by Emily Lewy
PAWS (Pet Animal Welfare Society) and TLC (Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Humane Society) are being offered an opportunity to work with a veterinarian to create a low cost North Georgia Spay Neuter Clinic. Both are 501(c)3 organizations that would qualify for numerous grants for such a project.
State law requires that animals passing through shelters be altered to keep unwanted pets from becoming a burden on taxpayers. Lumpkin County has legally circumvented the problem by requiring adoptive owners to sign a contract that makes them responsible for the procedure. County employees have not followed up on enforcement of the contract; consequently, many shelter animals continue to reproduce exacerbating the over-population problem.
Vouchers provided as part of the adoption process are inadequate to cover the cost charged by many local vets. The reality is that a lot of folks simply don’t have money for the kind of care offered by local veterinarians. A low cost clinic for spay/neuter appears to be the only humane way to stop animals from reproducing and their offspring being euthanized.
No matter how much we love our pets, there is a limit to the number we can have. Most residents of our area already have as many as they can manage. Although volunteers transport hundreds of pets to rescue groups and adoption opportunities in other parts of the country where spay/neuter laws are actually enforced, our shelters continue to euthanize many healthy pets. We have not solved the problem.
A low cost spay/neuter clinic is the only thing that can help us eliminate unwanted pets, come into true compliance with state law, and reduce the burden on local taxpayers.
There has been reluctance on the part of PAWS CEO Dan Bowers to allow the PAWS name to be used to solicit funds for this project. It would be a great travesty if we lose this opportunity. We cannot expect Dr. Land’s offer to last forever.
If you support a spay/neuter clinic that will save taxpayers money, reduce the numbers of unwanted animals and eliminate unnecessary euthanasia, please, let your voice be heard. Contact PAWS and TLC members, write letters to The Dahlonega Nugget and post your comments on this website.