Spay Neuter Natchez seeks funding from county to continue and grow

Published 10:29 pm Tuesday, July 4, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The small but mighty group of volunteers of Spay Neuter Natchez, who have been at work in Natchez since December 2009, is seeking financial assistance from the Adams County Board of Supervisors to continue and expand they work it does in Natchez.

The county’s supervisors are entering the time of year they establish a budget for fiscal year 2023-2024, which begins Oct. 1. Those groups and organizations seeking funding of any kind from the county should attempt to request those funds now, while the budget is being prepared.

Ginna Holyoak, president of Spay Neuter Natchez, told the supervisors about the work the group does in helping control overpopulation of stray and feral animals in Adams County.

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“In December 2009, a small group of volunteers decided to start being proactive in helping the huge pet overpopulation problem in Natchez and Adams County. We began encouraging and helping families have their pets spayed or neutered with the assistance of Mississippi Spay and Neuter managing our ‘Natchez Fund’ through its Spay and Neuter Voucher Program,” she said.

The volunteers worked with Mississippi Spay and Neuter for more than 10 years until it had administration changes in 2020.

That’s when Spay Neuter Natchez was formed as a 501c3 non-profit under the umbrella of the Natchez-Adams County Community Alliance.

Spay Neuter Natchez offers financial assistance for people who need to cat pets fixed through Natchez Veterinary Clinic or Bluff City Veterinary Clinic.

“Our group, we try to do more than assist with spay and neuter. People are so used to hearing, ‘I can’t help you.’ We try to find a way to help. We are a little bit like a counseling service. We guide people. We try to refer people and put effort into helping and educating them and seeing each call through.”

Since its beginning in 2009, these volunteers-turned-into-Spay Neuter Natchez have help pay for 3,600 pets to be spayed or neutered and have gotten more than 400 feral cats spayed or neutered using the Trap/Neuter/Release program.

It has raised more than $60,000 to do those things through fundraising and individual donations, and has received more than $18,000 through the “I Care for Animals” car tag grant.

Holyoak said Spay Neuter Natchez is the largest spay/neuter community voucher program in the state of Mississippi, and that 100 percent of proceeds go toward its low-cost spay and neuter program.

“We know our spay and neuter efforts have greatly helped reduce pet overpopulation in our community. We receive dozens of calls each month from families needing help,” she said. “We are asking for annual financial assistance of $15,000. This will enable our program to grow and be able to help m ore families have their pet spayed or neutered. A larger budget to work with will help decrease the number of unwanted pets with nowhere to go due to our overcrowded animal shelter.”

She said the funds of the group all go toward paying for services at the two vet clinics it operates with.

Supervisors said they would take the request under advisement.

Those needing Spay Neuter Natchez services can call 601-392-0232.