Louise Rooney, secretary for the low-cost spay/neuter organization known as Community Partnership for Pets, almost gets choked up when she discusses the plight of unwanted animals.
“There’s nothing more depressing than thinking that a little kitten is born and six weeks later it dies because there are not enough homes. It has had no life at all,” she says.
The Partnership expects to spay and neuter 2,000 dogs and cats this year. Faced with those numbers, its co-founder, Mary Cervini, is calling on the public to help the organization continue providing surgeries that keep unwanted litters out of the county shelter.
“We have seen the results of spaying and neutering working in a short period of five years,” Cervini says. “Ninety-two percent of all of our money comes from grants, and we’ve been very successful at writing for grants. Eight percent comes from our community. As you become more successful, the grants go away because they believe if you have value your community should support you. It’s a constant battle to keep us funded.”
The partnership has an annual budget of $85,000 and charges pet owners co-pays ranging from $20 to $60. Four veterinarians have partnered with the organization: Drs. Kevin McKisson, Beverly Hargus, Jonathan Pernell and Sarah Brown. As an added incentive, animals undergoing surgery can get a free rabies shot.
Cervini says the organization currently has enough money in its coffers to last 18 months thanks to a woman who remembered the Partnership in her will. “Our concern is that in 18 months we’ll be out of business,” Cervini says.
But the Partnership is not slowing down any. Community Partnership for Pets mans a table inside the Blue Ridge Mall near Kmart every month on the first and third Saturdays where they sell spay/neuter vouchers. The organization is also making plans to sell vouchers at the Hendersonville Tractor Supply store once a month.
Rooney says the Partnership has a lofty goal, but it’s one she hopes can be attained through community support. ”The dream of this whole group is that some day all of the animals that are adoptable in a shelter will be able to find a loving home,” she says.
If you want to help, call 828-693-5172 or visit www.communitypartnershipforpets.org.