Knox County Humane Society running short on money

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VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) — The Knox County Humane Society is in need of money, and members are hoping a nice spring-themed event will inspire people to open their wallets.

They are planning their third-annual Spring Fling for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 29 in the Fort Sackville Room at Vincennes University's Isaac K. Beckes Student Union. Tickets are $10 and include a women's fashion show featuring spring merchandise from Posh, a downtown boutique, a silent auction and many door prizes.

"We'll have a luncheon provided by Sodexo, the style show, and we are so excited about that," said Sandy Smith, the Humane Society's vice president. "It will feature some of the latest spring fashions for girls and women.

"We just wanted to do a fun event, get everybody ready for spring," she told the Vincennes Sun-Commercial (http://bit.ly/1gpYos1 ). "This is a 'help-your-animals' kind of thing. We want to get our community involved in what we do in a very positive way."

Donations have been down over the last few months, Smith said, so the organization has had to cut back on what it offers to local families in the way of emergency veterinary care.

Fortunately, the society has been able to continue its twice-a-month spay and neuter clinics, held on the second and third Saturdays, but even those are at risk if help isn't found.

"Our average monthly vet bill is between $3,000 and $4,000," Smith said. "We get calls all the time from people saying they can't take care of their dog or they need shots or something like that. And some of that help is what we have had to suspend.

"We need money," she said matter-of-factly. "We've got to get the community to support its four-legged friends."

Much of the Humane Society's money goes to its Trap Neuter Return program that seeks to trap feral colonies of cats, spay or neuter them, and then return them to where they were found. The idea is that the colonies don't reproduce and, eventually, disappear altogether.

There are also several cats at the downtown facility up for adoption. But the society must take care of the cats until they find their forever homes.

The organization a couple of years ago started collecting donated items and having a rummage sale at its downtown location every Saturday. It still does, Smith said, but the money raised only takes care of the building's utilities.

Smith said one of the top priorities right now is continuing with its spay and neuter clinics. The society is working more closely these days with the Vincennes Animal Shelter, and together the goal is to reduce the number of animals in need of good homes.

Thanks to the donations of area veterinarians, the Humane Society has been able to offer the surgeries at significantly reduced costs. Cats are $45, dogs $65.

But the need, Smith said, has been overwhelming lately, so they've also looked at other ways to help local families help spay and neuter their pets.

The state has what it calls the SNAP program, Smith said. Families that meet certain income guidelines can have their pets spayed or neutered for $20. They are issued a voucher that is then handed to local veterinarians, who are in turn reimbursed by the state.

Smith said Southgate Veterinary Hospital and Vincennes Veterinary Clinic are already honoring them.

"It's an amazing program, and it really helps us because we are so low on funds right now," Smith said.

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Information from: Vincennes Sun-Commercial, http://www.vincennes.com

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