Teller County Regional Animal Shelter Receives $5,000 Grant for Mobile Surgical Unit | Pikes Peak Courier

Christmas came early this year for the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter. The Animal Assistance Foundation awarded the shelter in Divide a $5,000 grant.

Jodi Waters, director of development at TCRAS, wrote the grant for the shelter’s mobile surgical unit in September and received the good news in November. Describing it as a “big deal,” she said: “You’ve supported us for years. We have a wonderful working relationship with them. We are blessed that they view our mission as a small rural mountain retreat on a budget.”

TCRAS will use the funds to equip a mobile surgical unit – dubbed “Fixed for Life” – with consumables. The shelter is starting “from scratch,” she explained, and will convert either a trailer or an ambulance on site. dr Jeff Baier, TCRAS Chief Medical Officer and local veterinarian, will use the device to perform spay and neuter procedures on shelter animals.

“We can put our guests up for adoption at the shelter much sooner because we can spay and neuter on site. Our policy is that every pet is spayed, neutered, vaccinated and microchipped prior to adoption. We have no exceptions to this as pet overpopulation is a serious problem,” Wasser said.

Until now, TCRAS has relied on local Teller County veterinary partners to spay and neuter the pets in their care.

“We understand that sometimes there is a wait. If it’s two weeks, that’s two weeks a pet isn’t available for adoption,” Waters explained.

Fees are borne by the shelter and are not passed on to customers.

“Adoption fees don’t cover what it costs TCRAS to prepare dogs and cats for adoption,” Waters said. “We want to have reasonable adoption fees, but also do the right thing and make sure they are spayed and neutered before adoption.”

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TCRAS has wanted a mobile surgical unit for some time, he said. However, the shelter does not have the capacity.

“We care for about 1,000 dogs and cats that come to our shelter each year,” Waters said, noting that veterinary expenses are one of the largest items in the shelter’s budget.

The total cost of the mobile surgical unit is approximately $20,000 and the AAF grant funding will go a long way.

“This grant brings us so much closer,” Waters said, adding that they want to get the mobile surgical unit up and running as soon as possible.

The grant money should free up additional funds within their annual budget when TCRAS has pets that need comprehensive medical care beyond spaying and neutering.