The annual Chili Supper, a major fund-raiser for the Payson Humane Society, was a resounding success once again. Beyond wonderful food, there was a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and the quilt raffle.
Many individuals and local businesses contributed very generously to the silent auction. The 50/50 raffle brought in $640, of which half was won by John McCauley. Wonderful volunteers ensured that everything ran smoothly and everyone had a great time. Over 400 people enjoyed the chili dinner and more than $5,000 was raised for the Humane Society. The chili was donated by Macky's and other local restaurants donated the rest of the dinner. Volunteers cooked the macaroni and cupcakes. Thanks to all who came for dinner.
The Humane Society and the Friends of Ferals sold raffle tickets for two beautiful quilts for several months and the funds raised will be put to good use for these two programs.
The adorable puppy face quilt was made by Brenda Cornell and the lucky ticket holder was Tom Dickens of Payson. The beautiful "Friends of Ferals" quilt was made by Rose Ann Self and was won by none other than me. I was so delighted.
The folks at the Humane Society work nonstop raising funds and caring for our homeless cats and dogs. They have managed to place enough pets to keep space available for new admissions. Fund raising is an ongoing project to keep the animals fed and the doors open. The generosity of the community is always appreciated.
The aluminum can recycling program has brought in $24,266 so far in 2006. Save your cans and drop them into the white Dumpsters with with black spots located around Payson and also at the Pine and Strawberry fire stations. This is such an easy way to help the animals.
The Humane Society will have an information booth at the Swiss Village Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration on Nov. 24 and 25. Dogs will be available for adoption Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The only way to reduce the overcrowding at the Payson Humane Society and shelters around the country is by spaying and neutering your pets and encouraging your neighbors and friends to do the same. There are many health benefits to spaying and neutering. In males, it eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidences of prostate disease. For females, spaying eliminates uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidences of breast cancer. Neutered male dogs are much less likely to roam or be aggressive toward other dogs and people.
A spay/neuter clinic will be in the Bashas' parking lot Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 13 and 14. Flagstaff's Second Chance Shelter is providing the service. All animals under 60 pounds will be spayed or neutered for $45. Surgeries will be by appointment only, so call the shelter to put your name on the list.
The Payson Humane Society has received a grant specifically to help provide spaying and neutering for dogs when the cost of the surgery is a problem for the family. Sixteen surgeries have already been performed through this program. There are 16 less dogs to reproduce unwanted puppies and overload the shelter. Contact the Humane Society, (928) 474-5590, or visit the shelter at 812 McLane Road for more information. This program is for dogs only.
Every dog and cat at the Payson Humane Society would love to be "Home for the Holidays." If you are thinking of adopting a pet, the week of Christmas is not the best time to bring a new pet into the busy household. The noise, commotion and extra people can be extremely traumatic for a pet.
Bring a new pet home when you will have time to devote to the adjustment and give lots of love and attention. If you are thinking of giving a pet as a holiday gift, give a gift certificate and allow the new owners to make the choice of the pet and the time. Many pets adopted as Christmas gifts end up being returned to the shelter.
A dog or cat requires a commitment. They are not backyard ornaments. Pets end up at the Humane Society because people make hasty, poor decisions, do not plan for the long term and do not spay and neuter. There are many books available at the library and tons of information on the internet to help you make good decisions about adopting a pet.
Volunteer opportunities are abundant at the Payson Humane Society. You can work directly with the dogs and cats but if this is too difficult for you, there are plenty of other ways you can help. A new building is soon to be a reality. This is a terrific time to be part of the PHS family. You will be appreciated.
Christy Powers is a columnist for the Payson Roundup. She can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@ earthlink.net or by snail mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.