NEWPORT — With studies showing North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation in the number of animals euthanized at shelters, the Carteret County Humane Society hopes to put a small dent in that statistic thanks to a recent grant.
The County Humane Society Animal Shelter received a $70,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to provide free vouchers to pet owners to have their animals spayed and neutered.
“It’s called the Life Saving Grant and the main purpose is to get pets spayed and neutered to cut down on the number of animals coming into the shelter and the number of animals euthanized. But we are also looking at using some of the funds to get a disaster trailer that would be equipped with crates and supplies in the event we have to evacuate the animals,” Manager Rachel Hardin said Tuesday.
For the past two years, the shelter has had to evacuate animals for hurricanes.
As for the spay and neuter vouchers, they will become available to pet owners Friday, Nov. 1, and Ms. Hardin said there is no income criteria to receive a voucher.
Pet owners must come to the shelter at 853 Hibbs Road during regular hours of operation to receive a voucher. The humane society is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
There will be six veterinary practices participating in the Petco grant voucher program, Newport Animal Clinic, Live Oak Veterinary Hospital in Beaufort, Mitchell Village in Morehead City, Island Pet Veterinary Hospital in Cape Carteret, Petdocks Veterinary Hospital in Morehead City and Austin Veterinary Hospital in Beaufort.
Ms. Hardin said those using the vouchers need to let the veterinary office know it is a Carteret County Humane Society Petco Grant voucher. They should also check prior to scheduling the appointment to find out if there are any additional charges.
“The voucher will only cover the spay and neuter procedure and take-home medications,” Ms. Hardin said.
She appealed to pet owners to take advantage of the vouchers.
“The more animals spayed and neutered cuts down on the number of animals brought to the shelter and the number we have to euthanize,” she said.
In 2018, Ms. Hardin said there were 693 dogs and cats euthanized at the shelter. While that number is high, she said it compares to 1,555 dogs and cats euthanized in 2015.
“We’re making improvements each year, but we still have a long way to go,” she said. “That’s why it’s so important that owners get their pets spayed and neutered.”
According to BestFriends.org, of the 246,000 animals that entered shelters in North Carolina in 2018, 55,900 were euthanized. The group’s report showed that by percentage, North Carolina ranked fourth in euthanasia behind Hawaii, Louisiana and Alabama.
According to the report, an average of 22% of the state’s animals that go into shelters are euthanized.
For more information about the voucher program, call 252-247-7744.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.