Animal Friends leaders seeking support for spay/neuter program
Animal Friends leaders say usage of a spaying and neutering program has exceeded the organization's goal for this year, but donations to the program aren't matching up to the need.
This year, more than 9,500 pets were spayed or neutered through the program as of the end of November, said Jolene Miklas, former spokeswoman for the Ohio Township-based nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter. Miklas had been director of communications for nearly 10 years before leaving earlier this month.
“The people this program serves are low-income pet owners,” she said. “They're wonderful people because they all want to do the right thing. We have no problem finding people who need this program. The phone rings off the hook. The problem is finding people who don't need the program but want to fund the program.”
The facility's goal is to perform 10,000 surgeries before the end of the year.
“We are on track to beat our goal,” Miklas said.
“We offer high-quality, discounted surgeries to pet owners who otherwise wouldn't be able to spay and neuter their pet. We lose money on the program, but the goal isn't to make a profit off of it, it's to end pet overpopulation.”
To help spur financial support for the program, shelter board member Bob Fragasso and his wife, Janine, have pledged 50 cents for every dollar donated to Animal Friends' spaying and neutering efforts — up to $50,000 — through the end of the year, Miklas said. Service prices vary based on income.
“That's a great opportunity for people making out their year-end giving,” she said.
In addition to supporting the spaying and neutering program, leaders are focused on increasing adoption numbers as the facility's annual New Year's Eve Rescue approaches.
“We are on target to not meet our adoption goal,” Miklas said. “There are a lot of amazing animals that — for whatever reason — are still here.”
New communications Director Christina Bostardi said the shelter has had 2011 animals adopted so far this year — about 400 short of its initial goal.
In an effort to increase adoptions, the shelter upgraded its “priceless” campaign for all cats and dogs at least 1 year old. Animal Friends typically requests a $75 donation to adopt a dog or cat and $60 for a rabbit, but it is waiving the donation for pets who meet that age requirement through Dec. 31, Miklas said.
While the shelter mostly is known for caring for dogs, cats and rabbits, it also rescues farm and exotic animals, Miklas said.
More than 60 chickens, pigeons, ducks and a peacock were rescued this year, she said.
Bostardi said those that could be placed in sanctuaries were transferred to those locations.
“We're used to the meows and barks, but not rooster crows,” she said.
Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 email@example.com.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- St. James Church in Sewickley to kick off Music Plus
- Classes, programs in Sewickley can show you how to de-stress
- Serafini: Good cause or not, people find reason to complain
- Road salt cost rises; Sewickley council OKs buy