Editorial: Donations needed for sterilization program | Editorials

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Kingsport has a process in place to reduce its domestic and feral cat and dog population, and at $ 2,300 per month, it’s relatively inexpensive. A local company, Zombie Kat Apparel, has come together to fund a month of sterilization and sterilization services at PETWORKS Animal Services in the hope that the donation inspires others to do the same.

Whether a dozen contributors come forward each year to share the recognition that such a donation brings, or whether a single contributor funds the entire year at just under $ 30,000 and gets all the glory, this service is needed. .

It should be funded by the government. The full package of animal control services is a legitimate government expense for any area, but is often left to voluntary agencies because the government shies away from this responsibility as much as it can.

The Town of Kingsport has not waived this duty. The city has invested a lot of money in the creation of PETWORKS, which opened its 17,000 square feet at 3101 E. Stone Drive last October. It includes an operating room dedicated to the sterilization and sterilization of animals. However, the shelter needs a dedicated funding stream for a veterinarian and staff to come twice a month to perform the procedures.

“We know there is an overabundance of puppies and kittens. We see this constantly with people arriving (at PETWORKS) with cardboard boxes of kittens and laundry baskets with puppies, ”said John Wyatt, owner of Zombie Kat Apparel. “There is a common thread. Unsterilized or sterilized animals will produce litter after litter. This overloads the shelters and there is not enough housing for everyone.

Wyatt, a long-time volunteer at PETWORKS, said he is launching a fundraising campaign called Pawz for Great Cause that will run until the end of the year to raise enough money to fund monthly services. sterilization and sterilization in the new refuge.

A donation of $ 2,300 would do just that. Internal adoptions would be the main beneficiary of this service. Then, as the space opens up, people could bring in a voucher for sterilization and sterilization services from the Sullivan County Humane Society.

“It’s a lot of money to take out of budget,” Wyatt said. “It’s important that we help fund the program because PETWORKS has done the heavy lifting. My goal is just to help fund this.

In addition to funding the sterilization and sterilization program, Wyatt said he had two other goals for his fundraising: to raise community awareness that people need to sterilize and neuter their pets, and to increase community participation. , with local businesses organizing special events. to raise money for the program.

And if you can’t afford the $ 2,300 donation, you can make smaller amounts, Wyatt said, like $ 1,150 for a day of service or even $ 288 to fund an hour of the staff’s time and effort. veterinary.

At this point, PETWORKS is capable of performing five to six sterilizations and sterilizations per day, but would like to see that number increase to 25 or 30 as the medical staff improve their skills.

“We’ve tried to approach this issue from behind for so long – getting pets up for adoption and getting them into a house. Now we would like to try a different approach, ”Wyatt said. “Spaying and neutering dogs and cats shortens adoption time, speeds up the process, and prevents the continuous cycle of pregnancy and litter deposit, not only at PETWORKS but at other shelters and vets. “

You can help by donating to the PETWORKS facility. For more information, call (423) 247-1671.

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