Editor’s note: Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our February/March issue. Subscribe to Dogster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.
Like the Little Engine That Could, Humane Alliance is the little program that could. Never heard of it? The nonprofit Humane Alliance has been providing low-cost spay/neuter services in North Carolina since 1994 when it opened a clinic in Asheville. Today, it does much more.
“Low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter programs are critically important to addressing the shelter pet overpopulation problem nationwide,” said Marianne Luft, director of operations for Humane Alliance. “In addition to reducing the number of unwanted animals entering an already overcrowded shelter system, spay/neuter programs provide much-needed services to pet owners who want to do the right thing but simply can’t afford to take their pet to a veterinarian.”
Humane Alliance started with just four employees, but it steadily grew and along the way learned what to do — and what not to do. Wanting to share its tried-and-true methods, Humane Alliance expanded its program to provide training to other people and groups throughout the country. The group really picked up steam in 2015 when it was acquired by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
It isn’t easy to spay and neuter hundreds of thousands of pets while keeping costs low and not sacrificing the quality of care each pet receives. Over the years, Humane Alliance has perfected the process of providing high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter services. Its mentoring model of teaching other groups how to successfully provide spay/neuter services allows other communities to benefit from Humane Alliance’s valuable knowledge.
“High-volume, high-quality spay/neuter surgery is a specialized field, and there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel,” Marianne said. “We work with a full spectrum of groups nationwide. We believe that mentoring our best practices allows us to have the biggest possible impact on animals all over the country.”
This sharing of knowledge and joint collaboration is exactly what we need in the battle against pet overpopulation and the needless euthanization of dogs and cats in shelters. It just goes to show how much difference one group can make.
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About the author: Jackie Brown is a freelance writer specializing in the pet industry. She lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and adorable Miniature Poodle, Jäger, who is obsessed with fetch and killing all the toys. She is the former editor of Rescue Proud, Dog World, and Puppies 101. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.