Submitted by the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor
Dr. Sonja Webster and the Islands Veterinary Clinic staff were some of the over 100 San Juan Island community members to celebrate World Spay Day, Mardi Paw style, at the Animal Protection Society – Friday Harbor’s 13th Annual “Spay”ghetti Dinner at the Mullis Center on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Event highlights included the delicious “spay”ghetti, Caesar salad, and garlic bread prepared and served by Leslie Byron and her fabulous “kitchen crew”; a buffet of delicious desserts donated by APS friends; a keg of lager beer donated by San Juan Island Brewing Company; and a Cabernet and Chardonnay from Island Wine Company that rounded out the spirited drink selection.
Shelter staff Beth Anderson and Diana O’Brian shared information about APS-FH’s programs for volunteers as well as for the promotion of “Trap, Neuter, Return.” Dr. Carolyn Haugen was on hand to sell 2020 dog licenses, a service provided by the shelter and a small source of revenue for the organization. All island dog owners are encouraged to drop by the shelter and renew your license(s) soon!
Newly hired APS-FH Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Merriss Waters DVM spoke to guests about why she celebrates World Spay Day, stating that, “in the 1970’s we euthanized over 12 million dogs and cats each year in US shelters. Today we euthanize less than 1.5 million. Much of that reduction has been thanks to the rise in humane spay/neuter practices”. Waters congratulated the “Spay”ghetti guests for their efforts that have contributed to this reduction and rallied everyone to keep going until that number reaches zero.
Raffle prizes included a $100 gift certificate for dinner at McMillin’s dining room at Roche Harbor, a pet portrait session by Alan Niles Photography, and an outrageously creative original cake designed by Cakes by Felicitations.
APS-FH Executive Director Cristin Felso began by taking a moment to honor the memory of Chance Earle, “someone very special is missing here tonight.” Felso then spoke about the recent opening of the shelter’s vaccination and spay/neuter surgical suite, explaining that bringing these services in-house at the shelter reduces the cost to provide these medical services to shelter animals by almost 75 percent. “Adoption rates barely scratch the surface of expenses to the shelter to provide for the nutrition, housing, and medical care for each animal. The opening of our surgical suite means that the community’s support of the shelter goes that much further.”
Felso then announced an exciting opportunity to further enhance the shelter’s operations with a generous 25K challenge from Bob and Lissa McDowell: any donations that come into APS-FH between now and May will be doubled!
Felso wrapped up the evening’s announcements with this sentiment, “The APS-FH shelter belongs to this community and it exists because of the community’s incredible support. We are so very grateful, from the bottom of our Mardi Paws.”
The APS-FH mission is to provide compassionate care and brighter futures for homeless animals; with a commitment to providing a safe haven for homeless and lost animals; reuniting lost pets with their owners; placing animals in our care into qualified and loving homes; reducing pet overpopulation through spay/neuter education and assistance; advise and advocate for the protection of animals; network with other shelters and pet rescue groups impacted by overcrowding or natural disasters to decrease euthanasia rates to save lives; advocate for animal welfare through education, outreach and assistance; promote a stronger sense of the animal/human bond; and always adhere to our no-kill philosophy for adoptable animals.