Spay/Neuter Barter Project
Wakefield (Quebec, Canada) Spay/Neuter Barter Project
(AKA "Loot for Neut!" Name courtesy of an anonymous supporter.)
For many years, I have been visiting shelters all over the world as a part of my Tellington TTouch teaching. I see thousands of animals needing homes, and thousands that find those homes only in heaven.
I love knowing that I can help animals through the work I do, but I wanted a way to do something in my own community – to act locally. Seeing local ads for free kittens and puppies made it clear that it had to be with spaying and neutering, and what I needed was a way to make that happen.
One place I visit frequently through my work is Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. On my first visit to Best Friends, I was struck by the atmosphere and attitude - hope and delight about what they are able to achieve rather than despair about the horrors they have to deal with. The huge support they enjoy – financial and volunteer - is due to their up-beat publicity: people feel good about supporting them, knowing that they make a difference. Best Friends is far from being a usual animal shelter; it is a huge resource for shelters around the world and a mecca for animal lovers who come from far and wide to volunteer. I urge you to go to their website and see what hope and inspiration it might give you!
Anyway, to shorten a long story . . . How to make a spay/neuter project successful without just throwing money at it? Hmmm . . . we needed a way to get people interested, and then make it easy for them, financially and practically, to get the job done. We dealt with the money aspect by choosing a barter system, and with the hassles of getting it done by assigning a volunteer to help. We hope to find ways of promoting and selling the bartered goods that will get people interested, so everyone can feel pleased they got involved. With any luck, we might get better prices since the sales are for a good cause!
With the help of some wonderful volunteers, we have set up the following process, beginning with cats to get our feet wet. If you have a cat that needs to be spayed or neutered, we will set up the veterinary appointment, make sure you have all you need to get the cat there - or do it for you - and pay for the surgery. What you will give in exchange is an item we can sell to reimburse our fund – preferably something with a value of around $100, although we will be flexible. It doesn’t have to be a physical "thing." It could be any of the following:
- Math tutoring
- Handyman work
- Food - meat, produce, catered dinner . . .
- House cleaning
- Snow shoveling
- Sports coaching
- And more . . .
Please don’t be limited by my limited imagination!
If you want to help out by donating something for sale - thank you very much! We are grateful for the generosity and will probably ask if you can find a cat to sponsor. ("Sponsor"? How's that for a euphemism?) There are plenty of strays needing attention and several volunteers willing to help make it happen.
If you have an animal in need of neutering, know of one, want to get rid of something for a good cause, want to donate a service or have a question, please get in touch. For the time being, I will be the main contact, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 819-459-2110.
If you are interested in supporting us by buying some of the donated items and services, check them out at lootforneut.wordpress.com.
All the best,