March 1-- The Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society (SOAPS) in Vidalia held its annual "Spay-Ghetti" supper to raise money needed to find homes for dogs and cats in Toombs County.
Volunteer servers helped pass out the "Spay-Ghetti" (L-R) Vidalia Mayor Ronnie Dixon, SOAPS volunteer Holly Zachary, Vidalia City Councilman Cecil Thompson, Vidalia Mayor Pro Tem John Raymond Turner, Kathy Hilt of The Advance, Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker and Vidalia City Manager Nick Overstreet.
According to SOAPS Director Therisa Ingley, "The money for this goes to support the programs we do in addition to the contributions we get from individuals. We are very financially pressed at this point in time. The $15,000 that we normally raise with this is a lot of money, but that really only covers our expenses for two months. Every animal we send out of this community through our program costs a minimum of $100 and when we're sending 1,500 animals out a year, you can do the math and see what we're spending."
SOAPS works with animal shelters around the country to find forever homes for strays found in Toombs County, "Most of our animals go up north to animal rescue groups that are really top notch. They find excellent homes for our animals and we want to maintain that. We don't want our dogs leaving here and not going to the best," Ingley said.
SOAPS' relocation efforts also have a positive impact on the animal population in local shelters, "When we first started about 18 years ago, Vidalia Animal Control routinely might have had a hundred dogs out there at one time. Now, they may have about 40 and that's because a lot of animals get to us before they get out there and the same is true in Lyons," she reported.