The Lakes Animal Friendship Society (LAFS) has partnered with the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation to deliver year-round spaying and neutering for low-income families.
The alliance with the Maple Ridge-based Paws for Hope means the SpayAidBC program will be available for pet owners in the Burns Lake region, as Alistair Schroff, one of the founders of LAFS told Lakes District News.
“We were looking for a way to stretch our own spaying and neutering funds and also make administration easier. So we contacted Paws for Hope and offered to contribute funds to SpayAidBC specifically in support of families from the Burns Lake area. There was no hesitation and we soon had a great agreement worked out,” Schroff explained.
“Eligible families contribute $50 per pet, the participating veterinary clinic donates 1/3 of the cost of services and Paws for Hope covers the rest from their donor funds.”
LAFS will contribute $5,000 to the new program and Paws for Hope has matched that amount.
The agreement with the foundation covers the area from Endako to Topley, including the Southside and Granisle.
SpayAidBC covers all of the province, but the LAFS partnership project budget includes only applicants in the those areas.
The Burns Lake Veterinary Clinic and Vet to Pet Mobile in Houston will be the main partners for this region.
Vet to Pet set up its mobile unit at the Burns Lake Library in June and provided spay and neutering services to dozens of local animals.
The clinic services offered to pet owners have helped bring the animal population in the Burns Lake are under control, said Schroff.
“We are trying to shift to just ongoing ‘maintenance’ administered by SpayAidBC. The maintenance is critical as if we stopped we would be back to the bad old days within three years.”
Before 2012, numbers of animals impounded by Village of Burns Lake crews were higher than 100 at times and most were unclaimed. As many as 200 animals were surrendered to shelters as well.
But since spay/neuter efforts ramped up those numbers are much lower.
“We have spayed and neutered over 1,300 animals since 2011. We plan on spaying and neutering 80 to 120 animals per year to maintain the pet population,” Schroff said.
Families can apply online for spaying and neutering at http://www.pawsforhope.org/spayaid-funding-application or at https://www.lakesanimalfriendship.ca/what-we-do/spay-neuter-programs/
Applicants must provide proof of income and if they have children they should include their Universal Child Benefits statement.