Since 2013, the BISSELL Pet Foundation has awarded $15,000 to support a unique spay/neuter program in northeast Ohio. The Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village has a proud history as a leading animal welfare organization. In 2008, they launched the Fix It in the Farmland low-cost spay/neuter program targeting low-income community members in rural Geauga county. This program is the only Amish-focused spay/neuter program in the country.
The sizeable Amish community faces unique barriers to utilizing sterilization services for their pets. Traveling by horse and buggy, many Amish have difficulty transporting their pets to heavily populated areas. The mobile spay/neuter program has helped to address these issues by providing low cost surgeries which are easily accessible by community members. Since its inception, the program has been a huge success providing education and spreading a greater understanding of pet health and humane population control.
With a grant from the BISSELL Pet Foundation, the Fix It in the Farmland program provided 125 spay/neuter surgeries for both cats and dogs. One dog assisted by this grant was Lassie. Lassie’s owner, Mr. Miller, is from an Amish community in the area. He had scheduled her to be spayed at the November Fit It Clinic, but unfortunately on this day there was a huge snowstorm and the conditions were so dangerous Mr. Miller could not travel by horse and buggy. He rescheduled her surgery, but when Lassie arrived at the clinic she was found to be pregnant. Geauga Humane Society agreed to help him find good homes for all the puppies when they were born. A few months passed and Lassie delivered three healthy puppies. Lassie was brought to Rescue Village to be spayed and her puppies came along. They were soon put up for adoption and each one found its new happy home.