By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Oklahoma Animal Care Foundation (OACF) recently held its 17th annual golf tournament at the Coffee Creek Golf Club, 4000 N. Kelly Avenue, in Edmond.
Proceeds from the tournament go to benefit the Foundation’s Pet Overpopulation Fund. It helps low-income families spay/neuter their pets for only $10.00.
The Foundation is the charitable branch of the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) whose member veterinarians perform the spay/neuter surgeries in local communities throughout Oklahoma.
Top sponsors for the event were Merial, a global animal health company; IDEXX Laboratories, and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.
The fundraising tournament included team prizes, specialty hole prizes, raffles and an awards lunch.
OACF is the only program that offers low-cost spay/neuter facilities to low-income families in every part of Oklahoma.
The OVMA membership is composed of more than 1,000 individual Oklahoma veterinarians, Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences faculty, veterinary students, out-of-state veterinarians, and allied members. Member veterinarians enjoy many benefits by belonging to the OVMA.
These members are bound to the common goals of animal welfare and professionalism.
Every year, licensed Oklahoma veterinarians must obtain 20 hours of continuing education to maintain their license to practice veterinary medicine in Oklahoma. The OVMA is a source for their education.
Along with pet sterilization for low income families, the fund was established to provide educational programs on responsible pet ownership.
Pet sterilization has many benefits. It effectively reduces pet overpopulation; expenditures for animal control; stray animals being injured by automobiles; human bites from stray animals; property damage from stray animals; and the number of animals euthanized.
Approximately 100,000 animals are euthanized each year in Oklahoma.
Families utilizing government subsidized programs, such as Food Stamps or Women, Infants & Children, are eligible for the low-cost spay/neuter program. They can apply any time by filling out an application, which can be found on the OVMA website.
“Veterinarians are willing to contribute our time and resources to make sure that low-income families are able to spay/neuter their pets,” said Foundation Board Member, Dr. Charles Helwig.
“If you are fortunate enough to be able to provide your pet with a great life, please participate in this event – it’s a great way to spend the day. If you cannot attend please make a donation of any size,” Helwig added.
During the Oklahoma State Fair, which runs from September 17-27, OVMA spay/neuter surgeries will be performed Monday through Friday at 6:30 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Birthing Center Barn #4.
“The dogs being spay/neutered are from the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter,” said Tina Mosetis, OVMA Media Relations. “Everyone can watch the surgeries and then go to the OKC Animal Shelter to adopt a puppy.”
The OKC Shelter is open for adopting or reclaiming pets from noon to 5:45 p.m. every day except holidays, and on the third Wednesday of every month when the Shelter opens for those purposes at 2 p.m. The shelter is located at SE 29 & Bryant, 1.5 miles east of I-35. For more information, call 405-297-3100.
“Spay First is partnering with OVMA to publicize these important events, like the golf tournament, that raise funds to help low-income families get $10 spay/neuters,” said Mosetis.
To learn more about the Oklahoma Animal Care Foundation, visit www.okvma.org, or call 405-475-1002.