252.321.8839    

Upcoming Events



In The News

"CBC Distributes Azaleas, Honors A.J. Fletcher Winners, in 31st Annual Celebration"
November 2, 2016

(CBC) - On Saturday, October 22, 2016, CBC distributed azaleas to the winning nonprofits…
Read More

Surgery Done - Ready For Adoption


Marcy

Tigger

Upcoming Events

Please Return for Future Events

Photo Gallery

Click to view gallery.









Meet The Patients

Click on the image to view each animal's story.

FAQ

My dog/cat is an indoor pet, why do I need to get him/her spayed/neutered?(Click for answer and to read other Frequently Asked Questions)

 


History


March 31, 2017 Spayghetti Dinner
November 2, 2016 CBC Distributes Azaleas, Honors A.J. Fletcher Winners, in 31st Annual Celebration
September 23, 2016 Spayghetti Dinner
June 21, 2016 Spay Today celebrates 10 years of animal service
June 19, 2016 Pet Population Control: Clinic is saving lives, one spay at a time
June 14, 2016 Mellow Mushroom Fundraiser 2016
May 2016 Spay Today Announces 10 Year Anniversary
April 23, 2016 Free Pitt County Spring Rabies Clinic
April 8, 2016 Spayghetti Dinner
December 12, 2015 12 Strays of Christmas Adoption Event & Pet Food Drive
October 30 & 31, 2015 Pet Portraits at InTandem
October 10, 2015 Pitt County Fall Rabies Clinic
September 11, 2015 Spayghetti Dinner
August 1, 2015 Storm: Spay or Neuter Your Pets
July 25, 2015 Pitt County Rabies and Microchipping Clinic
July 25, 2015 Fill the Wishing Well
February 6, 2015 Ordinance causing overcrowding at Pitt County Animal Shelter
December 16, 2014 Seven Remain in 12 Strays Effort
December 12, 2014 12 Strays of Christmas
December 13, 2014 The 12 Strays of Christmas Adoption Event
November 21, 2014 Thanksgiving for the Animals
September 23, 2014 Spay Today at Mellow Mushroom
September 21, 2014 Compassionate Volunteers Care for Community Cats
September 5, 2014 Spayghetti Dinner
August 2014 Primp Your Pit: Fix your pit bull for $20 during the month of August
June 2014 Precious...Not Parents: Fix your kitten or puppy for $20 during the month of June

June 10, 2014
May 13, 2014
April 8, 2014
March 11, 2014
December 10, 2013
November 12, 2013
October 8, 2013

Second Tuesday Clinic
May 15, 2014
April 17, 2014
March 20,2014
February 20, 2014
January 16, 2014
Bow Wow Bingo
March 18, 2014 Mellow Mushroom Fundraiser
February 25, 2014 World Spay Day
February 2014 Beat the Heat: Spay your cat for $20 during the month of February
January 2014 Happy Neuter Year: Neuter your cat or dog for $20 during the month of January
January 13, 2014 Initiative Helps with Spay/Neuter Costs
November 8
November 9, 2013
Dog Portraits
October 16
October 17, 2013
Feral Fest
September 20, 2013 SPAYghetti Dinner
September 19, 2013 Bow Wow Bingo
September 10, 2013 Rabies/Microchipping Clinic
August 5 – 29, 2013 Dog Days of Summer
August 13, 2013 Rabies/Microchipping Clinic
May 2013 Expansion May 2013
May 19, 2013 Spay Today Expands Space
May 19, 2013 Open House
January 7, 2013 Spay Today Provides Low Cost Spaying and Neutering for Pitt County Animals
October 15, 2012 Spay Today performs surgery No. 20,000
August 4, 2012 Grants Help Provide Spay and Neuter Efforts
August 2012 Primp Your Pit: Spay or neuter your Pit for $20 during the month of August
February 15, 2012 Grants Help Provide Pet Care
February 2012 Beat The Heat: Spay your cat for $20 during the month of February
December 4, 2011 Spay Today Launches its Web Site
October 27-29, 2011 Dogs In Greenville - Pet Photography
September 26, 2011 Help Us Stop Littering!
July 14, 2011 Programs prevent pet euthanasia
March 20, 2011 Al Clark: Miracle pup illustrates need
June 6, 2010 Low-cost spay and neuter clinic at max capacity
April 20, 2010 Board Votes to Have All Shelter Animals Fixed
April 18, 2010 Advocates Asking Board to Mandate Spaying, Neutering
January 2008 PetSmart Grant
November 10, 2007 Expanded Services for Spay Today Could Help County Pet Overpopulation
April 30, 2007 Goodwill Glimmers at Animal Shelter
April 15, 2007 Editorial: Help them - Pitt Shelter Faces Overwhelming Burden
April 15, 2007 Al Clark: Although the image shocked, in the end, it will help the animals
April 10, 2007 Clinic Struggles to Make Ends Meet
February 25, 2007 People and Their Pets: Locals work to make animals a focal point
April 20, 2006 Clinic Works to Reduce Pet Euthanasia

 

Past, Present and Future


Spayghetti Dinner


Spaghetti Dinner March 2017

March 31,2017
4:30-7:30pm
County Recreation Building
4561 County Home Road
Greenville NC, 27858

If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

CBC Distributes Azaleas, Honors A.J. Fletcher Winners, in 31st Annual Celebration


Corp’s Tim Grissom presents the 1st Place
A.J. Fletcher Award to Spay Today, Inc. during
the WRAL Azalea Celebration plant pick-up
on Saturday, October 22, 2016.

By:www.capitolbroadcasting.com
Published: November 2, 2016

(CBC) – On Saturday, October 22, 2016, CBC distributed azaleas to the winning nonprofits in the 31st annual WRAL Azalea Celebration at the CBC transmitter site off 5033 TV Tower Rd. Approximately 100 groups from all across the state of NC came to pick up their plants.

Every group is eligible to receive 50 azaleas to help beautify their ground, and CBC distributed 5,000 azaleas this year.

“We had an excellent variety of groups apply, and pick up plants,” said Corp Property Management Manager Tim Grissom. “There were schools, churches, and garden clubs working to improve their towns’ appearance. Like in the past we have a large number of schools apply, and we are always excited to see the kids get involved with improving their school grounds.”

North Carolina nonprofits are invited to apply each year to receive azaleas from Capitol Broadcasting Company. Applications are generally due in September, and winners notified a few weeks later. Pick up happens in mid-October each year.

“We had a beautiful sunny day to distribute the plants, and everything went very smoothly,” said Grissom of the 2016 distribution. “Having done this program for 31 years we have streamlined the distribution and loading process with help for volunteers.”

WRAL-TV, FOX 50, WRAL.com, MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM and NC Beautiful all work together to sponsor the annual program.

As part of each year’s celebration, three organizations are selected for a special honor. Three years after winning azaleas through the WRAL Azalea Celebrations, the organizations are invited to apply for the A.J. Fletcher Awards. The three groups determined to have done the best jobs taking care of their plants and implementing them into their landscape received a prize of additional azaleas and a cash award.

Grissom presented the awards to the winning organizations. He and the CBC Corp Property Management team worked with volunteers to help load azaleas for all of the organizations.

“It’s always a fun day, and I enjoy meeting, and talking with the different groups,” said Grissom. “I like to listen to the many ways the groups plan to use the plants to beautify their grounds, and their excitement of being chosen. This is such a great program, and has helped so many groups over the years that would not have had the funding to achieve the project on their own. 31 years down, and we are already planning on ways to make the 32nd Azalea Celebration even better.”

Read This Article on the CBC Site

Spayghetti Dinner


Spaghetti Dinner September 2016

September 23,2016
4:30-7:30pm
County Recreation Building
4561 County Home Road
Greenville NC, 27858

If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

Spay Today celebrates 10 years of animal service


By: Kelly Byrne, WNCT-TV
Published: June 21, 2016

(WNCT-TV) – One local spay and neuter clinic is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and all it's done for the pet-loving community.

Spay Today is working to get all dogs and cats fixed. The facility is celebrating its big 10 by showing its clinic is helping reduce the number of unwanted pets.

"Too many animals were coming into the animal shelter, and the only way you can control animal over-population, without trying to kill your way out of it because that does not work, is through spay and neuter," said Maribeth Hobgood, Executive Director of Spay Today.

By working directly with the Pitt County Animal Shelter and other animal services in the East, Maribeth said the number of euthanasia have decreased, and over population of stray cats and dogs have gone down.

Watch This Video on the WNCT-TV Site

Pet Population Control: Clinic is saving lives, one spay at a time


By: Ginger Livingston, The Daily Reflector
Published: June 19, 2016

Numbers don't lie, as the saying goes, and in Pitt County the numbers show spaying and neutering reduces the population of unwanted dogs and cats.

A nonprofit group that brought the need for spaying and neutering to the forefront locally marked its 10th anniversary last month, not with a party, but by going about its regular business.

Spay Today was launched because local animal advocates wanted to reduce the number of dogs and cats being euthanized at the Pitt County Animal Shelter.

"There were endless, endless numbers of animals coming to the shelter," said Betty Williams, a retired veterinarian who co-founded Spay Today.

The animal shelter took in 5,021 animals in 2006 and euthanized 3,223, according to data from Spay Today and Pitt County Animals Services.

Last year, Spay Today performed 5,614 surgeries and the shelter took in 3,162 animals, euthanizing 1,505.

"We learned at the onset of Saving Graces 4 Felines (a non-kill shelter for cats) that we can't adopt our way out of this and spaying and neutering is the only way to reduce the population of unwanted pets," said Marilyn Thompson, the program's co-founder.

Through research, advocates realized many pet owners in eastern North Carolina did not sterilize their pets because they thought it was too expensive.

Using seed money from the recently disbanded ASPCA of Pitt County, Thompson and Williams decided they would operate Spay Today and Saving Graces out of one facility and purchased a single-wide trailer that was moved next to the Pitt County Animal Shelter on County Home Road.

"When we started, we were only going to have people come in (whose income) was below the poverty level," Williams said. Her vision was the nonprofit would operate on donations, grants and a nominal fee.

Williams did all the surgeries, about 10 a day. She and other advocates quickly realized that doing 10 surgeries a day would not reduce pet overpopulation and it wasn't producing the volume that would allow the organization to maintain low fees.

"If we hadn't discovered Humane Alliance I don't think we would have continued being able to operate," she said.

Humane Alliance, a program of the ASPCA that was founded in Asheville, teaches techniques that allow for high-volume, high-quality, low-cost sterilization surgeries. Williams and her technicians trained with the organization and soon tripled the surgeries they were doing. They also found that many people they assumed could pay for spay/neuter surgeries at traditional clinics could not afford the cost, so within 1 1/2 years Spay Today opened its doors to all pet owners.

The veterinarians and technicians that have followed Williams and her original team have all received Human Alliance training.

The facility's current vet, Dr. Terry Cheramie, and his team perform on average 30 surgeries a day. On Wednesday, Wake Forest-based Saving Grace Animals for Adoption brought 30 puppies in for surgery. The team also operated on seven feral cats.

That number of surgeries is possible because the technicians have an assembly-line like system where they handle the pre- and post-surgical care and surgical set up so Cheramie only has to move from table to table.

"They get these animals in here so quickly they are usually ready before me," Cheramie said. The actual surgery takes only 30 seconds for a young male cat to up to 10-15 minutes for an older, larger female dog.

Cheramie said the team could perform up to 50 surgeries a day if the facility, which is now two trailers connected together, was larger.

Owners bring their pets in between 7:15-7:45 a.m. The surgeries begin soon after and go until noon. Owners pick up the animals the same day, starting with dogs at 2 p.m. and cats at 3 p.m. Owners are given medicine for the animals and verbal and written instructions on their care, said Maribeth Hobgood, Spay Today's current executive director.

Along with operating on family pets, Spay Today makes its services available to regional rescue groups like the Wake Forest organization and the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina.

"I think one of the major things that happened is when we went before the (Pitt County) Board of Commissioners and asked them to make it mandatory that all animals be spayed and neutered before they leave the (shelter)," Williams said. "In the past only vouchers went out and they were not used so we would end up with more litters."

"Without their assistance and close proximity to the shelter we would not have been able to successfully implement mandatory spay/neuter for all of our adoptions," said Michele Whaley, Pitt County Animal Services executive director. "This practice alone, I believe, plays a huge part in the lowering of our intake numbers each year."

Another component of Spay Today's mission is its participation in trap-neuter-release programs.

Feral cats, which are sometimes called community cats, are brought in and sterilized, vaccinated and then returned to their territory. An ear is tipped to signal the animal has been sterilized, Hobgood said.

TNR is preferred to catching and killing feral cats. Feral animals usually live in colonies and if a colony goes missing more cats will move into the space, Hobgood said. TNR maintains the existing population without the worry of kittens.

Hobgood said one unspayed female cat, her mate and their offspring could produce about 11.6 million cats in a nine-year period.

