New Minnesota Non-Profit Seeks to Eliminate Unnecessary Euthanasia of Companion Animals
MINNEAPOLIS, May 11 /PRNewswire/ — Minnesota Spay Neuter Assistance Program (MN SNAP), a non-profit organization, today announced that it is making available to low-income individuals, shelters and rescue organizations, high-quality, affordable and accessible spay and neutering services in an effort to combat animal overpopulation resulting in the euthanizing of an estimated 80,000-90,000 pets in Minnesota every year. Annually, over 20,000 animals are euthanized in Twin Cities shelters alone. MN SNAP hopes to provide a minimum of 7,000 surgeries annually with a goal of 12,000 surgeries as soon as an additional veterinarian can be added.
Dr. Kim Culbertson, veterinarian and founder of MN SNAP, worked for over ten years at the Golden Valley Humane Society specializing in spay and neuter services. Her experience left her feeling helpless to prevent the tens of thousands of unwanted pets being euthanized every year. “One way I could begin to help was to offer subsidized spay and neuter services to individuals and families who couldn’t afford private practice fees. Additionally, helping shelters and rescues with subsidized services enables them to direct more of their resources to their adoption programs and special needs animals,” stated Dr. Culbertson.
The services are being provided aboard MN SNAP’s new 33-foot mobile surgical unit allowing the organization to reach neighborhoods where cost, transportation or the absence of veterinary services is an obstacle to obtaining spay and neuter services. MN SNAP is the first mobile spay and neuter program in Minnesota to provide low-cost service to at-risk populations. Similar non-mobile efforts such as Paws of Chicago have had dramatic results on reducing unwanted pets. On average, Chicago was euthanizing 42,500 pets annually in 1997. Thanks to the efforts of Paws of Chicago, by 2006 that number dropped to 19,700.
Dr. Culbertson goes on to characterize the needs of MN SNAP, “While the outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming, we are in need of financial donations and in-kind gifts. We are also looking for locations that would be willing to host our mobile clinic for a day. Ideal sites would be churches, community centers, businesses or other safe, accessible, public spaces that could accommodate parking for our mobile unit and our clients.”
In Minnesota, the Veterinary Practice Act prohibits non-profit shelters and other organizations from providing any veterinary services to animals owned by individuals. For this reason, MN SNAP has contracted Blue Sky Veterinary Services, LLC to oversee and provide all veterinary service related duties on the mobile unit. Funded by MN SNAP, Blue Sky will offer spay and neuter services and vaccinations. Dr. Culbertson’s experienced and caring team will operate under veterinary standards that meet or exceed The Association of Shelter Veterinarians Medical Care Guidelines for Spay/Neuter Programs.
For location, eligibility, pricing, volunteer information or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.mnsnap.org or call (612) 720-8236.
SOURCE Minnesota Spay Neuter Assistance Program