SNIP offers help in pet-population control

Published 7:14 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Animal control in Beaufort County is getting ready to take a SNIP — as in participating in the state-funded Spay/Neuter Incentive Program.

SNIP should help reduce the number of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens in the county. The program would be available to people who cannot afford to have their pets spayed or neutered. Potential beneficiaries of the program must meet eligibility requirements. Neighboring counties participate in the program, according to Jim Chrisman, assistant county manager and chief finance officer for the county.

Participating in SNIP would not cost the county any money, Chrisman said.

Veterinarians in Beaufort County have agreed to participate in the program, said Todd Taylor, the county’s chief animal-control officer, during a Board of Commissioners’ budget work session earlier this week. They would submit invoices for procedures performed as part of the program. The county would pay them with money provided by SNIP.

SHIP rules require the funding to go through the county before it is passed on to the veterinarians.

The commissioners indicated their support for the project, including it in the upcoming budget for the county, but that budget has not yet been approved.

SNIP should help with the problem of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens being left at the county’s animal shelter, where they face euthanasia, or being abandoned at places around the county. The commissioners made a wise decision to allow the county to participate in SNIP.

Taylor said the Department of Social Services would verify that potential SNIP users meet eligibility requirements.

SNIP would be in addition to spay/neuter clinics offered by the animal shelter in conjunction with the Beaufort County Humane Society.

SNIP should be another valuable tool in the local effort to reduce the population of unwanted pets in the county.

Kudos to the county for supporting SNIP and local veterinarians for being willing to perform the spay/neuter procedures.