In the iconic 2008 movie "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," small spoiled dogs sit at a dog salon talking about Biminy, a yorkshire terrier played by Leslie Mann, and her upcoming date with a dog named Scooter. After a comment made about Scooter chasing parked cars led to an eruption of laughter, a black poodle named Delta said: “Me, I’d be happy with one who’s not … fixed.”
Thanks to the Athens County Humane Society’s, or ACHS, Spay-ghetti Dinner fundraiser, even more dogs will fail to meet Delta’s wishes. Yesterday at Restaurant Salaam, 21 W. Washington St., people supporting the humane society’s spay/neuter program came out for a spaghetti feast.
Jazzma Quinn, a relatively new board member at ACHS, said the six members of the fundraising committee took inspiration for yesterday’s event from the animal welfare organization’s past fundraisers and other humane societies that have hosted spaghetti fundraisers.
“We can provide a really great atmosphere while providing educational resources and talking to people and kind of getting our faces out there of what we actually do because it’s amazing how many people don’t realize what the humane society can do and offer,” Quinn said.
Some of the resources ACHS offers range from pet food assistance to helping people surrender their pets, Quinn also said. Although the ACHS does not have a shelter, the organization works with people to foster pets.
“We do the low income spay and neuter,” said Quinn. “And we also do TNR, which is trap, neuter and release. So we’re just trying to kind of reset and come up with fun things that people would be excited about to join us (and) that they get their bang for their buck.”
The menu for the fundraiser was, of course, an option of spaghetti with a meat sauce or a vegetable sauce, Hilarie Burhans, head chef and one of the owners of Restaurant Salaam, said. Quinn said it was also served with a side of bread and dessert. Restaurant Salaam typically makes and serves Mediterranean food, so the spaghetti fundraiser was a change from the typical menu options.
“It’s different from what we usually do because it’s a whole bunch of one thing,” Burhans said. “But I’ve made plenty of meat sauce here, plenty of the vegetable sauce.”
There were two separate dinner times. The first was at 5:30 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m. People could also choose the carry-out option between 6:30 and 8 p.m.
Kate McGuckin has been a continuous donor to ACHS since 1982 and wanted to further that support at the fundraiser. McGuckin has also always been a caretaker and owner of cats.
“I’ve fostered hundreds or more cats,” McGuckin said. “I come from a long line of cat lovers. My grandfather had 60 cats.”
The ACHS’s spay/neuter clinic is located at 1 W. Main St. in Jacksonville, Ohio. There is a low-income option for Athens residents only. For cat neuter and spay, the low-income price is $50 and the dog neuter and spay, with a weight maximum of 75 lbs, is $85. The standard price for cats is $120 and for dogs the price is $165.
Health benefits are associated with neutering and spaying pets. According to the Humane Society of the United States, a study of 70,000 animals conducted by the University of Georgia found the life expectancy of neutered male dogs was 13.8% longer and for spayed female dogs the life expectancy was 26.3% longer. A study by Banfield Pet Hospitals of 460,000 cats revealed spayed female cats lived 39% longer and neutered male cats lived 62% longer.
There is a wait time for people trying to schedule a neuter/spay appointment with the ACHS, which may be up to two months for cats and three months for dogs. A registration link can be found on their website.
The Spay-ghetti Dinner fundraiser is not the last event the ACHS will have this year. The high demand for the organization’s resources means more fundraising and support is needed in the future.
“We’ve got a few other bigger ticket items that we’d like to do this year, next year,” Quinn said. “And we’re working towards those, but those take a lot longer to plan where we have such a need now.”