WARNER ROBINS -- Thanks to a state grant, Warner Robins Animal Control is offering free sterilization for dogs and cats adopted at the animal shelter.
We here at animal control are always promoting adoptions for all of our adoptable animals, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police.
With the $7,500 grant from the state Department of Agriculture, the shelter was able to fund more spay and neuter procedures.
A city ordinance requires anyone who adopts from there to spay or neuter an unaltered cat or dog.
Basically, this allows ... help with the cost of that requirement, Pugh said. A $20 adoption fee is still required.
But the $20 is nothing compared to the lifetime of happiness that one of these animals can bring to your home, she said.
When the grant was first received, the free spay and neuter program was only offered if a dog or cat was adopted on the third Saturday of every month. The first Saturday the program was offered was June 15.
But the program recently expanded to include all adoptions.
Once we started promoting the spay and neuter procedures -- thats obviously a big help and cost savings to the person who wants to adopt an animal -- so it did take off rather quickly, Pugh said.
So far, 48 people have taken advantage of the free program during the five Saturdays it has been offered.
Which means that theres 48 animals that have loving homes right now, so were very excited that so many people have taken advantage of it, and we look forward to those who will come out, Pugh said.
Those adopting a dog or cat from the animal shelter under the program will receive certificates to take their new pets to one of three veterinarians participating in the program.
The funds for the state grant were generated by purchases of vehicle tags promoting dog and cat sterilization and by tax-deductible donations.
Also, Warner Robins Animal Control, a division of the police department, is offering a free microchip for animals adopted at the shelter. A volunteer at the shelter donated the funds for the microchips.
Thats just another perk of adopting from the Warner Robins Animal Control facility, Pugh said.
Greg Langston, animal control director, said volunteers are very important to the shelter.
We have a volunteer who comes down here ... and bathes all the cats and takes care of them for us, Langston said.
He said volunteers are welcome Monday through Friday.
They can come at 8 oclock in the morning and volunteer with us. That helps us clean up after the animals, Langston said. Or they can come in the afternoon and walk the animals.
Volunteers also maintain a Facebook page for Warner Robins Animal Control.
They take their time, Pugh said. They post animals that are available for adoption. They even post something called Happy Tails, where if a person comes in and adopts, theyll take a picture of that person with the pet and let everybody know that animal adoptions are happening.
Its just a great public service that our volunteers are doing, she said.
Pugh also comes down to the shelter every couple of weeks to snap photos and shoot videos to put on the Facebook or Twitter page.
That way, its a constant reminder that these animals need homes.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.