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Animal Friends seeking year-end donations to fund spay/neuter program

Bobby Cherry
| Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 8:53 p.m.

It's a good news/bad news situation at Animal Friends this year, a shelter spokeswoman says.

Some service uses are up, while donations to the program and adoptions are down, spokeswoman Jolene Miklas said.

While the Ohio Township no-kill animal shelter saw usage of its low-cost spay and neuter program rise, donations to the program didn't hit goal, Miklas said.

More than 9,000 surgeries occurred so far this year, Miklas said. But the shelter's financial goal of $790,000 fell short by almost $125,000.

“We're very proud we met our goal for surgeries, Miklas said. “But we did not meet our financial goal.

“This is a program that can't be supported by the people who use it,” she said. “We look to pet lovers who understand how important this program is to support it.”

The good news is that all donations of $500 and more through Dec. 31 will be matched up to $75,000, Miklas said.

“Thankfully, two anonymous donors — who understand that the absence of the spay/neuter program would have a devastating impact on the pets in our region — have agreed to help us,” Miklas said.

In addition, the shelter still was short of its 2,500 adoption goal heading into December, Miklas said. By late Friday, the adoption count was up to 2,214.

“So this is a big month to try to make that up,” Miklas said. “We try to do everything we can with the priceless adoptions.”

Adding to the adoption crunch was an unusually high influx of rabbits, Miklas said.

The shelter has 250 animals — usually cats, dogs and rabbits — on site daily, Miklas said.

Nearly 90 foster families take in other animals, such as those who might not do well in shelters, she said.

Despite adoption numbers, the shelter still is moving forward with its usual slate of programs, including its annual New Year's Eve rescue, where volunteers round up animals at shelters throughout the region and offer a second chance of life for those about to be euthanized, Miklas said.

“We refuse to cut back on programming,” Miklas said. “We're going to keep doing what we're doing and appeal to the community for help.”

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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