Grant allows Hillsville residents to fix their pets for free
by Allen Worrell
Residents of Hillsville and the 24343 area code still have time to take advantage of a grant that allows for free spay and neutering of cats and dogs.
The Hillsville PetSmart grant, which began in January of this year and will be offered until the end of 2012, allows for anyone living in the 24343 area code to have their cats and dogs spayed or neutered for free, regardless of income. Betty Sutton of the Twin County Humane Society does want folks to know that free spays and neuters will be capped at 500, however, so residents wanting to take advantage of the offer should do so now.
“What is motivating me is the PetSmart goal for year one of this grant is 500 cats and dogs, and we need 130 more cats and dogs to meet this goal of 500 by the end of the year,” Sutton said. “We have done all but 130 in eight months, which is good, but we want to make sure we finish it because they gave Hillsville $35,000, and if we meet the goal of 500 cats and dogs they release another $35,000 for the second year of the grant. That is a lot of money.”
The Twin County Humane Society offers coupons for the free spays and neuters to fix your pet for free. Pet owners from the 24343 area code can use them at any of four veterinarian’s offices, including Healing Springs, Mountain View, Carroll Veterinary Clinic and the Galax Veterinary Clinic. For additional details, contact the Twin County Humane Society by e-mail at email@example.com or call (276) 728-4038.
“All the vets have been wonderful and have agreed to the price structure. Dr. Adams at the Carroll Veterinary clinic is the lead vet in the grant and we appreciate all the vets working so closely with the town, the Humane Society and PetSmart,” Sutton said.
Sutton said the Hillsville PetSmart grant is already making an impact on the community. Sutton has been working with Carroll County Animal Control Officer Terry Woods to measure the intake of dogs and cats from the 24343 zip code and comparing it to the other localities that use the Twin County Animal Shelter.
“It looks like Terry is spending a little more of his time problem-solving and that sort of thing and there are less dogs coming from the zip code than there used to be, which means more animals are getting fixed. That is a good thing,” Sutton said. “The Twin County Humane Society also has funds for people outside the zip code, but the grant focuses on this particular zip code. PetSmart calls it a geographically-targeted grant. They want to see if you spend a lot of money in a specific area if you make a difference in that area. I am keeping that data and reporting back to PetSmart.”
Judy Bolt, Interim Town Manager for the Town of Hillsville, said response to the grant has been good. Hopefully more people will take advantage of it, she said.
“Hopefully by doing 500 animals we will reduce the number of unwanted pets that are on the streets or taken to the animal shelter,” Bolt said of the grant, which is a first for the Town of Hillsville. “We do encourage our citizens in and around Hillsville to take advantage of this grant for the spay and neutering.”
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