For people who live in Edgefield County, adding a furry friend to the family may soon be a lot easier, and a lot cheaper. Edgefield County Council is proposing an ordinance that would help low-income families get their pets spayed or neutered.
The voucher program would cover most spaying and neutering costs, and it would give a break to people who would not normally be able to afford those procedures.
Edgefield County would partner with the Aiken County SPCA if the new policy is approved.
SPCA Albrecht Center President Barbara Nelson said the $5,000 the county would set aside for this program is worth it.
"It's extremely important, the only answer to this animal overpopulation problem, and the deaths that are unnecessarily happening to all these poor animals is to have them spayed and neutered," said Nelson.
Fees for the surgery and vaccinations can add up to hundreds of dollars at a typical vet, but this program will cut the costs down to $15.
"That $15 is a co-pay, and that $15 is what the individual will pay for the entire surgery, and that includes a rabies vaccination, and a microchip, so that's a good deal," said Nelson.
County Administrator Lynn Strom said the county should offer these services to the residents who may not be able to afford it.
"I think it's very important for an area like Edgefield County because it's such a large area where strays often can just overpopulate. So, it's important to control that population in a rural area like Edgefield," said Strom.
Strom said the same type of program in Aiken County has been successful at stabilizing the number of animals coming into the shelter.
The county will have one more reading next month to decide if the ordinance will pass. If passed the program will go into effect immediately, and residents can get the voucher application on the county government website.
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