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Spay/neuter group offers assistance

Spay/neuter group offers assistance
Kristen Weaver (left) and Tracye Kaitner (far right) of the La Vernia News present a check June 21 to Eli Bryan (second from left) and Deanna Phillips of the Wilson County Spay/Neuter Group. The group benefited from proceeds raised in the La Vernia News’ inaugural Pet Parade contest. Also pictured is Bryan’s daughter.

Eli Bryan formed the Wilson County Spay/Neuter Group in August 2008. The core service is to offer minimal-cost spay/neuter services to people on public assistance and low cost spay/neuter services to other low-income families.

The group’s mission is to reduce the number of unwanted, abandoned, and abused dogs and cats born every year in Wilson County through spay and neuter initiatives and to promote animal welfare and prevent cruelty to animals by providing humane education to residents of Wilson County. As an all-volunteer group, efforts are focused on raising general public awareness about the plight of abandoned and free-roaming pets in Wilson County and educating residents and public officials about the importance of spay/neuter programs.

This is not just an animal issue; it is a public health and safety issue. The Wilson County community benefits from the group’s efforts with the reduction of free-roaming animals, thereby lowering the possibility of rabies incidents, lessening families’ financial and emotional stress from dealing with unplanned litters, and lessening potential automobile accidents caused by swerving to avoid hitting a stray or abandoned dog or cat.

Since formation, the group has subsidized more than 325 spay/neuters and 266 rabies vaccinations. Another 90-plus animals were rescued strays or abandoned pets placed in homes or no-kill shelters.

The Wilson County Spay/Neuter Group won a Community Refresh grant from Pepsi earlier this year. The grant allowed the group to purchase and distribute pet food and flea preventative to some Wilson County residents in need. Even though this is not the group’s primary mission, there is a parallel with those needing spay/neuter assistance and pet food insecurity in this current economy. When more sterilized pets are kept with their families, it reduces the number of animals abandoned.

The group’s average monthly expenditure is $500, just to maintain the current level of spay/neuter services. Rabies vaccinations costs increase that average to $600. The demand is far greater than the personnel and financial resources currently available.

For more information or to donate, contact Eli Bryan at or call 210-382-2167.

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