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SPCA to raise funds to continue pound adoptions
Sunday, July 8, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The Martinsville-Henry County SPCA is starting a fundraising campaign to match a $9,000 contribution from Henry County.
The funds are earmarked to continue a partnership with the county pound to save lives, according to Leslie Hervey, executive director of the SPCA.
If the fundraising campaign is successful, “we will have almost $20,000 to work with,” Hervey said shortly after a special meeting of the SPCA’s executive committee Friday.
The fundraising campaign will be announced in the agency’s newsletter. “We also are doing a Facebook campaign and we will accept donations through the mail,” she said.
Funds raised, along with those from the county, will be kept separately, she added.
The committee decided to try and match the county’s donation and also to track and deduct the amount it costs to prepare each pound animal for adoption, Hervey said.
“We will track the actual cost of vaccines and all that, and at some point in the near future, we will revisit the issue” and measure its success, she said.
The agency also will compile a report of its findings, with copies to be provided to the Henry County Board of Supervisors, Hervey said.
The SPCA had asked the county for $45,000 to continue the program in which the organization gets animals from the pound and prepares them for adoption with a rabies vaccine, spaying or neutering and other procedures as needed. The supervisors agreed to provide $9,000 for the program instead.
Earlier this year, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office took over a second portion of the program, in which an SPCA employee works in the pound part-time, keeping it open longer hours and working on other rescue efforts.
In the second part of the pound program, the SPCA brings dogs from the pound to the SPCA, Hervey said.
Only those dogs that are considered the most likely to get adopted are moved to the SPCA, she said.
“There are lots of animals we don’t fix and don’t even try to fix, like biting dogs, and I don’t know that we can rehabilitate pit bulls that have been used for fighting,” she said. “But we do have the ability to get some dogs ready for adoption.”
At the SPCA, “we wash pound dogs and we spay or neuter them, give them flea and tick medicine and a rabies vaccine,” to prepare them for adoption, Hervey said.
The law requires all those procedures except for the flea/tick medicine, she said.
“We provide that even though we are not required to because fleas and ticks can make a dog sick, and we just think it would reflect bad on the county and on the SPCA to give an adopter fleas,” Hervey said. “So that’s something we are prepared to lose money on.”
Individuals adopting pound dogs pay a $50 adoption fee, Hervey said.
The adoption fee for dogs from the SPCA is $80, but those animals receive more treatment, including a test for heartworms, a micro chip, identification collar and several other vaccines, Hervey said.
“We streamlined the process for the county thinking the lower fee would help facilitate adoptions,” she said.
The agency still loses $42 per dog adopted, she said. “That is the difference between the adoption fee and what it actually costs the SPCA,” Hervey said, and explained the costs of room and board are not calculated or included in the loss.
“We’re not going to include that,” she said.
Hervey also said that new owners of pound animals receive a list of services that are provided to SPCA dogs, as well as service providers. Each service is available to the new owner at the SPCA’s cost.
For more information on the fundraising effort, call 638-7297, visit the agency’s website at www.spcamhc.org or find it on Facebook.
Mailed contributions should be clearly marked “Pound Project,” and sent to the Martinsville-Henry County SPCA, 132 Joseph Martin Highway, Martinsville, Va., 24112.