The Natchitoches Humane Society has recently run out of money for Spay Natchitoches, a program that provides partial or full-coverage vouchers for spaying and neutering animals with low-income families.
In 2016, the organization paid an average of $1,000 per month for operations, making a difference in 154 animals’ lives. Volunteers are always welcome at Happy Tails, the Humane Society’s shelter, but President Juanita Murphy urges students to fundraise and bring attention to the primary issue: funding.
“NSU can be a strong voice for the Humane Society,” Murphy said. “We at least can create the awareness of the urgent need to stop animal suffering and euthanasia.”
Spay Natchitoches started in 2015 with an initial donation from the late Norm Fletcher, a former Natchitoches Parish sheriff. As applications for the program have increased, monetary donations have not risen to match the need.
American Humane, a national organization that promotes animal welfare and safety, recommends that all shelter animals be spayed or neutered to prevent overpopulation. However, no large-scale programs exist to help fund such services. Local animal shelters are largely self-supported and rely on donors and grants to continue operations.
Shelters in Louisiana collectively euthanize about 98,000 animals every year, according to PAWS of Northeast Louisiana. Without a consistent program assisting low-income families, the pet population in Natchitoches is at risk of increasing far beyond the community’s ability to care for them.
Without Spay Natchitoches, Murphy anticipates “more animals being born unwanted,” brought into shelters and later euthanized.
The Humane Society accepts donations via PayPal at natchitocheshumane.com, or by mail to Natchitoches Humane Society, P.O. Box 7405, Natchitoches, Louisiana.