With new option, owners ‘can’ afford to spay, neuter pets

Published 7:41 am Tuesday, September 23, 2014

East Tennessee Spay and Neuter helps hundreds of families and pets each month, and now the agency is offering another low-cost option for families who need to get their pets spayed or neutered.
During October, anyone who brings in two 30-gallon bags of crushed aluminum cans can qualify for a $17 spay or neuter surgery with a rabies vaccination. The only stipulation is that family income must be below $25,000 per year.
ETSN Executive Director Danika Nadzan said the opportunity provided clients with a chance for assistance and benefited ETSN as well. She said many of the ETSN clients have expressed a desire to help the agency but are unable to do so because they are usually low-income families.
“Many of the people we help with spay-neuter vouchers or pet food pantry are living on a very low income and this is a way for them to contribute to the programs without any cost to them,” she said. “Most of the people we’ve helped are very grateful and have said they’d like to return the favor. This program allows them to help us keep the programs going. All the money from recycling the cans goes right back into the spay-neuter or pet food pantry funds.”
To qualify for the lower cost spay or neuter surgery, pet owners would need to bring in two 30-gallon trash bags filled with completely empty crushed aluminum cans. Nadzan asks that all leftover liquids be removed from the cans and that the cans not be filled with dirt, stones, sand or other items.
“That may sound like a lot of cans, but people can ask their friends, neighbors or folks at church and work to help save them,” Nadzan said. “In exchange for the cans, pet owners get spay-neuter surgery, rabies shot, and after-surgery pain medication for just $17 total, whether it’s a 100-pound dog or a 4-pound cat, male or female – it doesn’t matter. I don’t know anywhere else in the area where you can get that kind of deal.”
Nadzan said the promotion is scheduled to run through October and possibly into November, as long as funds are available. She suggested that interested people sign up early because it is a “first-come, first serve” offer. However, if funding is available, the promotion could become a regular offering.
“If we can get a steady stream of aluminum cans coming in, and our other fundraisers do well, I think we could run it at least twice a year, and maybe every quarter,” she said. “As with so many other things, it depends on the available money. We want to get as many pets spayed or neutered as possible, keep the spay-neuter and pet food pantry funds healthy, and keep those cans off the street and out of the landfill.”
She suggested pet owners with multiple pets to be spayed or neutered contact ETSN at 289-5548 or etnspay-neuter@hotmail.com.

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