Spay Today rents feral cat traps to the public for a $50 deposit that is returned when the trap is returned. The clinic accepts two cats per day from an individual without an appointment. The person pays $40 per cat for the surgery, she said.

As Spay Today enters its next decade of service, Hobgood said its educational efforts must expand.

"You still have a socioeconomic demographic that when you mention spaying and neutering, especially neutering, they say no," Hobgood said. The message she wants to get out is spaying and neutering is good for animals because it helps them live longer, healthier lives by eliminating or reducing certain health problems; decreases biting, barking and aggression in dogs; decreases scratching and spraying in cats; eliminates heat cycles in females and reduces the urge to roam in males.

While Williams no longer performs surgeries, she is overseeing a program launched with a grant from PetSmart Charities that provides spaying and neutering, worm and flea treatments and rabies and other vaccinations to pet owners in underserved communities.

"There are so many animals that are under the radar that don't get any care and the only thing that can help is grants and donations," Williams said.

Spay Today's successes go beyond the surgeries, Williams said.

"I think it's brought more awareness about the need to spay and neuter," she said. "I think it's also served as a hub for local rescue groups. I think we've been part of a movement in the whole county that has combined a philosophy of rescue, spay/neuter and education that has really benefited the animals of Pitt County."

To learn more about Spay Today's program, visit www.spaytoday.net or call 252-321-8839. Its hours of operation are 7:15 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570. Follow her on Twitter @GingerLGDR.

2016 Cooke Communications LLC - The Daily Reflector

 
Click to Print Article

Back to top

Spay Today at Mellow Mushroom


Mellow Mushroom

June 14, 2016
Mellow Mushroom
2020 Charles Blvd,
Greenville, NC 27858

Mellow Mushroom, the art-filled pizzeria, will be holding a fundraiser benefiting Spay Today on Tuesday, June 14. Ten percent of all the restaurant's proceeds will be donated to Spay Today. The fundraiser will be held all day (11am until 10pm) at the Mellow Mushroom Greenville location. Simply drop your itemized receipt (not your credit card receipt) in the bowl at the host stand on your way out of the restaurant.

Mellow Mushroom's menu includes made to order hand-tossed stone-baked pizzas, calzones, hoagies, and craft beer. They serve Vegan and Gluten Free pizzas. Bring a friend and your family to the pet-friendly pizzeria located at 2020 Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC 27858. Or, call in your order at 252-565-8220.

Hope to see you all there!

SPAY TODAY ANNOUNCES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY


10yearanniversary

Spay Today, Eastern North Carolina's only low-cost spay/neuter clinic, is proudly celebrating a 10-year anniversary during May 2016. Since opening doors during May 2006, Spay Today has successfully completed over 38,000 dog and cat surgeries.

Spay Today has always been dedicated to the mission of providing a low cost sterilization service as the non-lethal solution to stray, unwanted, and abandoned pets; therefore, reducing the pet overpopulation in Eastern North Carolina.

Accepting no government (taxpayer) funds to maintain the clinic and provide reduced cost services, Spay Today is a 501(c)(3) heavily dependent on the generosity of donors and fundraising ventures.

Each year 6 – 8 million cats and dogs enter the U.S. shelter system. Fewer than half are fortunate enough to find forever homes. In an effort to turn the tide on this staggering statistic, Spay Today provides services to individuals, county agencies, and private rescue groups. Spay Today performs all surgeries for animals adopted through the Pitt County Animal Services (PCAS). As of July 1, 2010 all animals adopted from PCAS have been required to be altered. Since this time, shelter intake has trended downward, leading to an historical low intake number in 2015.

This "spay effect" leads to savings for Pitt County taxpayers and citizens of Eastern North Carolina. Spay/Neuter is a "win-win" for pets, their guardians, public safety, taxpayers, and the entire community. Moving forward, Spay Today plans to continue to aggressively work to reduce pet overpopulation. The organization will continue to work with animal welfare partners to better the lives of Pitt County animals and citizens.

FREE PITT COUNTY SPRING RABIES CLINIC

Rabies Vaccines free to all Pitt County cats and dogs! West Greenville Residents qualify for free Distemper vaccines and sign up for free Spay/Neuter surgeries.

SATURDAY April 23, 2016
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
The Little Willie Center,
807 West 5th St. Greenville

PITT COUNTY RESIDENTS ONLY
Bring Owner’s Information: Name, Physical & Mailing Address, County of Residence , Phone # AND Pet Information: Name, Cat/Dog, Breed, Color/Description, Sex, Plus any past rabies shot history.
For more information: Pitt County Animal Services at 252-902-1725
West Greenville Residents call 252-364-7131 for information about free spay/neutering.

ALL ANIMALS MUST BE ON LEASH OR IN A CARRIER

Click for Flyer (PDF)

Spayghetti Dinner


April 8,2016
4:30-7:30pm
County Recreation Building
4561 County Home Road
Greenville NC, 27858

If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

12 Strays of Christmas Adoption Event & Pet Food Drive


12 Strays of Christmas

December 12, 2015
Humane Society of Eastern Carolina
3520 Tupper Drive,
Greenville NC, 27858
1:00-5:00 pm

12 dogs and 12 cats. Help them find a home for the Holidays.

Adoption Fees: $100 for dogs. $75 for cats.

Adoptions include cuteness, vaccinations, microchip, spay or neuter, and a lifetime of love.

Pet Portraits at InTandem


Fall Rabies Clinic

October 30 & 31, 2015
InTandem, Inc.
1302 East Firetower Road,
Greenville NC, 27858

Spay Today’s Dogs in Greenville is back just in time for Halloween and the Holidays! Bring your Pet in costume for a Halloween portrait!

$25 Session Fee. Includes one digital image

Portrait Sessions will be held at InTandem, 1302 East Firetower, Greenville. Call InTandem at 252-321-1111 to schedule your session!

All proceeds will be donated to Spay Today, Inc.

Sponsored by InTandem Photography and Coastal Pet Portraits

Pitt County Fall Rabies Clinic


Fall Rabies Clinic

October 10, 2015
9:00am - Noon
The Little Willie Center
807 West 5th Street,
Greenville NC, 27834

Rabies Vaccines Free to All Pitt County Cats and Dogs.

West Greenville Residents Qualify for Free Distemper Vaccines and Sign Up for Free Spay/Neuter Surgeries.

Bring Owner's Information: Name, Physical & Mailing Address, County of Residence, Phone Number, AND
Pet Information: Name, Cat/Dog, Breed, Color/Description, Sex, Plus any past rabies shot history.

For more information, call Pitt County Animal Services at 252-902-1725. West Greenville Residents call 252-364-7131 for information about free spay/neuter

All animals must be on leash or in a carrier

Pitt County Residents Only

Hope to see you all there!

Return to Top

Spayghetti Dinner


September 11, 2015
4:30pm - 7:30pm
County Recreation Building
4561 County Home Road,
Greenville NC, 27858

If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

Hope to see you all there!

Return to Top

Storm: Spay or Neuter Your Pets


Published: August 1, 2015

"Storm: Spay or Neuter Your Pets"

Recently, I wrote about an artist who is drawing attention to the number of dogs euthanized every day by painting 5,500 canine portraits to fill the hall of a special venue: the Museum of Compassion.

I urged readers to let the project ignite their own sensitivity to the problem, and suggested they adopt a shelter or rescue animal, volunteer at a local facility or donate to animal-friendly causes.

But I forgot what is perhaps the most important element in the battle to keep animals from dying in shelters every day: Helping prevent pet overpopulation in the first place by getting domestic animals spayed or neutered.

Luckily, I received a timely reminder of my oversight from someone on the front lines of the effort.

Maribeth Hobgood, the executive director Spay Today, is among team of advocates who work tirelessly to reduce the number of animals dying in local shelters. As the only low-cost spay/neuter clinic in eastern North Carolina, Spay Today has provided more than 34,000 operations since it opened in 2006. As a result, the county shelter has seen a reduction in its pet intake numbers. And when fewer animals end up in shelters, fewer end up dying there.

Hobgood says that getting more people to spay and neuter their pets "is a matter of education." Animal advocates need to take every opportunity to promote the idea that getting beloved pets fixed not only will help control canine and feline populations, it will benefit the animals as well.

Among the benefits of spay and neuter:

Hobgood noted that Spay Today works with the Pitt County Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina and the Pet Food Pantry of Eastern North Carolina to get pets fixed at an affordable rate. Members of these organizations have formed PART — the Pitt Animal Resource Team — to improve the lives of animals in Pitt County.

She also reminded me that Spay Today is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on donations to help provide its low-costs services. Services that keep more animals from becoming sad statistics.

I believe every effort we make to help animals makes a difference. Some actions, however, have an especially wide-ranging effect.

Spaying or neutering your pet is one way to help prevent unwanted cats and dogs from flooding into an already overburdened system. Encouraging other people to fix their animals is another step in that direction.

Not all of us can paint 5,500 portraits or open a museum. But every time a pet is sterilized, we move closer to the day when no animals need to be euthanized.

And that’s the day we can really lay claim to compassion.

Contact Janet Storm at jstorm@reflector.com or 252-329-9587.

2015 Cooke Communications LLC - The Daily Reflector

Pitt County Rabies and Microchipping Clinic


July 25, 2015
Spay Today
4550–B County Home Road
Greenville, NC 27858
2:00–4:00pm

Pitt County will be having a Microchip and Rabies Vaccination Clinic at Spay Today. Microchips are $25 and Rabies Vaccinations are $5. This is the last date for the season so be sure to keep your pets healthy and safe!

Return to Top

Fill the Wishing Well


July 25, 2015
(During the PCAS Rabies Clinic)
Spay Today
4550–B County Home Road
Greenville, NC 27858
2:00–4:00pm

Help us help the community! Donate items from our wish list.

Items needed:

And, of course, your tax-deductible monetary donations are always welcome and appreciated!

Hope to see you all there!

Return to Top

Ordinance Causing Overcrowding at Pitt County Animal Shelter

By: Andrew Ruiz, Digital Journalist, WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side
Published: February 6, 2015

"Ordinance Causing overcrowding at Pitt County Animal Shelter"

GREENVILLE, N.C. - New numbers show Pitt County's Canine Control Ordinance is working, but it's creating a whirlwind of problems starting with overcrowding.

In January, the county animal shelter had to put down more than 100 dogs because of a lack of space. This new ordinance makes it illegal for dogs in the unincorporated part of the county to roam freely.

219 animals were seized last month alone and each of them is taken to the shelter. Just last week, the shelter was at 100% capacity.

Brandon Johnson is an animal control officer who says they have extended the time they hold animals from 3 to 5 days as a result of the animal control ordinance.

"The stray dogs that we see around that we couldn't pick up before, but now we have the ability and authority to pick them up if we can," Johnson said

In January 2015, 107 dogs were put down---that's up six from last year.

That might not seem alarming but it is and here's why: In January 2014 only 200 dogs were taken in. And this year they saw a 30% increase with 261 dogs.

Despite that adoptions remained the same.

"The number one cause for that (pet overpopulation) is people that do not spay or neuter their animals," Meribeth Hobgood, Spay Today executive director said.

Hobgood says if spay and neuter rates don't catch up, the county will have no choice but to euthanize more animals.

"We work very closely with the Pitt County Animal Shelter and they do a wonderful job,” Hobgood said. “It's just an unfortunate situation that there are too many pets and not enough homes and the reason is that they are not spaying or neutering their animals."

With this influx in demand, "Spay Today" is opening its doors 5 days a week. They are also ramping up their surgeries to 50 a day, instead of 30.

The shelter is also open 6 days a week for adoptions.

Click here to view the full video.

Return to Top

Seven Remain in 12 Strays Effort

Lindsey Elliott walks Christian during "The 12 Strays of Christmas" adoption event held at the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina Saturday afternoon. (Scott Davis/The Daily Reflector)

By: Abbie Bennett, The Daily Reflector
Published: December 16, 2014

"Seven Remain in 12 Strays Effort"

Twinkle and Christian didn’t find their forever homes last weekend, but local animal advocates think there’s still hope for them.

Twinkle is a gray, medium-hair female cat that is about 6 months old. Christian is a 2-year-old blonde-and-white mix of terrier, pit bull and German shepherd.

Dozens of people lined up Saturday to open their hearts and homes to animals up for adoption through the 12 Strays of Christmas. There actually were 24 strays ­— 12 from the Pitt County Animal Shelter and 12 from the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina.

Seventeen of those animals have gone to new owners, leaving seven still seeking a new home for Christmas.

The 12 Strays of Christmas event is an annual partnership between the Pitt County Animal Shelter, Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, Spay Today and Pet Food Pantry of Eastern North Carolina.

This year more people than ever before lined up on Saturday to secure the newest member of their families, said Bethann Wilkie, executive director of the Humane Society. The 24 animals were on hold until the day of the event. People could admire photos of each cat and dog but could not bring their new pets home until Saturday.

