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Triple Matching Program Reduces Homeless Animals in Manatee County

Spay Neuter Surgery Suite Humane SocietyWhen Manatee Community Foundation has sought the advice of animal welfare organizations in Manatee County to determine needs and services that are high priorities and underfunded, spay and neuter has been identified as a greatest need. Reducing the number of homeless animals eases the burden of shelter overcrowding.

Early in 2019, the Foundation presented a matching grant challenge to the Humane Society of Manatee County to continue addressing this important issue.

The Humane Society was challenged to raise $15,000. After each $5,000 goal was hit, a triple match of $15,000 was awarded from the Bill and Maryann Vinall Fund of Manatee Community Foundation for free spay and neuter services for owned cats and dogs in Manatee County.  The match campaign started in May 2019 and ended in June 2019 after the $15,000 goal was achieved, for an overall impact of $60,000.

Typical clients are cat and dog owners from all walks of life residing in Manatee County. By offering free (not subsidized spay and neuter), the program is successful because of word of mouth, grassroots sharing, and social media.

“Educating the public on the benefits of spaying and neutering pets includes the many health benefits for the animals, in addition to the obvious reduction in homeless animals and animals in the shelter system,” said Humane Society of Manatee County executive director Rick Yocum.  Direct mail was used to target potential donors who support animal welfare.

Pet owners who receive free spay and neuter services (surgery suite pictured) are also asked to contribute to the Humane Society’s “Spay it Forward” campaign. The organization anticipates that the program will raise another $5,000 towards free spay and neuter.

The grant and match campaigns will likely total more than $65,000–meaning that one thousand (1,000) cats and dogs will have free surgeries here in Manatee County.

“Our community collaboration is helping save lives four paws at a time,” says Rick.