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In late 2013, Friends of Ashe County Animals (a division of Fabulous McGrady and Friends Foundation) gave a $1000 grant to Ashe Humane Society (Ashe County NC, the county shelter from which McGrady originally came) for a campaign called “The $5 Fix”.    In this initiative, AHS’s already low-cost spay/neuter vouchers were brought down to $5 for those in most financial need.

Why do low-cost spay/neuter vouchers need to be made even cheaper, you ask?

The economies of many rural Carolinas counties (and other regions of the US) have traditionally been heavily dependent on textiles and other manufacturing jobs.  In the past 20 years, there has been an ever-increasing trend of these jobs moving overseas, resulting in substantial unemployment or replacement of those jobs with others that do not pay nearly as well.  When a family finds themselves in this position, they may very much want to spay/neuter their pet.  However, limited finances may make them have to chose between a $30-60 spay/neuter voucher and their child’s asthma inhaler, their power/heating bill or groceries for that week.   Also, because spay/neuter is not always on the forefront of many peoples’ minds until there is an unwanted litter, AHS and FACA wanted to have a price point that brought the issue front and center in peoples’ thinking as the number of vouchers at this great price were limited (ie, “get it done now while vouchers at this price last”).

How many pets were “fixed” in this campaign?

25 dogs and 20 cats.  This may not sound like much but calculate out how many offspring each of these animals could’ve had over time and it does make a difference.

Why is this important?

Having worked in Australian Shepherd rescue for many years, this author realizes that it is impossible to “rescue one’s way” out of the situation of too many homeless animals.   The ONLY way to cut down on the number of homeless animals in rural animal shelters is to support spay/neuter efforts.  If one female dog can have a litter of 8-12 pups at a time, spaying that one dog will prevent up to 12 (or more) unwanted dogs from being born—12 less dogs that will need rescue.  Over time, this also will help in other ways.  Less unwanted animals coming into rural shelters also cuts down on costs to the community at large as there are less unwanted animals being housed in county shelters.

 5DollarFixAshe

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