All of the dogs from the event were adopted except for playful Christian. Of the 12 cats, half were adopted, leaving Peace, Pumpkin Pie, Hermie, Twinkle, Santa Claws and Licorice (now called Loki).

All of the animals except Santa Claws, who still is in foster care, are available at the Humane Society or at PetSmart.

Wilkie thanked Spay Today, which donated the spay or neuter procedures for all 24 animals.

“Usually we pay for that every year, so we lose some money each year on 12 strays because we also reduce the adoption fees,” Wilkie said. “But this year Spay Today donated the surgeries which was an amazing help. We’re so thankful to them.”

Wilkie also thanked the staff of all organizations involved, as well as volunteers and the foster families who cared for the 12 Strays of Christmas animals before the event.

“We could never find homes for these animals without help from all of them,” she said.

There also are plenty of other animals looking for homes that were not a part of the 12 Strays event, and more on the way.

“We’re refilling today,” Wilkie said. “So there are plenty more for people to come visit.”

All animals that participated in the event were spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, tested for heartworms or on heartworm medication, administered flea prevention and microchipped. Cats were tested for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV).

For more information, visit the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina at www.hsecarolina.org; the Pitt County Animal Shelter at www.pittcountync.gov/depts/amcontrol and Pet Food Pantry of Eastern North Carolina, at www.facebook.com/pages/Pet-Food-Pantry-of-Eastern-NC/544916575586779.

Contact Abbie Bennett at abennett@reflector.com or 252-329-9579. Follow her on Twitter @AbbieRBennett.

 
Click to Print Article

Return to Top

12 Strays of Christmas

(The Daily Reflector)

By: Abbie Bennett, The Daily Reflector
Published: December 12, 2014

"12 Strays of Christmas"

Jolly and Joy could be a lot jollier and joyful if they had a home for the holidays.

A 3-month-old gray male kitten, Jolly loves to cuddle and play with jingly balls, but while he is at the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina, and even while he is with a foster family, what he would like even more is a forever home.

The fluffy, playful kitten is one of 12 cats available from the Humane Society and the Pitt County Animal Shelter as part of their 12 Strays of Christmas event. There are 12 dogs available at the event, as well, six at each facility.

All Joy wants from Santa Paws this year is a home and a loving family. She is a medium-size, female, 11-month-old tan shepherd and retriever mix and has been in a foster home awaiting Saturday’s 12 Strays of Christmas event and a special family to give her a home.

None of the animals selected to participate in the event are available for adoption before 1 p.m. Saturday. The adoption drive will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina on Tupper Drive in Greenville.

The event is held annually as a partnership between the shelter and the Humane Society to promote adoption around the holidays and year round. Officials at both facilities encouraged those who have been considering adding a pet to their family to come to the event and visit the dogs and cats up for adoption. Both groups, as well as the Pet Food Pantry of Eastern North Carolina, will be taking donations of food, toys, treats, cleaning supplies and other pet items.

All animals participating in the event have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, tested for heartworms or on heartworm medication, flea prevention and microchipped. Cats have been tested for FIV/FeLV.

Adoption fees are $100 per dog and $75 per cat.

Also at the event there will be raffles and holiday treats.

This year the foster families that have been caring for the dogs and cats will be on hand to answer questions.

Humane Society Executive Director Bethann Wilkie said the holidays are a good time to promote adoption versus purchasing an animal from a breeder or pet store. Even those who are not planning to adopt are invited to attend.

“It gets our name out there to remind people we are here for that. A lot of people overlook shelters,” Wilkie said. “Primarily our goal is to get all of them, not just the 12 Strays, a home for the holidays. We would love to come in on Christmas Eve and have all of our animals out and see them all in that perfect home for Christmas. That’s our Christmas wish.”

Contact Abbie Bennett at abennett@reflector.com or 252-329-9579. Follow her on Twitter @AbbieRBennett.

 
Click to Print Article

Return to Top

The 12 Strays of Christmas Adoption Event


12strays2014

December 13, 2014
Humane Society of Eastern Carolina
3520 Tupper Drive
Greenville, NC 27858
1:00–4:00pm

12 dogs and 12 cats. Help them find a home for the Holidays.

Adoption Fees: $100 for dogs. $75 for cats.

Adoptions include cuteness, vaccinations, microchip, spay or neuter, and a lifetime of love.

Raffles, holiday treats, and lots of furry hugs!

Hope to see you all there!

Thanksgiving for the Animals


Thanksgiving

November 21, 2014
Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge
414 Evans Street
Greenville, NC 27858
6:30–9:30pm

Tickets: $15 per person. $25 for couples. Contact Maribeth Hobgood at SpayToday4@centurylink.net to purchase tickets or purchase tickets at the door the night of the event.

100% of proceeeds will go to our Spay/Neuter and Rescue funds for people with limited means.

Heavy hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer will be served.

Hope to see you all there!

Spay Today at Mellow Mushroom


Mellow Mushroom

September 23, 2014
Mellow Mushroom
2020 Charles Blvd,
Greenville, NC 27858,

Eating good pizza is its own reward, but if you eat it on Tuesday, September 23, you will also get a good feeling because you helped to raise funds for Spay Today, Eastern North Carolina's low cost spay and neuter clinic! Any Greenville, NC, Mellow Mushroom customer who mentions "Spay Today Fundraiser" on Tuesday, September 23, will see 10% of the proceeds from your bill donated to Spay Today.

This fundraising effort will last all day on Tuesday, September 23, and we hope to see you there! Consider bringing a friend or two and please, spread the word. Your stomach and your heart will be fed!

If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

Hope to see you all there!

Compassionate Volunteers Care for Community Cats

By: Abbie Bennett, The Daily Reflector
Published: September 21, 2014

"These Felines Are Special"

The average passerby probably wouldn't even know they're there. But when Patty Allison pulls up, they uncurl themselves and drift out of the tree shadows, stretching, purring and meowing.

It's dinner time.

You'd think they were all Allison's cats the way they greet her. But the moment they sense a stranger, they disappear without a sound, like smoke into the trees. Allison's dark tabby colony is especially adept at the Houdini-like disappearing act.

In a way, they are her cats. But the missing tip on each left ear is a clue that they're not your average stray cats. These felines are special.

They're feral cats, and the mark means they've earned the right to stay that way.

Allison has been caring for feral cats in Greenville and Pitt County for years. In partnership with groups like the Pitt County Animal Shelter, Spay Today, Saving Graces 4 Felines and the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, among others, hundreds and hundreds of cats have been spayed or neutered through the Trap, Neuter, Release program in an effort to reduce the population of feral cats in the area and keep the ones that already exist healthy.

Community Cats

Allison and others who share her passion call them “community cats” and maintain that properly managed colonies, like those Allison feeds and cares for each day, are assets to their communities, or at least not detriments. The cats keep pests away, especially from areas with dumpsters, she said, and healthy, well-fed colonies don’t pose risks to their human or animal neighbors.

The American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook stated that cats are the nation’s most popular pet, with 74 million-80 million pet cats, 80-85 percent of which are sterilized and 30-40 percent of which are allowed outdoors. About 30 percent of American households own cats and those numbers have been increasing as U.S. population increases.In contrast, there are about 30 million-40 million un-owned cats in the U.S., according to the sourcebook, with just 2 percent of those sterilized.They’re elusive, but some of the ferals can be as friendly as any house cat. Just a little patience can earn even a stranger a few rubs and purrs from the more bold ferals in some of the local colonies. Allison said she doesn’t usually name the cats, but she recognizes all on sight and knows each personality inside and out.

“That one there,” she said, pointing out a larger dark tabby emerging first from the group taking refuge in tree undergrowth, “he’s always friendly and he’s usually the first to come out and greet me.”

Especially friendly cats, along with kittens young enough to become accustomed to humans, are rehomed, Allison said. But most are taken to Spay Today, altered, given a rabies vaccination, and returned to their original locations. Relocating the cats to other areas doesn’t usually work since the cats will return to the original location or a new group will move in, Allison said.

“Especially if there’s a food source,” she said. “We call it the vacuum effect.”

In 2001, Marilyn Thompson and others formed Saving Graces 4 Felines to help ferals and other cats and have been able to increase the number of cats they help through growing partnerships with other advocacy groups and Spay Today. Now that many cats are being identified with the clipped ear tips, groups like Saving Graces and people like Allison and Thompson are given a chance to reunite ferals picked up by animal control officers with their colonies.

Because the ear tip identifies the ferals as altered cats, they get a second chance, Allison said. Unaltered cats are almost always euthanized at shelters and usually are not even shown to potential adopters because of liability issues. While most ferals are not outwardly aggressive, they are fearful of humans and can be a danger if threatened, she said.

Trap, Neuter, Release

The Trap, Neuter, Release program, or TNR, has been a success, according to Thompson and Allison and others with various organizations throughout the city and county. Cats can reproduce within a few months and females can have two to three litters of kittens each year. This creates an exponential effect on the population, with mothers giving birth to thousands of kittens within just a few years, which could have been avoided if just one cat was altered.

Saving Graces alone has altered more than 3,000 cats since about 2001, Thompson said, and the group keeps a database of all of the cats that move through their organization.

Spay Today has altered 2,888 cats since 2008, with each year varying in individual totals. The fewest was in 2008, when 157 cats were altered. In 2010 and again in 2012, nearly 600 were altered at Spay Today. Spay Today offers spay and neuter services at reduced cost to those in need and helps spay and neuter animals from various local organizations, from the county shelter to the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina.

Those cats that have been through the TNR program not only are sterilized to prevent future population increase, but also are given rabies vaccinations to cut down on the risk of rabies outbreaks in the area, according to officials with Spay Today. The colony managers also serve as a first line of defense for other disease outbreaks that could pose a risk to others.

‘Meals on wheels’

Day in and day out, volunteers like Allison and Thompson visit their colonies to check on the cats and bring them a guaranteed meal.

While Allison and other colony managers prefer to keep the colony locations confidential, Allison said she has spoken with all property owners to let them know that she would be caring for the cats daily

.“Some people have asked me to move them,” Allison said. “But I’ve been able to educate people so that they know that another group would just come in, or these guys would come back. After they realize that I’m really here every day, and that the cats are altered and don’t cause trouble, it’s usually a positive thing.”

While some groups and individuals have spoken against ferals, stating that they are a danger to birds and other wildlife, Allison and others like her have argued that properly managed feral colonies pose a greatly reduced threat, if any, to local wildlife because they are fed regularly and do not need to hunt.“They learn to expect it,” Allison said of her colony of tabbies, and all of the others she cares for. “So they wait for you.

”“It’s a huge responsibility because you really do have to be there every day,” Thompson said. “They wait for you and if you don’t show up one day, they keep waiting. ... I like to call it ‘meals on wheels.’ I’ve woken up in the middle of the night thinking that I forgot to feed them. It really starts to become as important as taking care of your own pet because they depend on us. You worry about them.

”Not only do volunteers care for the cats, they’re there until the end, Thompson said.

“You have to be there through the good and the bad,” she said. “When they get sick or hurt, you have to help them. And when it’s their time, you have to be there, too.”

But for people like Thompson and Allison, to see the cats sleek and healthy is reward enough to keep them coming back.

“You see the difference,” Allison said. “They’re healthier and happier and their lives are just better. The normal lifespan is just a few years, but I have some out here that are 12 or older. What we do matters, and now we just want more people to believe in it so that one day those Spay Today numbers can be zero.

“It’s not the cats’ fault. Some of them are left behind by their owners. Others are born in the wild. That doesn’t make them bad or less worthy of a healthy, happy life.”

Spay Today and Saving Graces are nonprofit organizations that accept donations.

For more information on Spay Today, go to www.spaytoday.net or call 252-321-8839.

For more information on Saving Graces 4 Felines, go to www.savinggraces4felines.com.

Contact Abbie Bennett at abennett@reflector.com or 252-329-9579. Follow her on Twitter @AbbieRBennett.

2014 Cooke Communications LLC - The Daily Reflector

 
Click to Print Article

Return to Top

Spayghetti Dinner


September 5, 2014
4:00pm - 7:00pm
County Recreation Building
4561 County Home Road,
Greenville NC, 27858

If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

Hope to see you all there!

Primp Your Pit: Fix your pit bull for $20 during the month of August



Click to Print Flyer

GREENVILLE, NC – During the month of August, get your pitt bull fixed for only $20!

Precious...Not Parents: Fix your kitten or puppy for $20 during the month of June



Click to Print Flyer

GREENVILLE, NC – They may be just babies, but kittens as young as 4 months and puppies as young as 5 months are old enough to get pregnant and have their first litter just two months later. “These precious babies shouldn’t be parents at 5 and 6 months old,” says Lara Batca, President , Spay Today.

