COLUMBIA — The Central Missouri Humane Society is trying to put itself out of business.
Well, sort of. This was spokeswoman Leslie Gully’s way of saying that the humane society’s goal is to cut down on the number of animals it collects due to a high number of strays in mid-Missouri.
The humane society receives a large amount of animals every year, and it euthanizes many of these strays and abandoned pets. This is the result of a lack of spaying and neutering among pets, the society officials said.
The society implemented steps toward its vision – to reach a time when no animal is homeless or unwanted – for the 16th annual National Spay Day when it hosted a “Spay”-ghetti dinner and silent auction on Feb. 23.
National Spay Day, officially the last Tuesday of February, is a campaign by the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International to raise awareness about the increasing need to spay and neuter pets.
Allison Toth, shelter relations coordinator, said the society takes in on average between 7,000 and 10,000 stray animals per year and about 200 every week during the summer.
The humane society spayed more than 4,500 animals, including those that were adopted, in 2009, according to Gully.
“We are trying to get the word out with services to low-income families to prevent litters from coming back to the shelter,” Gully said.
According to the humane society, 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year because there are not enough homes for them. The society also receives 7,000 abandoned animals at its shelter each year from 20 counties in mid-Missouri.
To support the spaying and neutering of pets, this is the first year the society has held this dinner and auction fundraiser.
Humane society board member John Shrum said that education is important.
“We’re taking baby steps,” he said. “It’s our responsibility to do these kinds of things.”
Kim Brooks, who has helped the society before, attended the fundraiser. She wanted to support this cause because one of her dogs is from the humane society.
According to Toth, some of the items auctioned were baseball tickets for Cardinals and Royals games, football memorabilia of the Rams and Chiefs, a quilt, gift certificates to local restaurants and massage places and concert tickets.
The dinner included spaghetti, garlic bread, salad and desserts. The event also featured a bake sale.
To book an appointment for spaying or neutering a pet, contact the Central Missouri Humane Society at (573) 443-7387.