Group receives $10K in effort to assist local pets
CRESCENT CITY – A team of South Putnam County animal lovers received an early Christmas gift this year to help more than 100 dogs and cats.
South Putnam Animal Network received $10,000 through Putnam County’s nonprofit Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act grant. The money will be used to spay and neuter pets in the area as well as assist owners with emergency vet bills.
Organizer Diane Sykes said the Crescent City team began in 2014 as a temporary foster care for residents who needed health visits or had errands to run but couldn’t leave their animals alone. From there, she said, the team migrated to spaying, neutering and emergency veterinary services for free to residents.
“South Putnam is a really poor area and I think people dump their animals in Crescent City, to be honest,” Sykes said. “They know there are a bunch of animal lovers out here and it’s like, “Here, throw the cat out here.’”
In past years, the group relied on fundraising events such as yard sales, a chili cook-off and Breakfast at the Crescent City Fire Station. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many events to be canceled, but Sykes said the grant money came just in time for Christmas.
The five volunteers provided certificates to service 115 dogs and cats with the money received, and Sykes said helping so many animals felt good in the trying year.
She said one dog owner emailed the group thanking them for helping their dog, Layla, get the surgery she needed.
Although the team is based in Crescent City, it helps other areas such as Georgetown, Pomona Park and Welaka.
The organization’s mission is “to help animals in temporary need through a fostering network and provide a bridge for resources, information and education to our community,” according to the animal network website, and Sykes said donations and volunteers are still welcome.
Donations can be made at spanfoster.org or by emailing SPANCrescentCity@gmail.com.
“We have a lot of animal lovers in our area, and in our group especially,” Sykes said. “… It just feels so good to be able to help the animals.”
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