That’s why Spay Today with funding provided by PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, is introducing the “Precious, Not Parents” campaign. Through the “Precious, Not Parents,” campaign, Spay Today will provide $20 spay and neuter surgeries for puppies and kittens under six months of age during the month of June.

Second Tuesday Clinic


June 10, 2014
May 13, 2014
April 8, 2014
March 11, 2014

December 10, 2013
November 12, 2013
October 8, 2013
1:00pm - 6:00pm at Spay Today


This clinic will be held in the Spay Today facility located at 4550B County Home Road in Greenville. 1-year and 3-year Rabies vaccines as well as Microchipping will be available. All Rabies vaccines are $10.00 and Microchipping is $25 (includes lifetime enrollment). Please keep... in mind that in order to receive a 3-year Rabies vaccine you must provide paperwork proof of a previous Rabies vaccine. Please have all cats in a cat carrier and all dogs on a leash.

If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

Hope to see you all there!

Bow Wow Bingo with celebrity caller WNCT Meteorologist Dontae Jones



May 15, 2014
April 17, 2014
March 20, 2014
February 20, 2014
January 16, 2014
6:00pm at Pitt County Schools and Recreation, 4561 County Home Road, Greenville.

Bow Wow Bingo has been a way for animal lovers to show their support—and win prizes—for years. For January, Bow Wow Bingo will have a special celebrity caller, WNCT Meteorologist Dontae Jones!

Bow Wow Bingo will be held at Pitt County Schools and Recreation, 4561 County Home Road. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., and the games begin at 6:30 p.m. Prize payouts will total as much as $275, depending on attendance. Jackpot specials of $30 may be awarded, depending on attendance.

Admission is $20, which includes six cards to all regular bingo games and a dabber. Also available for purchase will be extra boards and dabbers, 50/50 raffle drawing tickets and light refreshments.

The bingo night, which offers residents a chance to test their luck and show support for homeless animals, will be held the third Thursday of every month, except for November and December.

The HSEC temporarily cares for dogs and cats until they can find loving, permanent homes through adoptions. HSEC receives no government or private agency support and must count on fundraising events and membership fees from the public to offset the cost of housing, feeding and providing medical care for our animals.

Proceeds from the event will be split between the HSEC and Spay Today, the area’s low-cost spay and neuter clinic. Spay Today has offered high-quality, low-cost spay and neuter services since opening in 2006.

Events such as Bow-Wow Bingo are vital for HSEC and Spay Today—come support the animals!

If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

Hope to see you all there!

Mellow Mushroom Fund Raiser



Mellow Mushroom Fund Raiser
March 18, 2014
All Day at Mellow Mushroom, 2020 Charles Blvd, Greenville.

Eating good pizza is its own reward, but if you eat it on Tuesday, March 18th you will also get a good feeling because you helped to raise funds for Spay Today, Eastern North Carolina’s low cost spay and neuter clinic! Any Greenville, NC Mellow Mushroom customer who mentions “Spay Today Fundraiser” on Tuesday, March 18th will see 10% of the proceeds from your bill donated to Spay Today. This fundraising effort will last all day on Tuesday, March 18th and we hope to see you there! Consider bringing a friend or two and please, spread the word. Your stomach and your heart will be fed!

If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

Hope to see you all there!

World Spay Day



World Spay Day
February 25, 2014

February 25 is World Spay Day and its' 20th anniversary!

Spay Today on World Spay Day

Beat the Heat: Spay your cat for $20 during the month of February



Click to Print Flyer

Warmer weather may still be months away, but Spay Today wants you to “Beat the Heat” by spaying your cat in advance of her heat cycle and preventing unwanted litters from being born this spring. Animal shelters commonly refer to spring time as “kitten season” because that is when they receive the largest influx numbers of unwanted litters that are difficult to adopt.

That’s why Spay Today is offering a special “Beat the Heat” campaign sponsored by PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America. Through the “Beat the Heat” campaign, Spay Today will provide $20 spay surgeries for up to 192 female cats during the month of February.

Happy Neuter Year: Neuter your cat or dog during the month of January



Click to Print Flyer

Sponsored by PetSmart Charities, the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, the “Happy Neuter Year,” campaign will provide $20 neuter surgeries for male dogs and cats during the month of January.

Spaying and neutering is one of the most effective ways to reduce the homeless pet population and is safe for puppies and kittens as young as eight to 10 weeks old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. “Neutering male pets is a simple surgery that reduces unwanted behaviors, like roaming, fighting, and urine marking territories,” says Lara Batca, President. “It also guarantees your dog or cat never fathers a litter of puppies or kittens.”

This special $20 rate is even less than the organization’s normal low-cost price and is available to all residents of Eastern North Carolina. Pet parents who wish to take advantage of this offer must mention the “Happy Neuter Year” campaign when they schedule their appointment. Spay Today will provide a limited number of “Happy Neuter Year” sterilizations for $20 in January. Please visit www.SpayToday.net, the Facebook page, or call (252) 321-8839 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Initiative Helps with Spay/Neuter Costs

By: Kim Grizzard, The Daily Reflector
Published: Monday, January 13, 2014

Two puppies rest together after their operation at the Spay Today clinic. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)

---

A local nonprofit organization has resolved to do more this year to help solve the pet overpopulation problem.

Spay Today, a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, is among five clinics in North Carolina and five dozen in 30 states to join PetSmart Charities “Happy Neuter Year” campaign. As part of the campaign, participating clinics will provide $20 surgeries in January with a goal of fixing more than 13,000 pets nationwide.

Spay Today Executive Director Maribeth Hobgood said that within the first week of this month, the organization had booked 88 of 102 appointments available for dogs and about half the appointments available for cats.

Surgeries typically are $45 for male cats and $80 for dogs.

“Obviously the demand is so great and the need is so great in this area,” she said.

The campaign is one of four lower-cost surgery campaigns this year for Spay Today, which received a grant of more than $33,000 from PetSmart Charities.

February’s “Beat the Heat” campaign will provide discount spay surgeries for cats. June’s “Precious, Not Parents” promotion is for pets 6 months and younger. August’s “Primp Your Pit” is open to purebred and mixed-breed pit bull terriers.

Nearly one-third of people surveyed by PetSmart Charities in 2011 said the main reason they have not fixed their pet is because they thought it was too expensive.

“Even though we’re a low-cost spay neutered clinic, it’s still cost prohibitive for some people to have these surgeries done,” Hobgood said. “It’s really kind of a sad situation.”

Spay Today saw its surgical appointments multiply during “Beat the Heat” and “Primp Your Pit” campaigns two years ago. In February 2012, the clinic spayed 276 cats at the discounted rate, about twice its 2012 monthly average of 137. Sixty-four pit bulls were spayed or neutered in August and September 2012, eight times the monthly rate of spays and neuters for that breed the rest of the year.

“In this economy ... it makes a difference,” Hobgood said. “Some people do come in, and they’re so thankful and so grateful.”

Spay Today, which spays and neuters pets for the Pitt County Animal Shelter and area animal rescue groups, has performed more than 22,000 surgeries since opening in May 2006. The organization spayed 4,500 animals last year, including about 500 feral cats.

Veterinarians say neutering pets helps to reduce problem pet behaviors, including roaming, fighting and marking territories with urine. In addition to helping to prevent pet overpopulation, spaying and neutering also has been associated with lowering the risk of certain reproductive cancers.

Hobgood said the decision to have pets undergo the procedure also is a fiscally responsible one.

“The more you can reduce pet overpopulation in any geographic area, (the more) you can lower costs at your animal shelter, lower need for animal control, lower cost to your taxpayers,” she said. “It’s got real community impact.”

Spay Today, 4550-B County Home Road, is open from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays. Appointments are required. Call 321-8839. The web site is www.spaytoday.net.

 
Click to Print Article

Dog Portraits



November 8 & 9, 2013
All Day at InTandem, Inc.


Donate a  $25 Session Fee for Spay Today, Inc. Sessions may include owners!
Please call Mona Sadler at 252.675.1146 to schedule your appointment. Or, email Mona@CoastalPetPortraits.com with questions.
Portrait Sessions will be held at the InTandem Office & Studio, 1302 East Firetower, Greenville

Visit our Websites-
www.CoastalPetPortraits.com
www.InTandemPhoto.com
www.SpayToday.net

Hope to see you all there!

Feral Fest


October 16,2013
October 17,2013

We will spay / neuter feral cats for a fee of $5.00, plus a cat food donation to assist in feeding managed colinies in Pitt County.

All cats must arrive at the clinic between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., one cat per humane trap. Cats will be spayed / neutered, rabiesvaccinated, and ear tipped. Other services are available for an additional fee.



Spayghetti Dinner

Bone Appétit!

SPAYghetti Dinner is a charity event to help all the pet at Spay Today, Inc. The dinner starts at 4:00 p.m. Includes music, spaghetti, salad and bread. Additional beverages and desserts will be for sale. Eat in or take your meal to go! All proceeds benefit Spay Today. There will also be a raffle. Tickets are $7.

FridaySeptember 20
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
County Recreation Building
4561 County Home Road
Greenville, NC 27858

Call 252-321-8839 or Click here to contact us for tickets

Bow Wow Bingo

Jeff Diamond, of 107.9 radio, will be the Special Guest Bingo Announcer for September 19!

Bow Wow Bingo is the third Thursday of each month. It's at Pitt County Schools and Recreation on County Home Road. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the game starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $20 and that gets you six bingo cards. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and refreshments.

  • September 19
  • October 17
  • November 21

  • Rabies/Microchipping Clinic

    September 10, 2013
    1:00pm - 6:00pm at Spay Today


    This clinic will be held in the Spay Today facility located at 4550B County Home Road in Greenville. 1-year and 3-year Rabies vaccines as well as Microchipping will be available. All Rabies vaccines are $10.00 and Microchipping is $25 (includes lifetime enrollment). Please keep... in mind that in order to receive a 3-year Rabies vaccine you must provide paperwork proof of a previous Rabies vaccine. Please have all cats in a cat carrier and all dogs on a leash.

    If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

    Hope to see you all there!

    Dog Days of Summer

    Dog Days
    Bring in your dog for spay/neuter and your second dog's surgery is half price! **

    Promotion dates: August 5 – 29, 2013
    Call for an appointment***
    252-321-8839

    ** discount applies to the lesser priced surgery
    ***Appointments must be made for the same day

    Rabies/Microchipping Clinic

    August 13, 2013
    1:00pm - 6:00pm at Spay Today


    This clinic will be held in the Spay Today facility located at 4550B County Home Road in Greenville. 1-year and 3-year Rabies vaccines as well as Microchipping will be available. All Rabies vaccines are $10.00 and Microchipping is $25 (includes lifetime enrollment). Please keep... in mind that in order to receive a 3-year Rabies vaccine you must provide paperwork proof of a previous Rabies vaccine. Please have all cats in a cat carrier and all dogs on a leash.

    If you have questions please call our clinic at 252-321-8839 or e-mail at SpayToday1@embarqmail.com

    Hope to see you all there!

    Expansion May 2013


    We have recently completed an expansion of our facility, nearly doubling our clinic’s size. Future plans include a transport program to reach out to the rural areas of our region.

    Currently we are open Monday through Thursday and sterilize approximately 30 animals per day. As of May 2013 we have successfully, and proudly, completed over 22,000 surgeries!

    Spay Today Expands Space

    By: Kristin Zachary , The Daily Reflector
    Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    ‘It’s Hip to be Snipped’

    A double-wide trailer, dull gray with dirty brown streaks, has sat for years off of County Home Road next to the county’s animal shelter.

    More than 20,000 spay and neuter operations have been completed since 2006 in the humble space, according to officials who said on Sunday that efforts there have reduced pet overpopulation and saved the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Recent construction at Spay Today, a nonprofit spay and neuter clinic, increased workspace inside and freshened the exterior, and dozens of community members gathered Sunday to celebrate the expansion and growth.

    Concerned citizens and animal activists helped launch Spay Today in 2006, Clinic Director Dr. Betty Williams said, and it is the vision of the board of directors, staff and community members that has pushed the organization forward.
    “They say it takes a village to raise a child, and how true of the birthing and raising up of Spay Today,” Williams said during an open-house ceremony.

    It was early 2005 when Williams traveled to Raleigh, walked through a muddy field and climbed in and out of used trailers owned and sold by a company there. She was in search of a mobile unit with a workable layout for Spay Today.
    The used trailer was brought in Pitt County, she said, and it soon was clear more room was needed to keep up with Spay Today’s success.

    Williams said board member Dick Carney’s love of animals led him to have air conditioning installed one summer at the shelter after learning dogs were dying from the heat.

    “Dick is special for what he did and also because he’s no longer with us,” she said. “He passed away January 30, 2012, shocking us all with his unexpected departure.”

    Carney was a “salt-of-the-earth, rugged kind of fellow with the heart of a saint,” she said, and his dedication and work at Spay Today was instrumental in the expansion plans.

