FAUNA (Friends All United For Natchitoches Animals) came before the City Council at its Aug. 28 meeting to request City funds for its Spay Natchitoches assistance program.
Spay Natchitoches is funded with a $10,000 allocation from the parish and through the fundraising efforts of FAUNA. The parish has provided $10,000 every year since 2019. To date, they have contributed a total of $50,000 for spay/neuter.
This program is the sole source of assistance for residents to safely spay and neuter their pets. Spay Natchitoches contributes greatly to the health and safety of our community and saves the city from funding the care of even more stray animals.
However, Spay Natchitoches has depleted its funding for the remainder of 2023. It has stopped all social media promotion and other advertising, and will stop offering spay/neuter applications at animal health fairs. Despite the absence of promotion, it still get requests because, through word of mouth, the community is becoming aware of the service, and they want to be responsible pet owners. With adequate funding, Spay Natchitoches could perform at least 2 ½ to 3 times as many procedures per year as it offers now. With a vigorous advertising campaign, the numbers could be even higher.
Spay Natchitoches is an established spay/neuter program that is effective and efficient. The city does not have or participate in a program, and the city currently contributes no funding to Spay Natchitoches. Additionally, the city does not spay or neuter animals before they are adopted from Natchitoches Animal Control shelter. Spay Natchitoches helps absorb the cost of spaying and neutering Natchitoches shelter pets when they are adopted by families who need assistance.
Spaying and neutering is the single most effective and cost-efficient way to prevent abandonment, neglect, abuse, and euthanasia. The city will save money by investing in spaying and neutering. Spay Natchitoches has done this willingly for years because we know the enormous benefits it provides to our community. We are eager to continue serving the community in this capacity, but we need your help to continue this vital work.
To that end, FAUNA and Spay Natchitoches respectfully request a $15,000 grant from the City of Natchitoches for spaying/neutering assistance for the fiscal year of 2023-24.
FAUNA has worked toward a new shelter. Land was donated for the site of a future shelter, with the goal for it to be a no kill shelter that is open to the whole parish.
The organization also received $1.4 million capital outlay grant funding toward the construction of the new shelter and is always applying for spay/neuter grants, which are hard to get.
Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. said he will give it some serious thought as it would benefit daily operations at the City shelter.