ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Animal Services (ACAS) announces the beginning of its pilot program, funded by a grant from PetSmart Charities, to help low-income families spay or neuter their pit bull breed dogs. Appointments for those who qualify are now being accepted and the first surgeries will be performed June 21, 2008.
Alachua County residents who qualify under the federal guidelines for low-income (see Figure 1) may schedule their pit bull breed dogs for spay or neuter surgery at the Animal Shelter. The cost of the surgery, plus rabies vaccine and dog tag (if necessary), is being subsidized by a $10,000 grant from PetSmart Charities.
Figure 1 - Federal Poverty Level Guidelines, 2008
Size of Family
For each additional person add:
Qualified pit bull owners should come to the shelter to establish eligibility for the program. Owners will be required to show proof of identification and either proof of government assistance or a recent pay stub (within two weeks) to establish eligibility. Proof of residency in Alachua County will also be required. Once these eligibility requirements have been met, an appointment will be set for the procedure.
On the day of their appointment, owners will need to bring their dogs to the shelter at 8:30 a.m. sharp for an initial exam and intake. Late-comers will be required to set another appointment time. Animals cleared for surgery must then be picked up at 4:30 p.m. sharp that same day. ACAS closes at 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and does not reopen until the following Tuesday, so Saturday afternoon pickup times must be strictly observed.
This pilot program at ACAS joins other local spay neuter programs, such as the PitNip spay/neuter program administered by Helping Hands Rescue, West End Animal Hospital in Newberry (352-472-7626), and the Humane Society's Gallenkamp spay/neuter voucher program (352-373-5855), among many others, in the fight to control the population of unwanted pets of all types.
PetSmart Charities, Inc., is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. Since 1994, PetSmart Charities has funded more than $70 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations, and through its in-store pet adoption program, has helped save the lives of more than 3.2 million pets. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working to help find a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit www.petsmartcharities.org
or call 1-800-423-PETS.
Residents interested in scheduling their pit bull for a surgery appointment should come directly to ACAS (5300 NE 53rd Ave., Gainesville) with the necessary information to determine eligibility. For more information or for questions about eligibility, please contact Alachua County Animal Services at 352-264-6870.