    “That’s Dick’s baby,” Williams said, gesturing to a pale yellow building now attached to the dull, gray trailer. A “Wipe Your Paws” door mat sits on the newly constructed porch, which is surrounded by bright, pink flowers, other plants and chirping birds.

    The “unwavering commitment to the dogs and cats of our region” shown by Carney and other key Spay Today activists — including Patty, Joan and Ron Allison, who also were recognized during the open house — led to the organization’s success, Williams said.

    Former board member Linda Mazer said in 2006, Spay Today’s mission to reduce overpopulation was just a dream. It had humble beginnings in the trailer with just one veterinarian, a part-time assistant and several volunteers.
    The staff has grown and recently welcomed Dr. Sarah McCain, who said at the open house that she spent 18 years in private practice but decided she wanted to do more.

    “Something just struck,” McCain said. “I realized spay/neuter was where I needed to be.” She drove from Hickory to Greenville, met Spay Today’s staff and moved.

    McCain joins a group working to improve the quality of life for Pitt County animals and citizens, Mazer said. The staff’s hard work is making a difference in the community, she said.

    “Today, I’m here bringing good news,” Mazer said. Pitt County Animal Shelter’s highest animal intake was in 2006. Since Spay Today’s arrival, the intake at the shelter has been on the decline.

    Mazer said anticipated intake at Pitt County Animal Shelter from 2007 to 2012 was 32,626. Actual intake was 25,058, she said, indicating aggressive spay and neuter efforts in the county lessened intake by 7,568 animals.

    Each shelter animal costs on average $109 — a “conservative” figure, Mazer said, which can rise to $145 — and Spay Today is estimated in that time frame to have saved Pitt County taxpayers $824,912.

    Sen. Don Davis, D-Pitt, said supporting spay and neuter operations at Spay Today is an “important step for community members to take.”

    The organization’s efforts promote responsible pet ownership, control the population and is “a great way for saving taxpayer dollars,” Davis said. “It speaks volumes that so many from across the community are supportive of the spay/neuter program and realize the benefit to the taxpayers.”

    Not only has the tax burden been eased by Spay Today, according to Georgina Quinn, who works with the organization’s website and Facebook, but the animal shelter has moved from gassing unwanted pets to using injections, and the focus now is less on euthanasia and more on adoptions.

    Williams was instrumental in that change, Quinn said, and she was “the driving force” in putting up that dull gray trailer, setting in motion a program of great effect.

    The clinic director has conducted spay/neuter operations, cleaned cages, paid bills and has proven hard work, devotion and spirit can change the world — or at least the region surrounding a double-wide trailer and fresh addition off County Home Road, Mazer said.

    “One person can make a difference,” she said. “If you have an idea, run with it. Betty can tell you.”

    Open House

    May 19, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    In celebration of our new, expanded facility you are cordially invited to attend our Open House on Sunday, May 19, 2013 from 2-4 p.m. In addition to touring the clinic and meeting the staff, we will take this opportunity to welcome our surgical veterinarian, Dr. Sarah McCain to the Pitt County veterinary community. Program begins at 2:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

    Spay Today Provides Low Cost Spaying and Neutering for Pitt County Animals

    By: Barb Bullington, Pitt County Women's Journal
    Published: January 7, 2013

    One cat and her kittens can produce up to 420,000 cats in seven years. A dog and her puppies can produce up to 67,000 dogs in six years. These statistics are shocking to some but all too familiar to animal advocates and shelters flooded with homeless pets. 

    However, sterilization programs are capable of producing a dramatic reduction in the number of unwanted animals. With that in mind, Spay Today was created by Saving Graces 4 Felines with assistance from the Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter and the SPCA of Pitt County.

    Spay Today, a low-cost spay/neuter clinic for Eastern North Carolina located next to the Pitt County Animal Shelter, is committed to solving the problem of pet overpopulation before, instead of after, the fact. The busy organization's staff recently completed their 20,000th procedure since the clinic opened in 2006, according to Executive Director Maribeth Lombardo Hobgood.

    “We are very proud of our recent accomplishments,” said Hobgood, who added that the official mission of Spay Today is “to provide low cost sterilization services as the non-lethal solution to stray, unwanted, and abandoned pets; therefore reducing the pet overpopulation in Eastern North Carolina."

    In spite of a the massive number of operations, the group’s staff takes the time to pay individual attention to each pet that comes through its doors. It was through this care for each animal that that Lil’ Zo, a white dog with a brown spot encircling its left eye, was recorded as the 20,000th patient.

    Spay Today offers a high volume spay/neuter program not only to the public but Pitt County Animal Shelter and animal rescue groups as well. Surgeries are performed by  licensed veterinarians.

    While helping ease the burden on the budgets of pet owners as well as organizations with limited funds, Spay Today is also lightening the load on the community. According to a Spay Today brochure, more than 2,600 dogs and cats were euthanized at the Pitt County Animal Shelter last year. The County spent over $400,000 of taxpayer money on transporting, housing and euthanasia of un-adopted animals.

    Individual animals that are spayed or neutered also tend to be healthier, live longer, and are generally easier to train, according to information provided by Spay Today. And, additional services, such as earmite, flea treatment, microchipping and deworming, are offered as options on the day of an animal’s spay or neuter surgery.

    Hobgood noted that, as a non profit  501(c)(3) corporation, the organization is heavily dependent on donations, which are accepted through its  website as well as by check.

    Other contributions are needed in the form of items, including: office supplies such as printer paper and black markers; cleaning supplies like laundry detergent (power or liquid), bleach and hand soap; and cat food (canned) and litter.

    Spay Today performs surgery No. 20,000


    20,000 Spayed dog

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Grants Provide Spay and Neuter Efforts

    By: Kim Grizzard, The Daily Reflector
    Published: August 4, 2012

       

    "It's Time To Primp Your Pit"

    Nearly 150 pit bulls will make the trip down County Home Road toward the Pitt County Animal
    Shelter this month. But for these dogs, the road will not end at the shelter.

    Across the parking lot, these 12 dozen pits and terrier mixes will receive surgeries that could be a
    life-saver. They are being spayed or neutered.

    Spay Today, a nonprofit spay and neuter clinic, is one of three agencies in the state to receive
    grant funding from PetSmart Charities to pay for pit bulls to be spayed or neutered. The
    promotion, called "Primp Your Pit" is subsidizing nearly 7,000 surgeries at more than 60 clinics in
    30 states.

    Spay Today Medical Director Betty Williams said the promotion, which caused the clinic to book
    every available appointment by the second day of the month, will allow 144 dogs to be sterilized
    for a $20 fee, compared to the $75 fee that usually is charged. The campaign targets pit bulls and
    pit bull mixes, which the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports are
    more likely than other breeds to be euthanized at animal shelters.

    "I think nationwide there is a lot of confusion about pit bulls and a lot of controversy," Williams
    said. "I see a lot of them at the shelter."

    Pitt County Animal Shelter Director Michele Whaley reported that of the 176 dogs the shelter took
    in during June, 28 were some type of pit bull, a name commonly used to describe the American
    Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier or any crosses of the
    three breeds. Of the 44 animals adopted that month, only three were pit bulls; all of them were
    spayed or neutered.

    The statistics are not much different at the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, which also
    requires pets to be spayed or neutered before adoption. Executive Director Callie Richardson said
    that pit bulls usually tie with hounds as the top dog coming in, but they often are the last to be
    adopted.

    "The pit bulls, they're usually the ones that end up as strays wandering the side of the road,"
    Richardson said, adding that some even have been abandoned in crates or tied outside the
    Humane Society. "Pit bulls don't go out as fast as they come in."

    Those that manage to get adopted sometimes are returned. Richardson recalls a college student
    who had to return a pit bull before heading home at the end of the semester. The Colorado
    community where his father lived had banned the breed.

    Breed-specific legislation is increasingly common. Edenton requires that all pit bulls, Rottweilers
    and chows be registered, spayed or neutered, and microchipped so that their owners can be
    identified. But Greenville Animal Control Supervisor Tim Langley said such laws can be costly to
    enforce.

    "You'd have to hire more people," he said, "and right now, governments are (cash) strapped," he
    said.

    While Greenville and Pitt County do not have breed restrictions, Richardson said, a number of landlords and insurance agencies prohibit pits. She believes dog fighting and negative media attention have given the dogs a bad rap.

    "In my personal opinion, pit bulls are some of the best family dogs," Richardson said. "The
    stereotype is more prevalent than the truth about the breed."

    Dog trainer Drake Parker, who owns pit bulls, said that just a few generations ago, the dogs had
    an entirely different reputation. Parker, who has trained and utilized pit bulls as therapy dogs, said
    the breed appeared on posters as an American mascot during the first and second world wars.

    The public has a very different picture of pit bulls today. According to the Centers for Disease
    Control, pit bulls and pit-bull mixes were involved in one-third of the human dog-bite fatalities from
    1981-92. The agency no longer keeps track of dog bites by breed; however, it does report statistics
    on attacks by unaltered dogs. According to the CDC, 97 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks
    on people in 2006 were not spayed or neutered, and a dog that is not neutered is 2.6 times more
    likely to bite than a neutered dog.

    A pit bull that attacked two women in Greenville in June and a pit bull that bit a 3-year-old girl in
    Grimesland this week reportedly were unaltered. Parker said unaltered pit bulls have been blamed
    for several dog injuries and at least one dog death at Greenville's Off-Leash Dog Area.

    "It's like a stick of dynamite," he said. "You take it and you blow a stump out of your yard and you
    landscape it and it's beautiful, or you blow your hand off. That's kind of what a pit bull is, and it's
    that extreme."

    Parker, who owns Top Dog Academy with his wife, Angela, requires pit bulls to be spayed or
    neutered and their behavior evaluated before he will allow them to attend group classes.

    "If you call me with a pit bull over 10 months of age and it's shown some type of aggression, I
    won't even help you unless you neuter it first," he said. "That's the first step."

    Parker, who came to love pit bulls after his grandmother adopted one when he was a child, said
    today's irresponsible ownership of pit bulls has threatened the breed. While he does not believe
    spaying or neutering is a quick fix to all the problems associated with the breed, it is a start.

    "It (spaying or neutering) will definitely help to make them a better dog," he said. "I feel like if
    you're not willing to neuter it, you're not willing to commit to doing what it takes to solve the
    problems."

    Spay Today is a 4550-B County Home Road. While the August promotion for pit bulls is booked,
    the agency has ASPCA grant funding available to help low-income families spay and neuter their
    pets. For information, call 321-8830 or visit www.spaytoday.net.

    2012 Cooke Communications LLC - The Daily Reflector

     
    Click to Print Article

    Return to Top

    Primp Your Pit


    Click to Print Flyer

    It is time to "Primp Your Pit".

    During the month of August, Spay Today will spay/neuter Pit Bull dogs and puppies for a special rate of $20.

    To make an appointment, please call 252-321-8839. Mention "Primp Your Pit".

    Pit Bulls most often end up in shelters in large numbers because of myths and negative media that impact public perceptions associated with the breed. Pit Bulls are the largest dog breed found in shelters and they are often euthanized. To help reduce the number of unwanted pit bulls, or pit bull terrier mix puppies, Spay Today is offering the "Primp Your Pit" promotion sponsored by PetSmart Charities®.

    Grants Help Provide Pet Care

    By: Kim Grizzard, The Daily Reflector
    Published:
    February 15, 2012



    February may seem like an odd time for a "Beat the Heat" sale, but customers are lining up to take
    advantage of this seasonal special.

    Spay Today, a local, low-cost spay and neuter clinic, has cut fees for spaying cats by more than
    half this month. A grant from PetSmart Charities is reducing the cost from $50 to $20 in an attempt
    to encourage owners to have their cats altered before mating season.

    The grant is one example of ways local animal advocacy groups are working to help lower-income
    families provide for their pets in a bad economy. The Pitt County Animal Shelter is using funding
    from the ASPCA to provide free vaccination clinics for cats and dogs whose owners cannot afford
    the shots.

    Animal rescue groups across the country say the economy is taking its toll on pets. Some have
    seen an increase in "foreclosure pets," animals that end up in shelters when families lose their
    homes. Others are reporting an increase in the number of pets euthanized for financial reasons.

    "I think the economy still is making an impact," Michele Whaley, director of the Pitt County Animal
    Shelter, said. "I get calls daily, (saying) 'Is there anybody that can help us with vaccines?' People
    cannot afford to take their pets yearly and get them vaccinated as they should."

    North Carolina law requires cats and dogs to be vaccinated for rabies when they reach 4 months
    old, and animals must be re-vaccinated every one to three years, depending on the type of
    vaccine used. Though Pitt County makes an effort to provide low-cost rabies vaccination clinics
    each year, Whaley has seen some owners surrender their pets to avoid the cost of the vaccination.

    To try to combat the problem, the shelter is planning free clinics in west Greenville, Stokes and
    other locations north of the Tar River. The first clinic is set for March 17 at the Little Willie Center
    on Fifth Street.

