Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Partner Profile: Clarion Paws

By Guest Blogger Carol Whaley, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Coordinator

How does one organization launch an all-out assault on pet overpopulation? Strategic partnerships are the key.

As part of a mass effort to reach deep into underserved pockets of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Animal Friends has forged alliances with animal welfare organizations across the region.

These alliances expand our reach into communities that have no other low-income spay/neuter resources. Our affordable spay and neuter surgeries are a vital service that often means the difference between a pet being altered or a pet producing litter after unwanted litter.

Since April 2009, Animal Friends has partnered with 11 animal welfare organizations to bring spay/neuter services to 10 different counties. Clarion PAWS, a smaller organization that serves Clarion, Forest and Jefferson Counties, welcomed Animal Friends’ spay/neuter program with open arms. Thanks to the committed support of their volunteers and our mobile surgical team, 517 companion animals have been spayed and neutered at the Clarion PAWS clinic events this year.

According to Jan Ochs, Clarion PAWS President, many people assume that those who don’t spay or neuter are irresponsible pet owners. However, the success of our low-cost clinics in Clarion County prove that it’s the lack of affordable spaying and neutering services—not irresponsibility—that prevents pet owners from spaying and neutering their pets.

“They love their pets and provide them with the best care that they can afford,” Ochs explains. “They cannot go without food for their family for a week in order to pay for a spay/neuter surgery and associated costs,” In her rural community, there are a limited number of veterinarians and a spay/neuter surgery can run as high as $300.

“Many of the personal stories accompanied by tears of joy from grateful pet owners prove that low-income pet owners want to give their companion animals the best care within their means,” states Ochs. “With reasonably-priced surgical resources available to them, they can do just that.”

Animal Friends’ Low-Cost Spay/Neuter mobile surgical team also helps Clarion PAWS by spaying and neutering their adoptable companion animals. By helping Clarion PAWS keep spay/neuter costs down, we are enabling them to save the lives of more companion animals in their communities.

To learn more about low-cost spay/neuter options, call 1.800.SPAY.PGH.

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