(WBIR-Knoxville) Young-Williams Animal Center is putting its prize money from competing in a national contest to good use.
The shelter won $6,000 dollars in the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, by increasing the number of animals saved last summer. They ended up finishing 2nd in the Southeast and 15th in the nation.
With that money, the veterinary team at Young-Williams performed a total of 108 spay and neuter surgeries on lost or stray animals that were then reunited with their owners. They included 86 dogs and 22 cats.
"Spaying and neutering pets is the single most effective, most humane solution to help control pet overpopulation in East Tennessee," said Young-Williams Animal Center CEO Jeff Ashin. "With this award, we were able to offer free spay and neuter services for lost pets who were reclaimed by their families. The prize money therefore helped us prevent 108 pets from potentially having unplanned litters of puppies and kittens for which there simply are not enough homes."
According to a press release, shelter officials say the free surgeries meant a lot to the families who reclaimed their pets, because many of them could not afford to have their pets fixed.
"Research shows that animals that wander from their homes are at high risk for producing unplanned litters," said Ashin. "Additionally, spay or neuter surgery can often reduce the pet's desire to roam and therefore decrease the chances of these animals coming through our doors again as strays. We appreciate the ASPCA and this award for helping us with the funding to address both issues for these pet owners."
If you have a lost pet or if you find a stray animal, you can contact Young-Williams Animal Center Lost and Found Department at 865-215-6665. If you are interested in spay and neuter services, contact Young-Williams Spay/Neuter Solutions at 865-215-6677.
To learn more about Young-Williams Animal Center, visit www.young-williams.org or check out Young-Williams Animal Center on Facebook.