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Tip of the Week: Spay It Forward

October 25, 2021, The Association

Here’s a budget-friendly, easy-to-implement idea for you to chew on as we head into the week, courtesy of Aimee St. Arnaud of Open Door Veterinary Care.

With grant opportunities for spay/neuter decreasing as funding shifts to access to care issues, it’s important to keep in mind how crucial S/N services are. “Spay/neuter is often the first service that people need for their pets,” says Open Door Veterinary Care’s Aimee St. Arnaud, “and in many cases it’s the first time they’re seeing a vet. Once we get them in for this initial care, then we can offer ongoing care.”

As clinics look for additional revenue sources, here’s a great idea for bringing in extra bucks to fund both S/N services and provide access to additional care. “Try a Spay It Forward program,” says St. Arnaud. “Simply have staff ask at check-in, ‘Would you like to make a donation so that we can help other pets in need?’”  

Note, it’s important to leave the question open-ended. “Don’t ask for an amount,” recommends St. Arnaud. “Expect that some people will give you a dollar; some may not be able to afford a donation, and some will give you 15 or 20 dollars. I see some clinics making upwards of $20,000 a year just by asking that question.” And if you don’t feel comfortable with the ask, start by simply giving out the information on a card at check-in.

This tip is one of many shared in The Association’s recent webinar, “Spay/Neuter: Integral to Access to Care,” which you can access here. And remember, you can apply this concept to fee-waived or pay-your-own-price adoptions programs or a community microchip or vaccine clinic.

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Tip of the Week: Survey Says…

Photo: Open Door Veterinary Care

About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.
  1. I work for Spay-Neuter Assistance Program in Houston and San Antonio, Texas. We’ve been doing a Spay-It-Forward program for about five years. At first, we had the staff ask the client, and it was difficult to get them to be comfortable with that. Now, we print a donation line item of $6 on every estimate. In FY2021, we raised $87,862 through this program.

    Leaving the ask open ended definitely has its merits, but once a client has “buy-in” in SNAP’s mission, that client is likely to follow up with a second donation.

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