lawn Litters project and SPAYghetti Dinner are now available with $20 copays to qualified applicants across the CSRA.
There are a few $20 spots left from the Beat the Heat program which was made possible through a Petsmart Charities grant. Female cats qualify for this program and space is limited.
Currently, Aiken County residents can apply for vouchers at the Aiken County Shelter located at 411 Wire Road.
These vouchers are based on income and are limited to one per household. Quantities are limited and are first-come-first-serve.
Recipients can bring vouchers to the SPCA, pay the $15 copay, and set up an appointment for surgery. Surgeries under this program include a rabies shot and a microchip.
City of Aiken residents can apply for vouchers, pay for surgery (fees starting at $15 depending on species, sex, and owner income), and set up an appointment all at the SPCA located at 199 Willow Run Road.
There is no limit to the number of vouchers a family can use, but there is a limit to what is available each fiscal year, and the program runs first come, first served. Depending on qualification, these vouchers include a rabies shot, microchip and city registration.
Regular cost surgeries without grant or municipal subsidies are very reasonable if you don’t qualify for any other program. Call us for the best price available.
Rabies vaccinations and microchips are available for $10 and $20, respectively. Vaccinations and microchips are available at the SPCA Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. without an appointment. We will have you in and out before you can fill out the paperwork!
Call our clinic at 803-648-6863 to schedule surgery. Appointments can generally be accommodated within two weeks.
Additionally, the SPCA loans traps to people who want to spay or neuter free-roaming cats. Borrow a trap for up to three days in exchange for a $35 refundable deposit.
Traps returned empty will be charged $5/day. Otherwise, the deposit may be used toward surgery, rabies shot and mandatory ear-tipping of a feral cat. Normal cost for these procedures is just $40, but may be less if assistance is available.
One final note of improvement: This weekend, the SPCA and FOTAS are teaming up with the help of some local animal control officers and some young men from the Boy Scouts to install fencing that will free four dogs from chains.
As of Thursday, we were halfway to our goal and you can help! Donate at www.crowdrise.com/Fences4Fido. You can make a difference for these dogs.
If you need further information or would like to make a donation or time or money to help with either of these projects, call us at 803-648-6863 or email development@LetLoveLive.org.
Chrissey Miller, CAWA
SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare