A Hand for a Paw, Inc. is interested in using the old Whittier school for an animal resource center. Our resource center will be a place to come to fulfill all animal needs; Low-cost, High-volume spay/neuter and vaccination clinic, Animal food pantry for low-income residents of Bridgeport, Low-cost dog training, Animal adoptions, and Classroom based animal care and safety classes for children and adults. We will also be utilizing the auditorium for community strengthening events.
The facility will be self-supporting, through the veterinarian and training programs it provides, together with grants and charitable donations. Such an animal center would also make Bridgeport a more pet positive destination.
According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) US pet ownership calculator, Bridgeport has about 36,000 dogs and 41,000 cats. Bridgeport Animal Control impounds about 1,500-2,000 animals a year. Out of the 1,597 animals impounded last year, 53% were adopted, redeemed by their owners or still there waiting for a home, which means 47% were euthanized because of aggression, behavioral issues, disease or lack of homes. There are over 750 animals euthanized every year in Bridgeport, which cost the city about $75,000 annually, and with the current problems with our economy these numbers are on a steady rise. These animals were abandoned or given up for various reasons which could easily be solved by spaying/neutering the animal and having other resources available like free training and food.
The Humane Alliance of Western North Carolina performed over 94,000 surgeries (through July 2002) and seen a 50% reduction in euthanasia at local shelters. Spay/neuter and having available resources are the answers.
A Hand for a Paw’s mission is not simply to reduce companion animal overpopulation, but to end it.
We are seeking support from the City of Bridgeport / Bridgeport City Council Representatives regarding the proposal about using the empty Whittier School in Black Rock as an animal center focusing on low-cost spay/neuter, inexpensive vaccinations, animal training, educating children about bite/attack prevention and proper pet care and community strengthening fundraising opportunities.
This sounds like a great idea. Making it easy and economical for residents to have their pets spayed/neutered should go a long way to reducing pet overpopulation and the related costs to Bridgeport. The facility would be self-supporting, through the vet and training programs it provides, together with grants and charitable donations. Such an animal center would also make Bridgeport a more pet positive destination. There are many animal lovers in our community who would love to see Bridgeport in the forefront of treating its animals properly and being a place where those who want to help animals have a location to do so.
I hope this proposal has your support.
Thank you for taking the time to read our letter.