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franklin county times

NASANA offers low-cost spay, neuter

Northwest Alabama Spay And Neuter Assistance, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help improve the lives of animals in Northwest Alabama by providing spay/neuter assistance to some residents of Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin counties, recently received a $2,500 grant from the Petco Foundation to help fund spay procedures for large female dogs, and The St. Francis Project at Trinity Episcopal Church awarded $1,750 to NASANA to help fund spay procedures for non-feral female cats.

NASANA President Pat Maguire said she and her board and volunteers feel strongly that “until

more of the animals get fixed, there will not be any alleviation of the thousands of animals brought into the three shelters in our service area every year.”

“I spent several years both volunteering at the Florence shelter and fostering animals. It became clear that while it’s great to save one, if you fix one, you are saving thousands,” Maguire pointed out. “One unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 in seven years, and one unspayed female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 in six years.”

NASANA has chosen to focus their support efforts on those who receive food stamps or Medicaid, targeting these populations to promote spay/neuter procedures.

“We have a way of verifying that they are on those programs more easily than having to come up with proof of income or something,” Maguire explained. “There are many people who really love their animals and know that they need to get them fixed – not only because of reproduction but also because of the health benefits – but it’s not cheap, and people who have low, fixed incomes just have a hard time coming up with the funds to have it done. And, in turn, that’s what gets a lot of them in deeper trouble, because before you know it, they’ve had kittens or puppies, and then they have those to contend with, also.”

Maguire said people approved for assistance through NASANA pay a $20 copay for spay or neuter procedures.

“We also ask that if the animal is not up-to-date on rabies vaccinations, that they get that done when we send them to one of the vets that we use, and they pay the vet for that,” Maguire said. “We have vets in each county that we work with, and we make the appointments, and they send the bills to us.”

NASANA has been operating since December 2014 and has been accepting applications since April 2015 – during which time, Maguire said, they have provided spay/neuter services for 200 animals.

Anyone who receives either food stamps or Medicaid could qualify to have their animal fixed for $20.  Visit www.nasana.org or call 256-415-5499 for more information.