In September 2016, we received a grant application from the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley (HSSBV) requesting funding for spay/neuter. Funding spay/neuter programs are part of the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation's core mission. San Bernardino is an under served area east of Los Angeles County that has always been of interest to the JDHF and we have tried to support the area whenever the opportunity arises.
Working with HSSBV offered the perfect opportunity to help. HSSBV already had the means to outreach the community, schedule surgeries, and provide the services for the program. They just needed the funding to do so. As Pit Bulls and Chihuahuas are the most common dogs to be found in Southern California area shelters, we asked that the program focus on those two breeds. We also reached out to our friends at the Coalition for Pets & Public Safety to ask them to partner with us to double the impact. Coalition for Pets immediately agreed and together with JDHF, we provided $20,000 in funding to HSSBV.
HSSBV quickly started to fill up their surgery appointments. However, we soon noticed that they had started a waiting list trying to make the funding last. We asked them to schedule as many surgeries as they could get in and we would consider additional funding. In no time, requests came flooding in and their surgical schedule was packed.
We also noticed that there were often multiple animals from a single household, many of which were mix-sexed pairs, i.e. an unaltered female and an unaltered male. Having unaltered dogs of mixed sex in the same household is a perfect recipe for unwanted litters. We wanted to incentivize these households and requested that HSSBV waive the standard copay for these dogs. "Dropping the copay for [those households] really made a difference," said Jill Henderson, Director of Fund Development and Community Outreach at HSSBV.
In February, the original funding for the program was exhausted and we again partnered with Coalition for Pets to fund another $20,000. To date, this program has helped 205 Pit Bulls and 291 Chihuahuas get fixed. Plus, they have another 123 surgeries scheduled, with a waiting list of 25 dogs. That's well over 600 dogs!!
We cannot rescue our way out of killing in shelters. Keeping homeless animals from being born in the first place is a vital part of the solution. Spay/neuter programs are a fundamental cornerstone in getting the pet overpopulation problem under control. We are proud to help fund programs like the ones at HSSBV.
HSSBV has nearly exhausted the entire $40,000 in funding that we have provided so far. If you'd like to help us continue this program, please make a donation. 100% of donations made to JDHF go directly toward lifesaving programs just like this one.
Join our compassion revolution and help us save precious pet lives.