    "We want to target communities that need that extra help, that may not have the transportation to
    get to a vet or to get to us even when we've had rabies clinics in the past," Whaley said. "We're
    targeting the areas where (animal control) officers have had a lot of calls."

    The shelter received $10,000 in funding from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to
    Animals. Half the money will be used for shelter renovations, and $5,000 will fund free clinics to
    provide FVRCP vaccinations for cats, DHPP vaccinations for dogs and rabies vaccinations for
    both. Clinics also will provide information on spaying and neutering pets.

    "The people that should be coming to the clinic more than likely are not taking their pet for regular
    vet care," Whaley said.

    "We're hoping to vaccinate animals that are not normally vaccinated at all."

    Spay Today was seeking similar clients for its "Beat the Heat" promotion. Medical Director Betty
    Williams said the reduced-rate spaying offer has helped to bring in a number of animals that have
    not visited a veterinarian.

    The clinic, which has sterilized more than 16,000 animals since it opened in 2006, spayed 129 cats
    last February. With the reduced fees, it is on target to spay more than 300 this month; all available
    appointments have been booked.

    "To me this is a story right here, the response that we've gotten," Williams said. "The phone has
    not stopped ringing. Just that $30 difference has made a huge difference in the number of people
    that are bringing their cats to us."

    Spay Today has seen pet owners drive more than an hour to take advantage of the cheaper
    service, bringing as many as 10 cats for surgery.

    Many of the animals were past a year old, though cats can become pregnant as young as 4
    months old. One cat brought in for surgery has been birthing kittens for a decade.

    "This is a cat that's been having two to three litters a year for 10 years and now finally because it's
    $20, that's going to stop," Williams said. "It's just really amazed me that the money amount is that
    crucial to this decision that they're making."

    Due to the response, Spay Today is offering reduced-rate spaying and neutering for cats in March,
    although there is no grant funding to offset costs. The remainder of the $17,000 PetSmart grant
    will fund "Primp Your Pit," an August promotion that will offer reduced-rate spaying or neutering
    for pit bull terriers, a large number of which end up in animal shelters.

    "I think we're finally reaching our target," Williams said. "These are the people that have been not
    doing it because they couldn't. That's why we're here is to help those people who couldn't
    otherwise get the spay and neuter done for their animals."

    2012 Cooke Communications LLC - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    Beat the Heat!


    Click to Print Flyer

    For the month of February 2012, get your female cat spayed for just $20!

    You must mention "Beat The Heat" when making your appointment to get the $20 deal.

    To make an appointment, please call:
    252-321-8839

    We are hosting a Beat the Heat spay/neuter special throughout the month of February to spay female cats for just $20. We are trying to reach cat owners before their feline goes into heat and begins reproducing unwanted litters in our community, which arrive in the spring.

    Cats can have about three litters per year, so reaching people with female cats is very important. Take advantage of this great opportunity and bring your cat down to Spay Today!

    Spay Today Launches its Web Site

    Daily Reflector
    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    Spay Today, a nonprofit organization offering spaying and neutering for cats and dogs, announces the launch of its new website, www.SpayToday.net. The site creates a one-stop-solution for users to view and learn about their sterilization services.

    Spay Today spays and neuters domestic pets, as well as adoptable animals from the Pitt County Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, and other area shelters. Their goal is to reduce pet overpopulation.
    Spay Today has made it their mission to provide affordable spay and neuter services to dramatically reduce the number of animals that are euthanized.

    Since May 2006, Spay Today has assisted in controlling the pet population in eastern North Carolina by altering more than 14,000 cats and dogs.

    The new website features the history of the organization, photos of the staff and board of directors and a photo gallery of some of the animals they’ve altered. A list of services and pricing is included on the site.
    President Patricia Allison says that she hopes the new website will help people understand the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.

    “Many individuals assume that because they have an indoor pet, they do not need to have them sterilized. The truth is, there is always the chance of your pet escaping and having puppies or kittens as a result. Spaying and neutering also helps solve, or reduce, a lot of behavioral and health problems,” said Allison.

    Only 10 percent of the animals received by most shelters are spayed or neutered. Spay Today hopes that by providing a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, they can reduce this risk, save more animals and assist people needing a low-cost solution.

    Vice President Lara Batca envisions the website to be an effective extension of the organization to help with its growth and success.

    “We are currently open four days a week and sterilize around 30 animals each day,” Batca said. “We hope to eventually incorporate a transport program to rural areas in our region and expand our current building to accommodate more surgeries.”

    Help Us Stop Littering!


    Click to enlarge

    Announcing a new postcard in circulation since September 26, 2011 to raise awareness to spay or neuter your pet!

    Every year, thousands of cats and dogs are euthanized in our region due to overcrowded animal shelters. Since May 2006, Spay Today has helped control the pet population in Eastern North Carolina by altering over 13,000 cats and dogs. Help us stop littering! Spay or neuter your pet today!

    Postcard design donated by InTandem Inc.

    Programs Prevent Pet Euthanasia

    By: Kim Grizzard, The Daily Reflector
    Published:
    July 14, 2011

     

    When Stephen Zawistowski got his first dog 50 years ago, she was the only dog in the neighborhood that was spayed.

    “She had an incision that must have been a foot long and was sewn up with what looked like piano wire,” says Zawistowski, science adviser for the New York-based American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    It took years of campaigning to change thinking about sterilizing pets, but it has paid off. This year fewer than 4 million unwanted dogs and cats will be euthanized, down from as many as 20 million before 1970.

    The steep decline in the number of animals being euthanized each year comes even as the pet population has boomed. In 1970, there were about 62 million companion pets, and today there are about 170 million, Zawistowski said.

    There are several reasons: Aggressive adopt-a-pet campaigns are carried out every day in cities all over the country and breed rescues save many dogs. But animal experts believe spaying and neutering has played the biggest role in saving so many lives.

    “The face of animal control and animal sheltering is changing, slowly but surely,” Pitt County Animal Shelter Manager Michele Whaley said. “We're been very proactive (with adoptions), which I think is contributing directly to our numbers. But being aggressive and pushing spay/neuter initiatives is the only way we're going to get our (euthanization) numbers down.”

    The local animal shelter is among many shelters, private rescue or animal welfare organizations in the country that donate money, space or time to low-cost spay and neuter clinics. For the last five years, the county has provided operating space to Spay Today, a low-cost spay/neuter clinic located adjacent to the shelter on County Home Road.

    Opened in May 2006 with support from SPCA of Pitt County, Saving Graces 4 Felines and Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter, the clinic sterilized more than 4,000 animals last year. Spay Today — modeled after Asheville-based Humane Alliance, which has sterilized more than 265,000 animals in western North Carolina and has mentored 90 clinics nationwide — has sterilized 14,000 animals in the past six years.

    In that time, the number of animals being euthanized at the shelter has decreased from more than 3,200 to about 2,000 a year.

    Despite an increase in the county's human population, the numbers of animals taken into the shelter also has declined from a peak of more than 5,000 in 2006 to about 3,300 last year.

    “The 2010 intake numbers and animals euthanized were low,” said Linda Mazer, who serves on the board of directors for Spay Today. “(You can) look at the numbers yourself. They're fairly impressive.”

    Last year, Pitt County joined a growing number of animal shelters across the nation to require all shelter animals to be sterilized. The Pitt County Board of Commissioners voted in April 2010 to provide pet owners with a spay/neuter certificate that could be redeemed at Spay Today or at local veterinarians' offices.

    Just last week, the county took another step to encourage owners to have their pets spayed or neutered. Beginning July 1, owners reclaiming their pets at the shelter pay twice as much ($50 for a first offense) if those pets are unaltered.

    “There's been a lot of progress,” Mazer said. “In order to solve this, it's a full community effort.”

    Mazer credited Saving Graces 4 Felines' trap, neuter and release program for feral cats launched in 2002, with helping to decrease the number of cats that end up at the shelter.

    Betty Williams, medical director for Spay Today, said continuing efforts include providing financial assistance to low-income families who cannot afford the $40-$75 fees the clinic charges to spay or neuter pets. The clinic recently received a grant to help cover costs of the procedure for dogs, and there is some funding available for qualifying cat owners as well.

    In conjunction with its efforts to decrease pet euthanasia rates and increase adoptions, the county animal shelter is competing in the ASPCA Save More Lives $100,000 Challenge, which will award prize money to competing shelters that increase the number of animals they save. A kickoff event, “One Shelter-One Goal-Empty the Shelter Challenge,” is scheduled for Aug. 6.

    “Everyone is working very hard to make a difference,” Mazer said.

    “We're not attributing this entire drop (in euthanizations) to Spay Today, to just spay and neuter efforts,” she said. “We believe the whole community is doing something right here.”

    Staff writer Kim Grizzard contributed to this story. Contact her at 252-329-9578.

    “One Shelter-One Goal-Empty the Shelter Challenge,” is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the Pitt County Animal Shelter, 4550 County Home Road. For more information about spay/neuter financial assistance for qualifying low-income families, call 321-8839 or visit www.spaytoday.net

    (c) 2011 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    Al Clark: Miracle Pup Illustrates Need

    By: Al Clark,The Daily Reflector
    Published:
    March 20, 2011

    The story came out of Sulphur, Okla., earlier this month of an animal shelter's attempt to euthanize a puppy that later was found alive in a trash bin reserved for dead animals.

    The dog was found near the local shelter on a Friday and later that day was injected with two doses of a sedative, normally more than enough to kill it.

    But Saturday morning the pup “was prancing around. He heard me drive up, and he looked up and saw me,” the animal control officer said. “He was as healthy as he could be.”

    After word of the puppy's unlikely survival went viral, thousands of people from the United States and Canada reportedly offered to adopt it. The animal control officials said they never have seen so many people wanting to adopt an animal — an ironically wrenching postscript to a remarkably happy ending.

    That's because thousands and thousands of other pups, kittens, dogs and cats across the country are right now living their final hours, their chances of surviving tomorrow's date with euthanasia essentially zero. And in one of our society's great sadnesses, there are no thousands in line to adopt these lost animals.

    Here in Pitt County last week, 29 dogs and 37 cats came into the county animal shelter, said its director Michele Whaley. Of these, 18 dogs and 22 cats were put down. The week before, 38 dogs and 22 cats came in; 11 dogs and 14 cats were killed.

    Day in, day out, week in, week out, the numbers vary somewhat, but they don't stop. These animals at shelters here and everywhere continue to face backs consistently turned away from them, while one — just one — of all their staggering number became a national pick of the litter — one to live while thousands upon thousands died.

    While this story uplifts and then deflates us, all the news on this front is not so dire. Michele Whaley also told me this past week that the month of February was the local animal shelter's most successful month for finding homes for animals since the county took over shelter operations in July of 2002. Homes were found for 86 dogs and 17 cats during the month, she said. January also was a good month as 74 dogs and 24 cats were adopted from the shelter.

    At least some of this success can be attributed to the shelter's efforts with traditional and social media to get the word out about the animals that are available for adoption, Whaley said.

    Another continuing success story is the county's Spay Today clinic, which averages now 30 low-cost, spay and neuter operations daily, some 12,000 since the clinic opened in 2006, veterinarian Betty Williams said. The nonprofit clinic's goal is to eliminate euthanasia as a means of population control in local shelters.

    Williams said, however, that donations are a continuing need at the clinic, to help subsidize the operations for pets of those owners who might avoid them because of cost and also to expand the clinic's size to increase the overall number of operations it can perform.

    With the official arrival of spring today, the most active season for puppies and kittens will soon be here. There is no better time than this to add to the family an animal that otherwise faces a death sentence for the simple crime of having been born.

    Don't wait for another miracle to save it.

    (c) 2011 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    Low Cost Spay-Neuter Clinic At Max Capacity

    By: Al Clark,The Daily Reflector
    Published:
    June 6, 2010

    A local group that has been responsible for altering thousands of pets has found itself in a bit of a fix. There is too little room at Spay Today, a low-cost spay and neuter clinic that operates beside the Pitt County Animal Shelter. Eighty to 100 animals are sterilized each week in the 1,400-square-foot mobile unit.

    "We cannot do any more procedures than we are currently doing," said Dick Carney, a member of Spay Today's board of directors. "Unless we can grow the whole operation, we're going to max out at 25 animals a day, and that's not going to make a dent. Well, it's not going to make the dent we wanted to make."

    The nonprofit organization, which has spayed or neutered more than 6,000 cats and dogs since it opened in 2006, hopes to increase its numbers to 6,000 a year. The increase, in part, could come from a recent county mandate requiring all animals adopted from the animal shelter to be spayed or neutered. The Pitt County Board of Commissioners voted in April to change a shelter policy that provided pet owners with a spay/neuter certificate that could be redeemed at Spay Today or at local veterinarians' offices.

