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Wash-N-Wag to benefit spay and neuter program

August 16th, 2012 11:00 pm by staff report

KINGSPORT — Members of the Sullivan County Humane Society say the best way to reduce the number of dogs and cats in area shelters is for pet owners to spay and neuter their animals.

Recognizing this can be expensive, the SCHS has a program called SNIP, which is designed to help defray spay and neuter costs. Through SNIP, which stands for Spay Neuter Impact Program, the SCHS, in partnership with local veterinary clinics, is helping to address the issue of pet overpopulation.

“Our focus is on dogs and cats in existing homes. We feel those are the animals that have accidental litters that wind up in the shelter,” said Laura Cochran with the SCHS.

Humane society members say a primary cause of pet overpopulation is existing pet owners who are financially unable or unmotivated to spay or neuter their pets.

SNIP offers a low-cost option for pet owners who live or work in Sullivan County who may not be able to afford to pay for the procedure. According to the SCHS, to benefit from SNIP, a person submits an application, the application is reviewed for eligibility, and a SNIP certificate is issued. Recipients of a SNIP certificate can have their dog altered for $30 or a cat for $20 at participating veterinary clinics where the SCHS has negotiated low-cost rates for spay/neuter.

Cochran said more than 1,000 spay/neuter procedures have been done through the SNIP program since November 2010.

How many animals can be reached through SNIP depends on funding, which is why the Sullivan County Humane Society is holding its third annual Wash-N-Wag Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Kingsport Town Center parking lot at the intersection of Fort Henry Drive and Memorial Boulevard.

The cost is $8 for dogs weighing up to 100 pounds and $12 for dogs over 100 pounds.

Proceeds from the event go to support the low-cost spay and neuter program.

The event will also include free treats for each pet, free pet/owner education, spay/neuter information, and breed-specific rescue groups.

For more information call 246-1697 or 246-1864.

The SCHS received good news recently regarding funding for the spay/neuter program. Cochran said the organization received a $12,000 grant from the Ryan Newman Foundation. NASCAR driver Newman and his wife, Krissie, established the foundation in 2005. Its goals include educating and encouraging people to spay and neuter their pets and to adopt pets from animal shelters.

Cochran said the SCHS was thrilled to receive the grant, but she added the organization still needs to raise money for its programs.

“This money is just a fraction of what is needed to really make the difference our area needs — the difference that will reduce shelter numbers and change the way people think about the importance of spay and neuter. We cannot adopt our way out of the pet overpopulation problem in Sullivan County,” Cochran said.

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