P.E.I. spay-neuter program fundraising toward 3,000 surgeries

SpayAid PEI has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help reach its goal of spaying and neutering 3,000 cats, dogs and rabbits.

The group is P.E.I.'s only low-cost spay neuter program for people on a low income. SpayAid covers one third of the cost, the pet owners another third and the partnering vet clinic the remainder. 

"The number of animals that won't go into the Humane Society or just be abandoned is huge," said Doug Shackell, the group's director. 

If each of the 2,930 animals the group has helped over its 10 years had had just one litter, they would have added about 15,000 animals to the Island's population, by Shackell's calculation.

"What we're doing is really good work and we're helping lower-income people be responsible pet owners," he said. 

Dozens are waiting

The group hopes to raise enough money to process about 70 more animals in the next few months. 

There are dozens of pets on a waiting list, Shackell said, but the group has only enough money to carry out about 10 surgeries a month.

One surgery costs around $345. Spay Aid is also fundraising to keep their volunteer group going. 

"We'd like to have these funds in hand within a month or two so we can catch up on this backlog and get back to our normal routines," Shackell said. 

SpayAid has had raffles, dinners and online auctions over the years and decided to try a GoFundMe page, under which it can offer charitable tax receipts for donations over $10. 

The group is having difficulties raising money, Shackell said, because there are "even more animal charities on the Island than there were before, all vying for the same dollar." 

"It's a very hard charity to promote — we've got no tear-jerker stories. Just the common sense of it and the benefit to Islanders and the Humane Society," Shackell said. 

The group is made up of volunteers and spends every dollar it raises on surgeries, he added. 

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Veterans Affairs says it's working to address concerns over long-term care

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Anti-bullying P.E.I. potato travelling the world