FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Board of Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to publish information about an upcoming countywide effort to spay and neuter dogs and cats with the town’s water bills, on its website and through town hall.
The program — Spay/Neuter Improves Pets, also known as SNIP — offers discounted spaying or neutering for dogs and cats at county veterinarian offices. It runs from March 4 to March 16 and is offered to everyone, regardless of income or where they live. The objective is to reduce the number of stray animals and unwanted litters.
“If you were over at Dillon and you come over here to South Robeson, (a veterinarian) would spay your animal at a reduced price,” said Dr. David Brooks, a member of the Robeson County Veterinary Medical Association. “It doesn’t matter then whether you make $300,000 a year or $30,000 a year. For this period, March 4 to 16, we will offer this special reduced discount to everyone.”
Six clinics and 10 veterinarians will participate in the program. Anyone interested should call their veterinarian to ask about the discounted price. During the last SNIP program, 248 cats and dogs were spayed or neutered.
“Our goal is to exceed 500,” Brooks said after the meeting. “I’m sure they’re out there, just a matter of reaching out to people and telling them.”
Brooks said he has seen as many as 10 stray dogs wandering around trash cans, looking to scavenge a meal. His office is also affected.
“Every month we have some animals that gets dropped off at our office with no owners,” he said. “They drive up to the office and sometimes, people put a kitten in a box, or put a dog in a box — puppies in a box, just sitting at my doorstep in my office. No owner, just sitting there in a box. We have that type of situation going on.”
The program aims to reduce the burden on the Robeson County Animal Shelter, where stray animals are taken and must be euthanized if they are not adopted. The number of animals euthanized at the shelter used to be around 5,000 a year, but has declined in recent years because of more emphasis on finding them homes.
In other action on Tuesday, the board:
— Approved having a vacant lot on Webster Street surveyed and sold as surplus.
— Approved an amendment to the Sewer Use Ordinance, which will put the town in compliance with waste-water limits.
— Named Commissioner Charles Townsend to Robeson County’s Transportation Planning Committee.
— Moved the town’s regular meeting date from the third Tuesday of each month to the second Thursday of each month.