    Of nearly 900 dogs and cats adopted from the shelter last year, more than 40 percent were unaltered. But it is not just the number of animals leaving the shelter unaltered that has been a concern for Spay Today. It's the number of animals that never leave the shelter at all.

    Of the approximately 4,700 animals taken in at the shelter in 2009, more than 3,200 were euthanized. "Nine out of 10 folks walking the street don't realize how many animals never make it out of that shelter," Carney said. "Our motivation is to cut down that number, and this is the most proven way to do it."

    Across the country, campaigns to promote adoptions from shelters have done little to reverse the statistics. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 3 million to 4 million animals are euthanized each year in shelters, prompting veterinarian and Cornell University professor Janet M. Scarlett to label euthanasia the leading killer of pets.

    Although 135 million pets in America have homes, experts say adoption simply cannot keep pace with the birth rate. Spay Today Clinic Director Betty Williams said unaltered pets and their unaltered offspring reproduce exponentially, resulting in tens of thousands of animals in just a few years.

    "I like to compare it to the way the county handles rabies," Williams said. "Instead of waiting until the animals get rabies and then treating them, they put lots of money into preventing rabies from ever happening. It's a proactive policy.

    "With the overpopulation problem, it's the reverse," she said. "It's a reactive policy. The puppies and kittens are born, and then they get rid of them instead of preventing them from ever being born to begin with."

    Williams, founding veterinarian for Spay Today, estimates the group's efforts have prevented more than 36,000 births. While there is no way to determine how many of these pets might have ended up in the shelter, she said that if even 20 percent were housed there at the current processing cost of more than $100 per animal, then Spay Today has potentially saved the county about $800,000.

    Although the county provides the space for it to operate, Spay Today receives no county funding. It covers costs through spay/neuter fees, which range from $40-$95, as well as private donations. The organization needs to raise an estimated $100,000 to double its space by adding a second modular unit, plus pay for additional equipment.

    "A lot of people you talk to, say, 'Oh, yeah, we wish we could do something,'" said Patty Allison, president of Spay Today's board of directors. "This is the time to do it. We just can't do it by ourselves." Williams said the space that additional funding would provide would allow Spay Today to begin a transport program that could target low-income areas and neighborhoods with the highest number of animals relinquished to the shelter.

    Humane Alliance, an Asheville-based spay/neuter clinic that began in 1994, uses such a transport system to serve a 23-county area. The nationally recognized clinic sterilizes 23,000 animals a year and has been credited with a 70 percent reduction in the euthanasia rate at Asheville's animal shelter.

    Spay Today is among more than 70 clinics in 27 states that are part of Humane Alliance's National Spay Neuter Response Team program. Spay Today staff members received their training through Humane Alliance, which seeks to educate owners whose dogs traditionally have not received veterinary care.

    More than 60 percent of the dogs and cats that staff veterinarian Meghan MacKay sees at Spay Today have not visited a vet's office. Spay Today offers a limited number of other services, including heartworm testing, only on the day of the surgery. Owners are referred to area veterinarians' offices for continuing care.

    The majority of Spay Today's clients have not even had their state-mandated rabies shots, although the county offers low-cost rabies vaccination clinics twice a year. Some owners are unsettled by the idea of sterilizing their animals, mainly, MacKay said, due to misconceptions about the procedure. Some fear that it will change a pet's personality or cause it to become overweight. Both MacKay and Williams tout the health benefits of the surgery, which has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer in female dogs and the risk of feline AIDS in cats.

    Spaying and neutering also have been linked to decreased aggression and decreased roaming, Williams said, which makes pets less likely to be hit by cars. "It's just a matter of educating folks," Carney said. "Eventually, the problem (of pet overpopulation) would go away and fix itself rather than continuing to have to be fixed."

    (c) 2010 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

     

    Board Votes to Have All Shelter Animals Fixed

    The Daily Reflector
    Published April 20, 2010

    All animals from the county shelter will now be spayed or neutered before they leave with their new families following Monday action by Pitt County Board of Commissioners.
    Commissioners approved the mandate at the request of Michele Whaley, Pitt County animal control director, whose made the recommendation on behalf of the Animal Control Advisory Board.

    "I'm excited," Whaley said. "I think it is a big step and the right step for Pitt County. If we continue to put animals out there unaltered, we are just adding to the problem of overpopulation."

    Previously, those adopting shelter animals were encouraged to have animals spayed or neutered, but it was not a requirement. Families now will typically have to wait a day for the animal to be altered after it is adopted, Whaley said.

    The cost for adoption will not be changed and includes the cost of the spay or neuter operation. Adoption fees are $75 for dogs or puppies plus a $10 rabies vaccination. For cats and kittens, the fees are $50 plus the $10 rabies vaccination.

    Whaley said the program will help decrease the animal population of Pitt County, free up space at the shelter, lower the number of animals that must be put to sleep and ultimately save the county money.

    Forty-three percent of the 887 dogs and cats adopted in 2009 were unaltered when they left the shelter, according to data collected by animal control workers. Just less than one-third of the owners were contacted to see if their pets had been spayed or neutered. Twenty percent of the animals had been altered, the survey showed, and 5 percent had not been altered. About 15 percent of the animals were scheduled for surgery, according to the survey.

    Animal advocates support the spaying and neutering of shelter animals, saying it reduces the stray pet population.

    According to information in a memorandum sent to commissioners, the shelter has an agreement with the Spay Today clinic to ensure surgeries can be performed the next day or on Monday for weekend adoption.

    Also Monday, commissioners named Kimberly Hines as the new Pitt County clerk to the board. She will replace Trish Staton, who resigned in February.

    Hines was hired in 2001 as a deputy clerk and received both her associate of arts degree in business administration and associate of applied science in marketing/sales degree from Pitt Community College. She holds a certified municipal clerk (CMC) designation and is working toward the master municipal clerk (MMC) designation.

    The board also gave final approval to name the county recreation park on County Home Road in honor of Alice Keene, special projects coordinator for Pitt County Community Schools and Recreation.

    (c) 2010 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    Advocates Asking Board to Mandate Spaying, Neutering

    The Daily Reflector
    Published
    April 18, 2010

    Local animal advocates are asking the Pitt County Board of Commissioners to mandate spaying and neutering of all animals adopted from the county shelter.

    Michele Whaley, Pitt County animal control director, will present commissioners with a recommendation from the Animal Control Advisory Board at today's 6 p.m. meeting being held in the commissioners' auditorium at the county office building, 1717 W. Fifth St.

    While adoptees of shelter animals are encouraged to sterilize animals, it's not required. Forty-three percent of the 887 dogs and cats adopted in 2009 were unaltered when they left the shelter, according to data collected by animal control workers. Just under one-third of the owners were contacted to see if their pets had been spayed or neutered.
    Twenty percent of the animals had been altered, the survey showed, and 5 percent had not been altered. About 15 percent of the animals were scheduled for surgery, according to the survey. Animal advocates support the spaying and neutering of shelter animals, saying it reduces the stray pet population.

    According to information in a memorandum sent to commissioners,the shelter has an agreement with the Spay Today Clinic to ensure surgeries can be performed the next day or on Monday for weekend adoption.

    (c) 2010 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    PetSmart Grant

    Spay Today opened in May 2006 in response to the large numbers of animals entering, and dying in, the Pitt County Animal Shelter. It was originally developed by a dedicated coalition of animal advocates, which included SPCA of Pitt County and Saving Graces 4 Felines, with assistance from Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter.

    In January 2008 we received a $24,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to purchase equipment. Then, in the spring of that year, we received another PetSmart grant to subsidize staff training at the Humane Alliance clinic in Asheville, NC. Other contributions have come from Happy Jack Pet Products, Hoffman Haus Kennels, the Humane Society of the United States, and from the generosity of many individual donors. It is due to the ongoing generosity of our benefactors that we have been able to grow, and thrive.

    Starting with one veterinarian, one part-time assistant, and several volunteers, Spay Today now employees an Executive Director, a veterinarian, and a dedicated staff of six. Behind the scenes, and leading the way, is a very dynamic and committed Board of Directors.

    Many rescue groups use Spay Today as they work to reduce pet overpopulation in their communities. Included in these groups are Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter (Pitt Friends), the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, Saving Graces 4 Felines, Pamlico Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Greene County Animal Partners,Tarboro TNR, Friends of Rocky Mount Animals, Beaufort County Animal Control, Cats About Town, Moratok Humane Society, Carteret County Humane Society, Humane Society of Beaufort County, Onslow County Animal Control, Protecting Animals Worth Saving (P.A.W.S), Roanoke Chowan Humane Society, and VanTerra Animal Rescue.

    Expanded Services for Spay Today Could Help County Pet Overpopulation

    By Brock Letchworth, The Daily Reflector
    Published November 10, 2007

    A local veterinarian is hoping she can help Pitt County's pet overpopulation problem by expanding spay and neutering services.

    Dr. Betty Williams, director of the Pitt County Spay Today Spay/Neuter Clinic, said she hopes to be able to spay or neuter as many as 5,000 animals per year after county commissioners agreed Monday to a lease for more space at the clinic's current location beside the Pitt County Animal Shelter on County Home Road.

    Spay Today will be taking over the space previously occupied by Saving Graces 4 Felines, a nonprofit, no-kill shelter for cats. Saving Graces 4 Felines will continue to work out of PetSmart.

    The Spay Today clinic has performed more than 2,000 surgeries for pets owned by low-income families or animals adopted from the animal shelter since opening in May 2006, Williams said, but it has not been enough to help the overpopulation problem.

    "Up until now, we've been doing about eight or 10 animals a day," Williams said. "Our goal is to do 25 per day. Just doing eight or 10 a day is not going to solve any problems for the county or the region."

    Williams said statistics have shown an area with the population of Pitt County can cut down on the number of homeless animals and animals entering the shelter by performing 5,000 surgeries a year.

    Spay Today has been operating in a 700-square-foot building capable of housing only four dogs and six cats each day. Phil Dickerson, county engineer, estimated the new modular building it is moving into will give the clinic an additional 400 square feet to work with.

    "There is just not enough room for both entities so Spay Today is going to take over the building and it will allow them to do more," Dickerson said.

    Michele Whaley, director of the animal shelter, said there are about 4,500 animals euthanized in Pitt County each year at a cost of more than $400,000. The increased space will help cut down on those costs, Williams said.

    "It costs a whole lot less to spay or neuter them," Williams said. "You need to come in from the prevention side instead of just housing and killing them all of the time like we've been doing for the last 50 years or so."

    Brock Letchworth can be contacted at 329-9574 or bletchworth@coxnc.com.

    Veterinarian Michelle Cox performs a routine spay on an adult cat at Spay Today Spay/Neuter Clinic on County Home Road in Pitt County on Friday afternoon. Greg Eans/The Daily Reflector

    (c) 2007 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    Goodwill Glimmers at Animal Shelter

    By  Amanda Karr, The Daily Reflector
    Published April 30, 2007

    A boost in donations and adoptions in the past couple of weeks was welcome by local animal advocates, but the solution must ultimately be long-term, they say.

    A Daily Reflector story earlier this month described how crowded conditions at the Pitt County Animal Shelter results in euthanization of many animals there and the efforts of animal advocates to stop the cycle through spaying and neutering.

    "The first two days after that story hit we were busy in a good way," said Michele Whaley, director of the county animal shelter. "There were lots of adoptions. Now it's kind of settling down."

    But animals are still coming in. Twenty-nine new dogs - many of them puppies - arrived at the shelter Monday.
    "Spay and neuter is going to be the only eventual way," Whaley said.

    Marilyn Thompson, co-founder of Saving Graces 4 Felines, agreed. Saving Graces is a nonprofit organization established in 2002 that takes in unwanted cats. The organization traps, sterilizes and releases feral cats.

    "You cannot adopt out all the animals, you just can't. We decided we'd go this route to keep the unwanted births from happening," she said, referring to Spay Today, the spay and neuter clinic the organization helped launch last year.

    Owned by local veterinarian Betty Williams, the Spay Today Clinic offers low cost spay and neutering services to those with low incomes and also provides the service to animals adopted from the Pitt County Animal Shelter.

    Williams said the clinic experienced an increase in donations and people calling for appointments to have their animals spayed or neutered in the week after the newspaper article.

    Animal advocates hope that a less tangible benefit - awareness of the problem - has increased among the public.
    "People are talking about it, and that's a good thing," Whaley said.

    Some animals the shelter euthanizes are sick or injured, or were brought in because they bit a person. Others are killed because there aren't enough people willing to adopt them, Whaley explained.

    In 2005, 4,890 animals were brought to the shelter. About 60 percent were euthanized. The remainder were adopted or reclaimed by their owners, according to animal shelter statistics.

    "I hear people say 'I didn't realize how bad it was at the animal shelter,'" Williams said. "I think people should know."

