Mercer County Animal Shelter

Funds were released for a voucher program Wednesday during a special county commission meeting so the local humane society can aid pet owners who cannot afford to spay and/or neuter their pets.

PRINCETON — Funds reserved for a spay/neuter clinic were released this week by the Mercer County Commission so the local humane society can use the funds for a voucher program that aids pet owners who cannot afford the veterinary procedures for their pets.

County Commissioner Bill Archer said the funds were released Wednesday during a special county commission meeting. The money, $24,127 was originally designated for a spay/neuter clinic. The money was released to the Mercer County Humane Society.

County Administrator Vicky Reed is currently seeking addition money for spaying and neutering service, Archer stated.

“Vicky has submitted a grant proposal for us to offer possible assistance with spaying and neutering,” he said.

Reed said she sent the application to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. If the grant is approved, the county will receive $25,000 in state funds which would be matched by $25,000 from the county for a total of $50,000. The grant would pay for spaying, neutering and rabies vaccinations; and the county would work with local veterinarians for discounted services.

The Mercer County Humane Society has been offering a voucher program for dog and cat owners who cannot afford to get their pets spayed or neutered. Applications for vouchers are available the first Monday of every month at the Mercer County Animal Shelter, Kim Bay, the humane society’s president, said.

Applicants need to bring a copy of their drivers license or a government-issued ID, and a recent utility bill with their address to show that they are Mercer County residents. The voucher system offers $25 per animal for up to three animals, she said. The $25 fee applicants pay includes a spay or neuter procedure, a pain injection for the surgery, and a rabies vaccination if one is necessary.

The applicants then have 60 days to make an appointment for their pet or pets with a veterinarian. If they cannot fill out the application at the animal shelter, they can mail it in with the fee, Bay said.

Bay said in most cases the humane society has seen, pet owners want to get their dogs and cats spayed or neutered, but cannot afford the procedures. The humane society has also applied to the state Department of Agriculture for a grant to continue the program.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com