The Ashe Humane Society has received a $1,000 micro-grant from Friends of Ashe County Animals to help promote spaying and neutering in the county.
AHS president Jill Ferguson said the nonprofit hopes to have the community donate an additional $1,000 to match the grant, which is aimed at controlling the overpopulation of county cats and dogs.
“(Overpopulation) is a huge problem in the county,” she said. “There are many more animals than there are people who can provide homes.”
The program is called “The $5 Fix.” The campaign will provide vouchers to low-income and elderly families in the county to have their pets fixed for that amount.
“A person who qualifies can come to us and present their qualifying documents,” Ferguson said. “They pay $5, get a voucher and then the balance of the procedure costs comes out of the grant.”
Ferguson said the vouchers will be done on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of two vouchers per household. The Humane Society estimates between 40 and 50 animals in the county will be covered by the grant.
People can begin requesting the vouchers on Oct. 1.
The grant came from Friends of Ashe County Animals, and was given to the Humane Society because of its ability to administer and handle the vouchers.
“We already have a spay/neuter program in place, “Ferguson said. “We are the only organization in the county that has (the program.)”
Ferguson said the Humane Society has worked alongside Friends of Ashe County Animals for many years on different campaigns.
The Humane Society has different ways people in the county can help match the grant.
Donations for the program can be dropped off in four Ashe County locations. They are: Roses and Ashe Animal Clinic in Jefferson, Everything has a Story in West Jefferson and Mountain Grocery in Warrensville.
Other donations can also be mailed to the Humane Society at P.O. Box 1776, West Jefferson, N.C., 28694.
Ferguson said all of the money raised by the donation jars in September and October will be given to the program as well. Over $600 has already been matched.
“The only way to make a dent on the pet overpopulation problem is through spay and neuter,” she said.
For more information, call the Ashe Humane Society at 336-982-4297.