Operation Spay Neuter Works to Prevent Pet Overpopulation in Butler County
Dec 01, 2014 10:32AM ● Published by Veronica Tucker
The negative side of this coin is that only 20 percent of these animals find a lifelong home with humans, which leads to surplus animals overburdening adoption shelters or being euthanized. This information is known all too well by those at Operation Spay Neuter, Inc. in Butler County, whose mission is to alleviate suffering and improve the welfare of cats and dogs by reducing overpopulation through spay/neuter programs and by educating the public about the impact of overpopulation on the environment and the community.
“In 2005, four animal lovers got together and saw the need for low-cost spay/neuter programs for low-income families with pets,” explained Chris Kachmar, a volunteer with the organization since 2008. “Operation Spay Neuter was born. It experienced a slow start, but as word spread and more volunteers joined the cause, things moved along. The rest is history.”
Operation Spay Neuter partners with private veterinarians in the Butler County area to address the fact that overpopulation is the #1 problem for pets in America. “Vets throughout the area are contacted every couple of years, asking them for reduced price quotes for spay and neuter surgeries,” said Kachmar. “Those who respond in a price range that can be funded through Operation Spay Neuter become partner vets, and we currently have six to seven of these.”
Animal Friends also serves as a major partner, allowing Operation Spay Neuter to use their state-of-the-art surgical mobile unit for their cat spay/neuter clinics twice a month. Dogs are spayed and neutered at the offices of the veterinarians performing the surgeries.
For those interested in seeking Operation Spay Neuter’s help in sterilizing their pets, the best way to contact the organization is via phone or email. “Cost is determined based on a client’s income using government poverty level information,” explained Kachmar. “If someone is on food stamps or medical assistance, they automatically qualify. Once approved, costs are significantly less than if someone simply went to a veterinarian’s office. Multiple factors are taken into consideration including the size of a family, the number of pets and more.”
This program would not be possible without the help of volunteers, local veterinarians and community support. Fundraising is a vital part of Operation Spay Neuter. “We raise funds as well as educate the public at community events throughout the year, and we are at pet stores, Wal-Mart, and other events where we sell dog coats, cat and dog treats and more,” said Kachmar. “We also receive grants here and there.”
As a completely volunteer-based organization, Operation Spay Neuter has about 30 volunteers, with 12 to 15 forming the backbone of the organization. But it clearly doesn’t take a large number of people to make a huge difference. “Last year, we subsidized a little over 1,000 surgeries,” said Kachmar. “This turns into thousands and thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens not being born. Our goal is to have no more unwanted or homeless litters being born to dogs and cats in our community.”
For more information on Operation Spay Neuter or to donate or volunteer, visit www.operationspayneuter.org or call 724-287-SPAY. Donations can also be mailed to the organization at P.O. Box 1604, Butler, PA 16003.