A love for animals can produce tremendous results.
For the last 37 years, Essie Petrovich has worked at the Spay Neuter Assistance Program — or SNAP — to spay and neuter pets at a low cost.
The numbers are in and last month, the organization hit a major milestone: 100,000 animals served.
Petrovich, the president of the organization, is not just a crazy cat lady. She’s a self-proclaimed animal nutcase.
“I believe that the value of their life is very precious, that their souls are very precious,” Petrovich said.
Her love for animals runs deep, but she knows that too many can be a big problem.
“In this day and age, we just can’t bring any more puppies and kittens into the world. There are not enough homes,” Petrovich said.
Not enough homes breeds plenty of suffering. Many of Petrovich’s animals are rescues of abuse, and she said millions of animals are put down in shelters each year.
“They’re the lucky ones because they at least have a peaceful death. We’re not talking about the ones who are discarded, hit on the road,” Petrovich said.
So, in a world filled with pain, SNAP stands.
“The logic, of course, is that we want to stop the killing, and the way to stop the killing is to stop the birth of unwanted animals. We started out slowly, but we’re up to between 5,500 and 6,000 cats and dogs a year,” Petrovich said.
Business may be barking, but Petrovich said their cause needs more backers.
“We’re not in where we get Fluffy and Rover a home and we get to coddle them and things like that, we’re in the end that says we don’t want Fluffy and Rover born,” she said.
Petrovich said veterinarians that they’ve worked with in the past have been bought by vet corporations, which caused spay and neutering costs to skyrocket.
To combat this, SNAP recently bought a trailer that they plan to transform into a facility that they can use to perform their own procedures, but aid with funding and volunteers is still desperately needed.
“It’s very hard to get volunteers, and it’s very hard to get donors because people want to donate to what’s here, they don’t want to donate to prevention,” Petrovich said.
To donate to or volunteer with SNAP, click here.