    The number of euthanizations has fluctuated between 2002 and 2005, ranging between 2,917 to 3,232 animals killed each year. Animal advocates believe that number will drop as more animals are spayed and neutered. "If we can keep (Spay Today) going, I think every year you'll see better numbers on the kill side," Thompson said.

    The clinic, however, runs entirely on donations, which places it on shaky financial footing. Williams said she valued the recent donations. She hopes to hear back soon on her application for the clinic to become a nonprofit, which she hopes will help her obtain grant money. In the meantime, Whaley said the warm weather seems to encourage people to adopt, but she expects a typical mid-summer slump as people leave town on vacation.

    Pitt County Animal Shelter
    Contact information:
    4550 County Home Road
    902-1725

    Adoption Hours:
    Monday to Friday, 1-5:30 p.m.
    Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    To see pets up for adoption:
    www.pittcoanimalshelter.petfinder.com

    Spay Today
    Contact information:
    4550B County Home Road
    321-8839
    Hours:
    Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m.
    Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    To make a tax-deductible donation:
    Make checks out to: "Spay Today Fund"
    Mail to: P.O. Box 4307, Greenville, NC 27836
    Amanda Karr can be contacted at akarr@coxnc.com and 329-9574.

    (c) 2007 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    Editorial: Help them - Pitt Shelter Faces Overwhelming Burden

    The Daily Reflector
    Published April 15, 2007

    Spring might be called "puppy" season. It's a time when those animals close to us - dogs and cats - begin to have litters in increasing numbers. One result is an irresistible face with big eyes and floppy ears; another result is abandonment, sickness and death. It can be the best or worst of times for these animals and for those assigned to manage them.

    Pitt County's animal shelter, a 58-kennel, county-owned facility, shoulders much of that burden in this community. It takes in stray animals found abandoned by the road. It takes almost as many from owners who because they are moving or for some other reason say they can no longer keep the animals.

    That might not be such a bad thing except there is no room at the shelter to house and feed so many. As a result, many are put down.

    As reported in The Daily Reflector this past week, the Pitt County shelter euthanized approximately 1,900 animals between July 2006 and March of this year. About half the dogs brought in to the shelter met this fate. Nearly 75 percent of the cats were killed.

    Nationally, between three and four million dogs and cats are euthanized by the country's four to six thousand shelters each year - about the same number adopted from these shelters.

    The numbers are astounding. And perplexing to those who are closely drawn to the animals but also must make the decision on which ones live and which die.

    Pitt's animal shelter, though it was expanded recently, can only do so much to handle this volume. Its facilities are such that euthanasia must be performed at the doomed dog's kennel since there are no other rooms available.

    But even a larger facility would not deal with the real problem: unwanted animals. Shelter personnel say that many animals are simply not adoptable because of temperament or other factors; others often become this way after being caged for several months.

    The best hope for these animals remains in spay and neuter clinics. Locally, the Spay Today clinic opened adjacent to the shelter about a year ago and in its first year performed surgeries on 419 dogs and 548 cats. Consider that one cat could have as many as three litters of six kittens a year, and one dog could produce two litters of up to 10 puppies - it's clear the clinic saved countless animals in Pitt County in the last year.

    Unfortunately this clinic continues to struggle financially. Its fees are low since it handles all surgeries on animals adopted from the shelter, and it also performs surgeries on animals whose owners qualify as low-income.

    The clinic depends on this revenue along with donations to keep going and volunteers to help out. It also operates in a building leased for $1 from the county to a local group, Saving Graces for Felines. Organizers hope to change its status to that of a separate nonprofit organization which would enable it to apply for grant funding.

    But absent these income sources, the clinic could fail. This would be a calamity for a community like this one, a community accustomed to being part of solutions, not just problems.

    Keep this in mind the next time your eye is attracted to the cute puppy in a back yard nearby or to the sad stray who died a tortured death on the highway. There are ways to help; the time to do so is now.

    (c) 2007 Cooke Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    Al Clark: Although the image shocked, in the end, it will help the animals

    By Al Clark, The Daily Reflector
    Published April 15, 2007

    Sitting alone to ponder an issue is a good thing, but it often leads only to the next thing - or maybe a snack. But conversation, even, or especially, if heated, can lead to action.

    The newspaper and its readers had such a talk this past week in the form of e-mail exchanges, phone calls and comments on Reflector.com. The exchange was sometimes strident, but generally civil and on point, although a few misconceptions remain. But good has already come of it.

    I am speaking of the dogs and cats of the Pitt County Animal Shelter on whose behalf the newspaper wrote last Tuesday.

    The package in the newspaper and on our Web site included two stories and several pictures, including one well composed and provocative photo of a dog in the early stages of euthanasia.

    We received quite a few e-mail messages about this package. At last count there were more than 40 comments attached to the story on Reflector.com. The majority of the comments were positive, while about all of the negative comment focused on the picture, which ran large across the top of our Local & State page.

    Here is a sampling of some of the comments we received, either through e-mail or at Reflector.com:

    - Kudos to you for the story and the picture that certainly told quite a story.

    - I understand the importance of educating people about this issue, but I think another method would have been more appropriate.

    - I would like to see your article (and picture) printed in every paper in the country.

    - The shock tactic is effective and equally deplorable.

    - Would you also unscrupulously show a photo of a human corpse, without a warning of graphic content?

    - I think anyone who has negative comments to make should go to the shelter and volunteer a couple hours ...

    A few writers suggested that the photo was staged. This is one of the misconceptions I mentioned. The picture was taken as shelter workers carried out the euthanasia procedure at the kennel where the dog was kept. There is no separate area at the shelter for this process - something perhaps not made clear in our package and misunderstood by some readers. But the scene was exactly as our reporter and photographer found it.

    Was the picture in good taste?

    Editors work hard to weigh all sides in situations like this, but always forefront in their minds is the news, the issue itself. What really is the story? While the picture was disturbing, the consensus here was that it best illustrated this heart-wrenching subject. It did so in an unsettling way, but it hardly was as graphic as what can be seen many days along our highways - we could have shot that picture instead.

    We also considered at length whether to put the package on the newspaper's front page. Instead, we opted for the front of the second section to allow for some warning before the image hit the breakfast table.

    In the end, though this reality is harsh, I believe it's better to know it, and see it, than not. And in this story, the picture carried the emotional power its words could not - the power to move people, perhaps to complain but also to volunteer, donate or have their pet neutered.

    Those are the results that matter. Anecdotal indicators this week suggest there is increased activity at the shelter and at some veterinarian's offices, while we have received reports of people planning to donate to the Spay Today Clinic after seeing the stories.

    That's the important thing, regardless of what you think about the newspaper, its pictures, stories or editors. I hope as this conversation ends that everyone's focus returns to where it should be - on the shelter and its animals, our animals.

    (c) 2007 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    Clinic Struggles to Make Ends Meet

    By Amanda Karr, The Daily Reflector
    Published April 10, 2007

    The new Spay Today Clinic has played its part in reducing unwanted dog and cat births, but is still struggling to get on firm financial footing. The clinic opened about a year ago in a building next to the Pitt County Animal Shelter and offers spay and neuter services for animals adopted from the shelter and for pets owned by people with low incomes.

    In its first year, 419 dogs, 548 pet cats and 212 feral cats underwent the surgeries at the clinic as operator and veterinarian Betty Williams watched costs. "This past year, we've just been squeaking by," she said. "We need to hire more assistants to be able to make a bigger difference."

    Donations and revenue from the operations are the clinic's only source of income. Volunteers also help out, and the clinic operates out of part of a building leased for $1 from the county by Saving Graces for Felines.

    "We need funds. Because our prices are so low, it's hard to keep going without donations," Williams said. Williams has applied to have the clinic declared a separate nonprofit organization and hopes she'll then be able to get grant money to help fund the clinic. She and others are dedicated to keeping the clinic running because of its importance.
    "Locally, there are so many unwanted animals," she said. "Being here every day and watching what happens at the shelter is heartbreaking. So many beautiful cats and dogs are being killed over there."

    Michele Whaley, director of the shelter, agreed. "The only way we're ever going to stop this cycle is to spay and neuter," she said.

    All of the animals adopted out of the shelter are spayed and neutered at the clinic or the new pet owners are given a voucher to return and have the procedure done at a later date.

    "We need that clinic desperately," Whaley said. "If they don't (stay) we're back to the same thing with not even being able to play a part in the solution." Whaley and Williams are optimistic the clinic will ultimately make a difference in the county's pet population. "You're not going to see a dent in the first year, but maybe in five years," Whaley said.

    (c) 2007 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    People and Their Pets: Locals work to make animals a focal point

    By Kim Grizzard, The Daily Reflector
    Published February 25, 2007

    Greenville is going to the dogs (and cats). Like other communities across the country, the city is planning its first off-leash dog park. The nearly 3-acre park would be near the South Tar River Greenway.

    While a proposed dog park will not fetch Greenville a top spot in AAA's dog-friendliest cities list, it is a sign of that pets are making progress.

    The area is home to several animal welfare agencies, including the N.C. Department of Agriculture's first licensed and regulated shelter for cats infected with feline leukemia virus. Marley Fund, founded in 2001, is the only nonprofit organization in the country dedicated to sheltering animals with feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses.

    Marley Fund focuses its efforts on testing and public awareness, in part through marketing of the Marley Calendar, a FeLV/FIV educational publication that features pictures of cats selected from submissions from 15 states and two foreign countries.

    Also promoting cat welfare is Saving Graces 4 Felines, founded in 2002. SG4F, a volunteer, nonprofit cat-rescue and adoption organization, opened its adoption center as well as the Spay Today clinic with veterinarian Betty Williams in 2006. The clinic offers reduced cost spay and neuter services for low-income pet owners and for animals adopted from the Pitt County Animal Shelter.

    The shelter, which began operating as a county agency in 2002, expanded in 2005 and can now house 58 dogs and 24 cats and has a dozen areas for puppies. The shelter's efforts to promote animal adoption - including foster agency Pitt Friends and the New Leash on Life program, which pairs an inmate with a dog for eight weeks of obedience training and socialization - helped shelter employee Elizabeth Shirley win a national award from Pedigree dog food company earlier this year.

    The newly named Humane Society of Eastern Carolina is likely Pitt County's oldest animal welfare agency. Formerly named the Pitt County Humane Society, it was organized in the late 1920s to serve as a haven for homeless and neglected pets. The group works to educate owners about animal welfare issues and to promote animal adoption.

    (c) 2007 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top

    Clinic Works to Reduce Pet Euthanasia

    By Jennifer White, The Daily Reflector
    Published April 20, 2006

    Four-month-old Max was still groggy 90 minutes after being neutered Wednesday. The pit bull mix didn't need a fancy house to recuperate. A cardboard box in the new Spay Today Clinic provided the perfect nap time retreat for the pup, who is waiting to be adopted.

    Spay Today allows low-income families to have their pets neutered or spayed for a nominal fee. The clinic opened March 30 and is supported by Saving Graces for Felines, a nonprofit organization that helps find homes for stray, abandoned and undomesticated cats.

    Saving Graces and the clinic operate out of a new modular facility at 4550 County Home Road across from the Pitt County Animal Shelter.

    Until the facility opened in March, Saving Graces ran for nearly four years out of private homes and did adoptions at PetSmart, co-founder Marilyn Smith said. Even then the organization provided low-cost sterilization services through partnerships with local veterinary clinics.

    Saving Graces has adopted out about 2,200 cats and sterilized about 2,500, Smith said. Once a permanent facility was purchased, the organization decided to open its own spay clinic.

    "We're never going to adopt our way out of this mess in Pitt County," Smith said. "I'd rather do something proactive on the front end of things and try to lessen the burden of the unwanted cats and dogs."

    Families that meet low-income standards as determined by the Pitt County Department of Social Services can get a cat sterilized and vaccinated against rabies for $35. The same services cost $50 for a dog. Smith said that Spay Today does not offer a full range of veterinary services and is not intended to be a pet's primary clinic. The clinic will only treat a pet once and relies on private donations to supplement the cost of treating the animals.

    Smith said that the Pitt County Animal Shelter had to euthanize about 3,600 cats and dogs between July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2005. She said the clinic has an agreement with the shelter to sterilize animals there prior to them being adopted.

    "It's heartbreaking to see all the animals that are euthanized here," said Betty Williams, the clinic's veterinarian. "It means a lot to me to try to help these animals."

    Saving Graces and Spay Today received some initial funding from Friends of the Pitt County Animal Shelter. The local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also donated money. Since then, Spay Today has benefited from an Eagle Scout project to sell specialized bricks to honor or memorialize a pet. The bricks cost between $75 and $5,000 and will pave the facility's new sidewalk.

    "If we failed, the worst thing that would have happened is that we spayed and neutered a lot of cats and dogs," Smith said. "We're going to do everything in our means to make it work."

    (c) 2006 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - The Daily Reflector

    Return to Top










    © 2017 Spay Today, Inc. | 4550-B County Home Road | Greenville, NC 27858 | 252.321.8839