Local animal advocates have teamed up to start a nonprofit organization that helps low-income people spay and neuter their pets.
The plans for Fix Our Friends began eight months ago when veterinarians Jennifer O’Driscoll and Gabrielle Bassin, along with Lawrence Humane Society staff member Kayse Aschenbrenner, became concerned that Lawrence lacked a program to help low-income residents pay for spaying and neutering their pets.
“They might be deciding between caring for their pet and buying food,” Aschenbrenner said. Spaying and neutering costs vary but can run into hundreds of dollars per animal, she said.
Pet owners needing help with those costs can call Fix Our Friends, and the organization teams up with a veterinarian to provide service based on a person’s income and ability to pay.
Aschenbrenner said the goal of the group is to reduce the unwanted animal population by removing cost barriers for pet owners.
“Some people never even look into” spaying and neutering because of financial concerns, she said. Through the program, costs for spaying and neutering can range from free to $80.
The organization has filed for nonprofit status, and even though it’s just getting off the ground, it has been able to provide services for more than 100 dogs so far and has just begun services for cats.
Bassin, a Topeka-based veterinarian, said plans include weekly or monthly clinics where low-income residents can bring their pets in for spaying or neutering. That would require a location — maybe a warehouse or large building. Group officials are hoping a business might be willing to donate a space during weekends.
The group is in the process of recruiting more veterinarians and volunteers, along with increasing fundraising. For more information, check the website at www.fixourfriends.org, or call 785-748-0927.