by DAVID AFT
My friends, Marvin and Joanne Lewis are devoted animal lovers who cringe every time they hear the number of animals being put down in local shelters. In 2016, they decided to do something about it. They started “Eli's List,” with a mission of ending the needless euthanasia of cats in shelters as a result of pet overpopulation.
According to Marvin, over the past two years, they have offered financial assistance through Eli's List that reduces the out-of-pocket cost of spaying a cat to $25. The director of National Spay Alliance advised them that this would be a more effective program than covering the full cost of the procedure.
To date, more than 500 pet owners have taken advantage of this program, and the Lewises have made a personal commitment to fund their program through 2026, with plans to expand support to include full coverage for feral cats in trap-spay-release programs.
Marvin and Joanne are inviting others to join them so they may grow their support of spaying and neutering of animals. One hundred percent of contributions will go to support this program. Eventually, they hope to include dogs and neutering of both dogs and cats.
National Spay Alliance began travelling to Dalton in 2013 and established a permanent facility in Dalton in May of 2015. On Friday, December 29, they will exceed 17,000 spay and neuter procedures in this area. One positive result of this is that Animal Control intake of cats and dogs (which typically are euthanized) has been reduced by approximately 60 percent from more than 5,000/year to just over 2,000/year.
“Eli’s List” is a charitable fund we manage here at the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia. To help with the mission of “Eli’s List,” click the button on the right or send us a check and tell us to direct your donation to Eli's List for pets.
David Aft is the president of the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia. He has worked in the nonprofit field for over twenty-five years and is a recognized resource and noted speaker on charitable enterprise, civics, fundraising strategy and community development.