After five years and more than 30 low-cost spay and neutering procedures every day, No More Homeless Pets reached its goal.
The nonprofit organization surpassed a total of 20,000 surgeries this month with its Operation PerSnip iniative since it was founded in October 2009. Since then, euthanasia rates have plummeted 90 percent.
“It’s a milestone for us,” said Sandi Richmond, the organization’s director.
The seven-member team operates four days a week, offering cat services for $50 and dog services for $80. The charge covers the operation, anesthesia and pet pain medication. Richmond said other services include rabies and distemper vaccinations, feline leukemia and AIDS shots, heartworm tests, nail trims and flea control for about $15 each.
The shelter is currently offering free microchip services.
“We want to take away those large expenses from you and make it affordable,” Richmond said.
No More Homeless Pets recently received a grant that will enable the organization to offer 400 free spay and neuter services to qualifying, low-income Alachua County residents starting this September, she said.
The free services will be available to students on Federal Pell Grants as well as on a first come, first serve basis. There is a limit of two pets per qualifying household.
“We’re working to be a no-kill animal shelter by 2015,” Richmond said.
Vernon Sawyer, director of the Alachua County Humane Society, said No More Homeless Pets and Operation Catnip, an different initiative by the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, has had a significant effect on the community’s stray animal population.
“Even though we get busy, we have less intakes than we did eight, nine, 10 years ago,” Sawyer said. “They’ve absolutely made a huge impact, not just them but Operation Catnip.”
[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 8/26/2014 under the headline "Operation PetSnip reaches 20,000 pets spayed, neutered"]
The “No More Homeless Pets” organization reaches its goal of completing 20,000 spay and neuter surgeries at Operation PetSnip 2014 in Alachua County.