By Teresa P. Crowder
The Johnson County Humane Society has been organized and active since 1977 to prevent cruelty to animals, relieve animal suffering, extend humane education and support the animal control efforts of the city and county.
Society strives to reduce the number of unwanted animals through an aggressive spay/neuter program, helps to assure lost pets are returned to their owners through an active microchipping program, and provides educational clinics at schools and civic events.
Instead of the annual shot-day at Ralph Stout Park, this year, the organization offers a voucher program for free rabies and 5-way vaccines for dogs belonging to Johnson County’s residents.
The 5-in-1 vaccine for dogs offers many advantages over single-pathogen vaccines. It allows dog owners to get free rabies and 5-way vaccination. The canine 5-in-1 vaccine includes protection against canine distemper virus (indicated by the letter D), two types of adenovirus, aka hepatitis and kennel cough (named A, A2, or H), parainfluenza (P), and parvovirus (P). They are also highly contagious, and dogs of all ages risk becoming infected. These diseases are all caused by viruses with no known cure, so vaccination is the primary way to keep dogs protected.
“For one thing, your dog will only need to receive one shot during each visit rather than five, which saves time and money and minimizes your pet’s discomfort,” said Annette Sepega, JCHSI Secretary.
The program has already handed out all of the vouchers and is making a list of people in case there are voucher voids.
“It only took three days to hand out the $3,000 allocated,” Sepega said. “There are still spay/neuter vouchers available for both cats and dogs.”
Interested parties can call 727-9286 and leave a message. Calls are returned anywhere from immediately to within 24 hours.
To qualify, pet owners must be residents of Johnson County with under $40,000 a year household income.
A voucher gets made out, and the person will need to come by and pick it up before heading off to their appointment. All details are explained at the time the voucher is being filled out. Fisher Hollow Veterinary Clinic in Damascus is working with JCHSI by accepting the vouchers and administering the shots.
“We just applied for the Community Grant, so hopefully, we’ll be able to keep on doing the spay / neuter thing,” Sepega said. “It’s looking like the voucher program for dog shots may be our new venue. We hope to be able to do this every year from now on instead of a shot day at Ralph Stout Park. The active members of the humane society are getting too old to handle the workload on the shot day. The voucher program will at least allow us to continue providing what help we can to the residents of Johnson County and their pets.”
The Johnson County Humane Society is also seeking active volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please call 727-9286.