SNIP Program offers help with spaying and neutering of adopted pets

The Western Arizona Humane Society's Spay and Neuter Incentive program (SNIP) has been instrumental in the spaying and neutering of more than 6,000 animals.

"We limit the coupons to families who make less than $25,000 a year, one coupon per family," said the Mohave County Animal Control operations supervisor Lane Plunkett.

The one-time coupon is available for any pet not adopted from the shelter and can be picked up at the Mohave County Animal Control facility, 950 Buchanan St.

The coupons are worth $35 toward the spaying or neutering of a dog; $30 toward the spaying of a female cat or $15 toward the neutering of a male cat.

The person receiving the coupon then shops around, Plunkett said.

If the veterinarian charges $100 for spaying the dog the coupon can be used toward the charge, with the person paying the remaining $65 themselves.

If a veterinarian only charges $75, the family would pay $40 plus the $35 coupon for the procedure.

The program has provided $48,000 to residents throughout Mohave County to help off-set the cost of the spay/neuter surgical procedures, according to the Mohave County Animal Control shelter in Kingman.

The SNIP program is supported solely through donations, with the coupon program administered by the Mohave County Animal Control Department.

Plunkett recommends that before choosing to adopt a cat or dog, to ask the following questions:

• Am I ready to make a long-term commitment? Adopting a pet means being responsible for its health and happiness for the rest of its life, which could easily be 10-15 years for dogs and more than 20 years for cats.

• Is the animal right for my household? A strong, active pet may be too much for a young child or elderly person to handle.

Small pets may be too delicate for rough play with children.

Always make sure that everyone in the household agrees to adopt an animal.

• Who will be the primary caretaker for the animal? One adult in the home should be designated as the primary caretaker so that the pet's needs do not become lost in the shuffle of busy schedules.

• Can I afford the animal? The cost of a pet is more than just the purchase price or adoption fee: remember to include the cost of food, pet supplies, veterinarian services and training.

The breed of a dog can also be a clue to its behavior.

"Working breeds, such as Malamutes, huskies, chows and shepherds are good for adults.

Older persons might want to get a small breed - Pekinese, Chihuahua and toy breeds, such as toy poodles that are easier to care for," Plunkett said.

Families with children should get a good-natured dog - a golden retriever or a yellow Labrador.