BANGOR — Because of several local community partnerships, the Bangor Humane Society is raising awareness about the importance of spaying or neutering pets.
And because of the generosity of a bequest given by the late Louise Gardner of Stockton Springs, $50,000 has been donated to the society’s Spay/Neuter Program.
“Louise Gardner was passionate about animals,” said Stacey Coventry, marketing director at Bangor Humane Society. Gardner’s bequest is earmarked for the society’s spay-neuter initiative. “It was really nice that she chose us. We couldn’t do what we do without generous donors,” Coventry said.
Currently, the society’s spay-neuter voucher program is available to anyone who receives or is eligible for food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability or MaineCare.
Individuals who wish to take advantage of the program must visit the shelter in person with photo ID and proof of assistance. They must complete an application to receive a voucher that can be used at participating veterinary practices. For an average co-pay of $25 for cats and $35 for dogs (cost varies for male and female pets), their pets can be spayed or neutered. The voucher also will provide $15 toward necessary vaccinations.
Grant funds from several foundations received by the society will cover the remaining cost, Coventry said. For information about the program, call 942-8902.
“We all can play a part,” Coventry said. “If you have a pet, have it spayed or neutered, or make a donation to the Bangor Humane Society spay-neuter program. If we care about our pets, we must make sure we aren’t contributing to the pet overpopulation problem.”
“The increased availability of spay-neuter [funds] will help to reduce the number of unwanted litters surrendered to animal shelters,” said Suzan Bell, executive director of the Bangor Humane Society.
Last year the shelter accepted 4,500 owner-surrendered and stray animals. Many of the dogs, and most of the cats, would not have arrived at the shelter at all if there was a low-cost way for pet owners to have their pets sterilized. In fact, Bell said, many cats arrived at the shelter pregnant or with a litter of kittens.
Community members who would like to support spay-neuter initiatives at the humane society can help by supporting a Facebook campaign launched by Veazie Veterinary Clinic. For every 35 new Facebook “likes,” the clinic will neuter a cat from the Bangor Humane Society. For every 75 new Facebook “likes,” the clinic will spay a cat from the Bangor Humane Society. Tallying will end Monday, April 1.
“We’re a long-standing supporter of Bangor Humane Society and we’re always looking for ways to help,” said Dr. David Cloutier, owner of Veazie Veterinary Clinic. “It’s a way to give back and the humane society has a fair amount of spaying and neutering that needs to be done.”
Cloutier said that within 48 hours more than 650 “likes” were logged at the clinic’s Facebook page, which translates to more than 25 cats that will be spayed or neutered before the April 1 deadline. Dr. Julie Keene and Dr. Michael McCaw , who work at the clinic, also are big supporters of humane society and always willing to jump in and help, Cloutier said.
“We donate our time to spay and neuter, and our staff enthusiastically welcomes doing this. It’s always heartwarming to me because we do things like this regularly,” Cloutier said.
Search for Veazie Veterinary Clinic on Facebook and click on Like in order to benefit the Bangor Humane Society. Ask friends and family do the same. The Facebook page also offers information posted every day for pet owners.
Bangor Humane Society requires cats and kittens to be spayed or neutered before going to adoptive homes. Each year the humane society finds homes for approximately 4,700 homeless animals that are lost, strayed or abandoned.
Those who are seeking a new furry friend are urged to support spaying and neutering by choosing to adopt a pet from a local shelter. Also, shelters’ adoption fees helps offset the spay-neuter costs for other dogs and cats awaiting adoption at the Bangor Humane Society.
The society will run special adoption promotions through March.
For information, call the shelter at 942-8902, visit www.bangorhumane.org, or find it at www.facebook.com/bangorhumane.