Carson Animal Services Initiative (CASI) is launching a program to help low-income pet owners spay and neuter their pets.
CASI Critter Fixer will provide vouchers for qualified pet owners to get their dogs or cats spayed or neutered at participating veterinarians.
To qualify, the pet owner must live within any zip code starting with 897 and be enrolled in any of several programs, including Nevada Check Up, Medicaid and Social Security Disability, or have a monthly income below $1,485.
So far, Lone Mountain Veterinary Hospital and Quail Ridge Animal Hospital will be accepting the vouchers, but CASI is talking with other local vets about joining the program.
The vouchers will cost the pet owner $25 for a cat and $50 for a dog and CASI will cover the remaining cost of the surgery.
“We’re trying to nip homelessness and unwanted litters in the bud,” said Lisa Schuette, CASI founder and chairwoman.
CASI used as a template a similar program run by Douglas Animal Welfare Group.
“We sure appreciate their help with getting our program off the ground,” said Schuette.
CASI has committed $10,000 to start.
Critter Fixer launches May 15. Applications are available at CASI’s web site, www.friendsofcasi.org, or at participating vet offices. For information, call 400-7379.
Critter Fixer is the first new venture for CASI since fulfilling its initial mission of getting a new animal shelter built in Carson City.
“The community really came together and the shelter became a priority,” said Schuette.
CASI was founded in 2012 and raised more than $200,000 toward construction of the new animal shelter on Airport Road.
Now, the group has a new mission statement: dedicated to helping equip our new animal shelter and supporting programs that reduce animal suffering, including low cost spay and neuter services.
It’s almost done installing a new play yard at the shelter. The group spent $24,000 on landscaping by Green Lizard Landscaping and fencing by Florence Fence Co. Another $2,000 went to benches, dog toys, and other features. Once a shade structure for the benches and a play ramp for the dogs are put in, the yard will be complete.
“With the play yard, volunteers will be able to interact with the dogs if they may not be able to walk them,” said Schuette. “It’s a more joyful place to help people learn about an animal before adopting them.”
CASI is also paying to install an alarm system at the shelter.
With its commitment to continue to equip the shelter and its new spay and neuter program, CASI likely has a long life ahead.
“It has amazing volunteers who wanted to keep going,” said Schuette. “They said ‘We can do more.’”