GALLIPOLIS — The Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) of Gallia County was recently awarded $5,000 in grants to continue its mission of reducing the number of homeless and unwanted dogs and cats through low-cost spaying and neutering.
The 501c3 charitable organization established September 2010, was awarded a $4,000 grant from Two Mauds Foundation and $1,000 from the Ohio Pet Fund.
According to information provided by the Two Mauds’ website, it’s a foundation inspired by the late Dallas Pratt. He was known as a progressive in the field of mental health in the 50’s and 60’s and displayed a compassionate spirit to anyone he felt was misjudged. He extended this compassion to animals and was a staunch believer in the human-animal bond. Pratt established Two Mauds foundation shortly before his death in 1994. It is named for his beloved childhood governess, Maud Duke and his first Scottie terrier. Pratt was very precise and specific in that he wanted the foundation to support innovative programs that directly prevent or alleviate the suffering of animals and that are carried out by smaller organizations.
Two Mauds offers grants in or near the general Appalachian region; supporting grassroots, mostly volunteer-run, 501c3 organizations with annual budgets of $100,000 or less. It funds spay-neuter of owned pets or TNR (trap neuter return) of community cats; programs that develop a comprehensive “neuter before adoption” for animals adopted to the public from a municipal shelter; equipment related to spay-neuter (traps, clinic medical equipment); expenses or supplies to transport animals to a spay-neuter clinic.
The Ohio Pet Fund grant is made possible in part by the purchase of special license plates that depict an image of a dog or cat, or both, and one of four inscriptions: Pet Friendly, Dog Friendly, Cat Friendly, and Rescue. The funds are used for spaying and neutering of dogs and cats at qualifying agencies.
A thorough accounting report is required for both grants, according to SNAP President and Founder Christine Cozza of Gallipolis.
“This is the first time we applied and received the Two Mauds grant and is the largest we have received,” Cozza said. “This is the second time we have been awarded the grant from the Ohio Pet Fund. We are using the funds strictly for spay-neuter of community cats (trap-neuter-vaccinate-return). Each cat gets a rabies vaccination and depending on the circumstances are ear-tipped so they can be easily identified as having already been sterilized. These grants are very important to Gallia County because there is no cat shelter, so prevention of litters of kittens is crucial to the wellbeing of our citizens. The majority of cats that are spayed or neutered through our program are those who just show up at a person’s home.
“Some might think that $5,000 is a lot of money. And we are very grateful to receive these grants. But this year, we have already expensed $6,786. We couldn’t operate on grants alone. That is why we rely on other sources of revenue.”
SNAP receives no funds from local, state, or federal government entities. Personal donations, yard sales, annual bingo games, and grants are its funding sources. SNAP is managed by volunteers who receive no compensation. SNAP is solely focused on spay and neuter efforts and not a shelter or rescue.
So far this year, SNAP reports it has assisted in the spay/neuter of 144 cats and three dogs. Since 2010 those numbers are 3,355 cats and 446 dogs, which have been spayed and/or neutered thanks to the group’s efforts to control the pet population and the strain of homeless animals on communities.
“We utilize French Town Veterinary Clinic and Riverbend Animal Clinic in Gallipolis, and Help for Animals Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinic in Barboursville, West Virginia,” Cozza said.
The program assists qualifying residents of Gallia County and each person must submit an application.
SNAP’s board of directors include Cozza, Gail Belville, Taylor Bevan, Betty Halley, Crystal Rankin, and Jill Strauch.
For more information go to https://www.snapofgalliacounty.org/ which is maintained by a volunteer and at no cost to SNAP. The group is also on Facebook.
Information provided by Gallia County SNAP and the website for Two Mauds at https://www.twomauds.org/
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