WHY spay and neuter: The pit bull breed faces a devastating prognosis in the general population of animals that end up in shelters across the country. With euthanasia rates higher than any other breed, and irresponsible breeding still on the rise, pit bulls continue to look toward a bleak future. Limiting the number of unwanted dogs by promoting spay and neuter will have a positive impact on this problem.
In February 2015 we held our first free spay/neuter clinic in memory of one of our volunteers tragically killed in a car accident the December before. Alyssa Winters was passionate about helping pit bulls and we wanted to honor that with one free clinic each year. The clinic filled up immediately and the outpouring of support for this type of service was incredible. We knew we had to expand the program – but how? Surgeries are expensive and Save-a-Bull just didn’t have the means to cover that kind of expense on a regular basis. So we took to fundraising on Give to the Max Day with a goal to raise enough money to host four quarterly clinics the following year.
Our community responded with enormous generosity and we easily funded the four clinics in 2016. As we continued to serve people who came to these clinics, we saw more and more need. Many of these dogs had never been to the vet and didn’t have basic vaccinations or microchips. We knew we had to add the option for these services so responsible pet owners could easily be set up for success.
Once again we made a fundraising plea to our supporters on Give to the Max Day and raised enough money to expanded our 2017 clinic schedule to include six clinics that offered free spay or neuter, vaccines and microchips. We also provided new collars and leashes to dogs who came in on ropes, frayed and unsafe collars, or simply without anything at all.
We continue to fundraise to support these clinics on Give to the Max Day and we once again were able to host six clinics in 2018. In addition to the standard spay/neuter, vaccines, microchips and collars, we were also able to offer treatment for minor issues like ear and skin infections and fleas, offer screenings for heartworm and provided hernia repairs.
With fundraising in small excess of the actual cost of our six clinics, we were also able to cover the cost of spay/neuter or medical treatments for several clients who couldn’t make it to one of the scheduled clinic dates. This is how our Community Outreach Program was born. By providing even the smallest amount of care to those in need we are able to reach out to a larger segment of our community and have an even greater impact.
In our fifth year of our Fix Yor Pit clinics we saw even more growth! Clinic dates filled up almost as soon as we opened registration and we saw fewer and fewer no shows at each clinic. Volunteers and the staff at the Animal Humane Society worked hard to serve all the dogs at each clinic and to date* we’ve seen 109 dogs! We continue to offer microchips and vaccines, as well as assistance with unforseen medical issues that come up during exams and surgery.
But as we continue our Fix Your Pit program, we are seeing more and more need each year. As each clinic fills with clients, we also fill a waiting list of people who need an appointment and are waiting for an opening. As of Give to the Max Day we still have one clinic left in 2019 and we’ve already exceeded our budget for the year. Our goal for 2020 is to raise even more money so we can cover the costs for our six clinics and have more funds available to cover appointments for those who couldn’t get in to one of our clinics.
Each year we set aside one day, Give to the Max Day, and dedicate it to raising the money we need to fund these programs the following year.
During that fundraising day, we share why these clinics are important and the impact they make on the dogs – and people – in our community, and ask for your support. Our volunteers, partner organizations and corporate supporters pledge matching grants to help push us toward our goal.
Thank you ALL for making these much needed programs a reality. We’ve been touched by your generosity and by the stories of the people who’s lives are being impacted immeasurably.
*Note 2019 dogs served totals doesn’t include our last clinic in 2019 which happens on December 15.
Supporting spay and neuter assistance programs for our community will promote responsible dog ownership and breed advocacy which is an important part of the work we’re trying to do every day. Donate today and be a part of our Fix Your Pit program!