Loose change tossed into donation boxes at PetSmart stores across the country may not make much difference in the moment.
But that money translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars that help shelters stay true to their missions - serving animals and making sure they go to good homes.
PAWS Humane, a local nonprofit animal shelter and animal welfare resource, was awarded a $36,891 grant from PetSmart Charities, which the group says it will use to fuel its spay and neuter efforts.
“We are very grateful to PetSmart Charities for providing this grant which will enable PAWS Humane to expand our outreach to underserved communities in Columbus,” said Bobbi Yeo, CEO of PAWS Humane in a news release.
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“It is through intensive spay and neuter programs that we will win the war to end pet overpopulation and homelessness.”
PAWS says it will use the money to help offer wellness assistance and spay/neuter services to struggling families and their pets. More information on those efforts can be found by emailing email@example.com.
Spaying and neutering is a process that prevents animals from having puppies or kittens. It’s a simple and effective way to help cut back on the stray animal population - and prevent animals from winding up in the shelter on the list for euthanasia.
If there are too many animals, there are not enough people to give them good homes. Then those strays become nuisance animals, or can even be dangerous. It’s a situation that can be prevented.
“[Spaying and neutering] really is what is best for the animals and the community," Leanne Smith, the manager of the spay/neuter clinic at Paws Humane, told the Ledger-Enquirer in 2015.
Paws Humane CEO Bobbi Yeo also said there were other benefits to spaying or neutering animals.
“Some of the major health benefits of spaying or neutering would be that spaying females prior to their first heat cycle can drastically reduce their chances of mammary cancer later in life,” she said. “It also prevents the chances of developing life-threatening uterine infections. By neutering males, it eliminates the chances of developing enlargement of the prostate as they age.”
Once they’re spayed or neutered, however, the animals still need someone to give them a new family, and that’s where PAWS and other shelters come in again.
PAWS Humane’s clinic is located at 4900 Milgen Road. Other animal shelters include Animal Ark Rescue at 7133 Sacerdote Lane, Russell County Animal Control at 1706 4th Street South in Phenix City, Columbus Animal Care and Control located next to PAWS and the East Alabama Humane Society at 712 13th Street, Suite E in Phenix City.