Santa Rosa, CA – July 7, 2015 – Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS) announces today the planned launch of the Love Me, Fix Me Access Program providing vouchers for veterinary services to qualifying low-income pet owners. The program will be modeled after the highly successful Love Me, Fix Me Mobile Pilot Program that ran from January 2013 to June 2015. This new program aims to remove barriers to spaying and neutering pets and reduce the relatively high costs of veterinary procedures.
"The Love Me, Fix Me Access Program reinforces our goal to engage the community on the best practices for taking care of their pets. In order to have the best veterinary services available at an affordable rate, this program will create a comprehensive community network of care for all of Sonoma County. Currently under development, this program will not only benefit low-income residents using these vouchers but also enhance the system of veterinary services in the County," said Brian Whipple, SCAS Interim Director.
The vouchers will allow for low-income residents to pay for spay/neuter procedures and access other vital veterinary services in Sonoma County. The Love Me, Fix Me Access Program brings together multiple community partners to offer services to pets that need it most.
"The Access program will improve access to veterinary services by focusing SCAS efforts on directly reaching low-income clients. Community engagement that is successful needs the entire community involved, from providers to shelter volunteers to SCAS staff, and together we can continue to provide first class service to our target populations," stated James Dress, SCAS Community Engagement Manager.
While the mobile program, funded by a grant from the Sonoma County Community Foundation, was successful, this new access program will target specific populations to tailor SCAS' strategic approach to address pet overpopulation. To the extent that funds are available, SCAS will continue to work with community partners to offer limited mobile spay neuter services in specific communities with identified needs.
Overall, the Access Program will build upon the continued achievements by SCAS to improve the continuum of care for pets in Sonoma County. At the Sonoma County Animal Shelter, run by SCAS, intake totals have declined from a high of 4,717 animals in 2012 to 2,970 animals in 2014, a 19.1 percent reduction. Additionally, the number of pets licensed in Sonoma County has increased in the past two years as a result of education and enforcement efforts, increasing compliance with rabies control requirements and potentially impacting the number of pets who can be returned to owners if lost.
Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS) provides field and animal licensing services for the Town of Windsor, City of Santa Rosa and unincorporated areas within Sonoma County. Additionally, SCAS operates a public animal shelter that takes in nearly 3,000 animals annually, primarily dogs and cats, and works to reduce pet overpopulation through spay and neuter services. SCAS is also responsible for rabies control and bite investigation for the entire county. For more detailed information about SCAS please visit http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Animal-Services