Spaghetti for a cause? Yes please.
The second annual SPAYghetti Dinner is scheduled for this Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Eustis Service Center, 301 W Ward Ave. All proceeds benefit LEASH’s Sterilization/Neutral Certificate program.
medical bills for the men’s best friend can be quite expensive and are often moved at the end of the budget, leaving many pets unfixed. In an effort to make a difference to the number of stray dogs and cats on the streets, LEASH (Love, Enrichment, Adoption, Shelter, Health) has launched a spay/neuter voucher program to be given to pet owners in need. .
“This is one of our major fundraisers for the program,” said member Sue Richter. “Since December 2019, we have given out over 550 vouchers and are also starting to help with heartworms and other medical treatments.”
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Richter has volunteered with the organization since 2015 and was recently Lake County’s top volunteer with 1,500 hours.
“I love animals and I love the difference this organization makes,” she said.
LEASH started in 2015 with three volunteers and has evolved over the years. They’ve helped with over $30,000 in medical bills, $16,000 in 2021 alone. Some of the services sponsored by LEASH include free pet microchipping, feral cat TNR (trap, spay, return), funding for medical services at shelters and rescues, partnership with the Pet Peace of Mind program at Cornerstone Hospice and other miscellaneous voluntary work.
A new part of the organization is LEASH Jr., where children have the opportunity to see behind the scenes of the Humane Society of Lake County and learn how to take care of pets.
“The fourth Tuesday of the month the kids come in and we have an animal-related craft and take the kids on an overview of the shelter that gives them appreciation and teaches them the importance of caring for their animals,” member Retta Hellings says. .
“We need to educate our young people so that things change for the future,” added member Joanne Rittenhouse. “The humanitarian society and the shelters are full. For every animal adopted, there are five others waiting to be admitted. It gives children food for thought.
Fancy some SPAYghetti?
Tickets to the SPAYghetti fundraiser are $35 each and include dinner (with a gluten-free option available), desserts, beverages, one adult drink, and one night of fun. There will be a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and a bag raffle. For tickets, call Sue Richter at 407-399-4204.
LEASH also runs programs for local schools, churches and clubs, partnering with PAWS Therapy Dogs at special events. For more information, visit leashinc.org.