GUELPH, ON (January 7, 2021) – The GUELPH HUMANE SOCIETY (GHS) is pleased to report that 151 pets in the City of Guelph, Guelph Eramosa, and Centre Wellington Township received a low-cost spay or neuter over the last year thanks to a grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada.
Announced in early 2019, the purpose of the $61,562 grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada was to provide 150 subsidized spay and neuter surgeries along with necessary vaccinations, medication and microchips for owned pets belonging to under-resourced people and rural communities. This grant supported a partnership between GHS, the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), and Community Veterinary Outreach, a charity that provides free preventive veterinary care for pets whose owners are homeless or who are vulnerably-housed.
“This collaboration was really the first of its kind in our community,” says Lisa Veit, Associate Director at GHS. “Previously there have been very limited local low-cost spay neuter options available for pet owners who need it the most. And we received really great feedback from those who were able to participate in this program.”
A series of clinics were held from fall 2019 through fall 2020, adapting along the way to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions, with a focus on two specific groups: barn cats, whose owners recognize the overpopulation problem but cannot afford multiple spay/neuter surgeries, and the cats and dogs of Community Veterinary Outreach clients.
One of those clients, a single mother with two mentally ill children, says she can’t always afford to get her kids what they need.
“One of the big things that was suggested for both girls was to have a dog so that they would have something to comfort them,” says this mother, who wishes to remain anonymous. “We were blessed with a friend offering us a puppy that we could have and take care of, and the girls could train and learn how to get along with. But paying for vet bills and surgeries was far beyond my abilities.”
Through Community Veterinary Outreach and this unique partnership, this mother was able to access veterinary care. By taking care of her puppy, she says this program also helped to take care of her girls – providing them with an “amazing therapeutic opportunity.”
PetSmart Charities of Canada is pleased to have helped make this program possible for pets in Guelph and surrounding communities.
“This truly unique initiative was a success thanks to its collaborative nature,” said Dani LaGiglia, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities of Canada. “We are proud to have supported this work which provided critical resources to families across the Guelph region – especially during the uncertainty of the pandemic.”
While the low-cost spay/neuter program has now come to an end, the partners in this pilot project hope the success of these clinics will lead to a sustainable and long-term low-cost spay/neuter program in the future.
About the Guelph Humane Society
The Guelph Humane Society advocates for all animals, and in particular those animals whose lives it can influence, through care, education, community support, protection, and leadership. Founded in 1893, the Guelph Humane Society provides care and shelter for approximately 3,000 homeless, stray, injured and abused animals each year in Guelph and Wellington County. GHS is a registered charitable, non-profit organization that does not receive government funding. Visit www.guelphhumane.ca to discover more.
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Guelph Humane Society