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Businesses, advocates partner for pet health
In tough economic times, people’s priorities change. Pet health care is often the first thing to go.
“If you have to decide whether your kids go to the dentist or your dog needs his teeth cleaned, you’re going to pay for your child,” said pet advocate Cathi Linden, owner of U Dirty Dog in North Bend.
Recognizing that many people can’t afford to get their pets fixed — operations cost as much as $400 per animal — Linden teamed up with Valley resident Andrea Logan, an organizer of Pawsitive Alliance, to create Valley Animal Partners, a local spay and neuter assistance program.
Aiming to promote responsible ownership, Valley Animal Partners has found a way to make the needed spay task more affordable for Valley residents, collaborating with Value Pet Clinic in Kent and organizing a donation payment service.
A non-profit organization, Valley Animal Partners uses fundraisers and volunteers to support the spay program. Not yet a 501(c)(3) organization, the group piggybacks on Pawsitive Alliances’ status, with funding kept in a trust in the non-profit’s account.
In its first two years, Valley Animal Partners has raised nearly $11,000 by holding several major annual fundraisers — among them the Mardi Cause weekend, DoggieStock Music Festival and Doggie Olympics.
“There’s a huge sense of community,” said VAP member Karen Lee of No Worries Pet Services. “We all intermingle with each other and pitch in when someone needs help. They’re ‘Fun-raisers,’ not fundraisers.”
Benefits mean money is never an issue when someone approaches Valley Animal Partners for a pet spay or neuter. To get assistance, pet owners must live in North Bend, Fall City, Snoqualmie or Preston. Single owners have an income of $30,000 or less, families an income of $45,000 of less. Seniors, veterans and families on any type of assistance won’t be turned away, Linden said.
In the near future, Linden hopes to see Valley Animal Partners gain official nonprofit status, which will help fund more services such as microchipping, shots, teeth cleaning and general care.
Linden also seeks a bank account for people to directly donate for pet health causes.