GUELPH — A new local group dedicated to humane treatment of animals intends to divert recovered animals to adoptive homes so they aren’t killed as the ultimate animal control measure.

SAVE, which stands for Save Animals Versus Euthanizing, is holding upcoming public fundraising and information meetings to garner support for its efforts, which include educating the public on the need to spay and neuter pets. “We fully support the actions they’re doing,” Guelph Humane Society president and board chair David Young said of SAVE, noting a large animal population in the area, which he attributed to not enough pet owners sterilizing their animals. “We’ve got to get the education out there,” Young said, noting his organization sterilizes pets it adopts out. “The overpopulation is the problem and that needs to be focused on,” Young stressed, adding he’s hopeful SAVE will spur local efforts to sterilize. The municipality contracts out animal control to the humane society, including relevant bylaw enforcement. City service performance development co-ordinator Katherine Gray said that animal control is currently under review. She wasn’t sure what to make of SAVE but added the city isn’t apposed to community involvement. “We always welcome public engagement,” Gray said, adding she couldn’t comment, however, on adoption versus euthanasia. Local veterinarian Dr. Kate Flanigan is president of SAVE. Barbara Miller, a former Guelph Humane Society board director and a past GHSPETS founder, is secretary, while Tracy Bolzon is treasurer. GHSPETS stands for Guelph Humane Society Progressive Ethical Transparent Society “It’s another animal rescue group option for Guelph,” Miller said Wednesday, adding SAVE is not in any way connected to the humane society, though some of its almost four dozen members were formerly with GHSPETS, an offshoot of the society that opposes pet euthanasia. So does SAVE, which prefers animal fostering and adoption, as well as educating the public on the need for pet sterilization. Miller said another goal is creation of a sterilized feral cat community like several in existence in Toronto. “They can live out their lives.” SAVE is organizing two upcoming fundraising events. At 11 a.m. Oct. 16, there’s a launch ceremony and charity barbecue at the Domenic’s No Frills store at 35 Harvard Rd., near the University of Guelph campus. That’s followed at noon Oct. 23 at Centennial Collegiate on College Avenue West with a fusion Latin dance class led by local Zumba instructors. Class tickets are $10 each, available at retailers and SAVE’s website: www.saveguelphanimals.ca.
Miller can wait to get SAVE efforts rolling. “The first goal,” Miller said, “is to get some foster homes.”
vkirsch@guelphmercury.com

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