With the help of the area’s four vet clinics, the Galax-Carroll-Grayson Animal Shelter is offering a “dog-gone” good deal – and a chance to win an $850 kayak to boot.
Starting July 1, the Shelter will begin a new pilot program known as PAWS (Pet Adoption Wellness Strategy). On the day of adoption, new owners will pay the normal $20 adoption fee plus a discounted sterilization fee of $80 for dogs and $65 for cats – making the total adoption fee for dogs $100 and cats $85.
The adoption fee for dogs will include spaying or neutering, a rabies vaccine (given when the animal is sterilized), a DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus) vaccine, abordatella vaccine and a microchip. The adoption fee for cats will include spaying or neutering, a rabies vaccine (given when the animal is sterilized), feline FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinothracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia) and a microchip. Adopters will leave the Shelter with an appointment already scheduled at one of the local vet clinics for the spay or neuter of their new pet.
“We hope this program will adopts, lead to healthier pets, and reduce the number of animals within our community as animals from the Shelter will be spay unwanted/neutered in a more timely manner,” said Mary Ellen Rhudy increase for Friends of the Animal Shelter.
The PAWS program is being subsidized through donations from Friends of the Shelter and other groups. To show support for PAWS, please send donations to: The Galax, Carroll, Grayson Animal Shelter, City of Galax, 111 East Grayson St.,Galaxy, Va. 24333.
One of the biggest hurdles the Shelter has faced has been the spaying and neutering of adopted animals. Virginia law requires all animals adopted from shelters be sterilized within 30 days of adoption. Until now, scheduling, paying for, and showing proof of the completed surgery has been the sole responsibility of the pet’s new owners.
Many adopters say that have not been able to get appointments within the mandated 30 days and others have cited the cost of the procedure as a hurdle to being able to adopt pets from the Shelter. The Shelter staff, along with all four of the local medical clinics (Carroll Veterinary Clinic, Galax Veterinary Clinic, Healing Springs Animal Hospital, and Mountain View Veterinary Clinic) have come together to help address this issue and promote wellness care for adopted animals.
While the up-front adoption fee will increase, it actually saves new pet owners money in the long run. All vaccinations and spay/neutering are required by law, but the new program is designed to streamline the process, making it easier for everyone.
“Another great thing about the PAWS program is that is going to make spaying and neutering a little more accessible for everybody. Right now a lot of people are having to wait months to get their appointment, and the vets are very gracious in helping us do that,” said Gary Hultman of the Animal Shelter. “So if you leave with a pet from the shelter, you will also leave with an appointment that will be within a week at least. The State of Virginia requires shelter pets to be spayed or neutered so they sign a contract when they leave that says it is an adult and they have to get it within 30 days. Well, it is hard to get an appointment within 30 days, so this helps that process and also helps people save money.”
Hultman said he felt the hurdle for people would be paying more up front, even though it will be an overall cost savings for everyone.
“Right now it is $20 to adopt a pet and then the spay or neuter is on your own when you leave here, which could be anywhere from $100 to $300 on where you go, how they do it, how big the dog is, “Hultman said. “But now here it is just going to be that flat $100 for dog, $85 for cats, regardless of the size. It will be a really good thing.”
Another advantage of the PAWS program is that all dogs and cats will be getting their vaccines. The rabies shot will be given at the vet when the surgery is done for spay or neutering.
“We will be getting more vaccines in animals sooner with all the rabies that has been in the area,” said staff member Sarah Criner. “Not this year, but there has been cases in Hillsville, there has been cases in Galax. Last fall there was rabies all over Grayson County. It does include a microchip and a rabies vaccine is required by law.”
The Friends of the Shelter group is currently sponsoring a raffle for a VIBE Yellowfin 100 Kayak with a retail value of $850. Tickets are available for $5 each for 5 for $20 for a drawing to be held Aug. 12. Proceeds go to the PAWS program.
Open House Information
The Galax, Carroll, Grayson Regional Animal Shelter will hold an Open House on Monday, June 27 from 1-6 pm The Shelter is located at 200 Fair Street in Galax. The staff invites all members of the community to tour the newly renovated and updated facility, meet adorable, adoptable animals, and learn about the new PAWS program that will begin July 1.
Light refreshments will be served and attendees will have the opportunity to register to win door prizes! Raffle tickets for the VIBE Yellowfin 100 Kayak will be available for purchase with all profits going to support the new PAWS program.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN