A generous benefactor has pledged to match every dollar donated to the Humane Society of Central Arizona (HSCAZ) up to $100,000 through December 2018.

This generosity will allow the shelter to purchase a new mobile clinic truck to offer low cost spay/neuter clinics to areas not currently served by a veterinary clinic, including Pine/Strawberry, Young, Gisela, and Tonto Basin.

“A new truck will give us the freedom to help the entirety of Gila County,” said DJ Palmer, co-executive director with Annie Benedict.

Their current truck is no longer mechanically sound enough to travel outside Payson, and key features of the interior no longer function.

The vehicle they need comes fully equipped with a surgery room, surgery table with hydraulic lift, wet table for dentals (for shelter animals), kennels, climate control, gas generator, clear Plexiglas storage doors, two roll-up doors with tempered glass for viewing kennels, and a host of other features to provide a safe and effective space for animals and the medical team. It is also longer and wider than their current vehicle and the space is used more efficiently.

The new vehicle will also serve as a mobile adoption center.

The truck costs $167,000. The Humane Society has already raised $40,000. A recent fundraiser, “Pins for Paws” bowling event raised $10,000. HSCAZ has also applied for a grant from Arizona Community Foundation. However, the project still needs many more dollars.

In a previous interview, Benedict said, “We aim to be able to offer low cost services to the public since veterinary care costs are very high. It is a large part of the community service that we do.”

The care they give homeless and stray animals provides a safe environment for animals that might otherwise be roaming around, vulnerable to injury, spreading rabies, giardia, leptospirosis and other preventable diseases.

Payson Pet Care is donating the services of a veterinarian to perform low cost spay/neuter clinics for residents on some type of financial assistance, including Social Security, food stamps, disability or unemployment.

HSCAZ can therefore adjust the cost of spays and neuters to $60 for dogs and $40 for cats. The costs are break-even amounts for HSCAZ to cover medications and supplies used in the surgeries.

This year to date, HSCAZ has cared for 234 cats and 351 dogs through their on-site mobile clinic. These include both public and shelter animals.

They have also provided 552 procedures on 234 cats, and 714 procedures on 351 dogs. Procedures include spay, neuter, microchips, vaccines and dental cleanings.

Benedict also invites local businesses to join Wells Fargo and Pinewood Tavern, both of which have donated to the fundraiser. Recognition will be given in a Payson Roundup article and on the HSCAZ website.

Donors can specify where they would like their money to be spent.

Donations can be made through their website, by check or cash. Credit card donations can be taken over the phone at 928-474-5590.

HSCAZ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and donations are tax deductible.

Digital Media Mgr/Photo Editor/Staff Writer

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