Petco Foundation Invests in Haywood Spay/Neuter’s Lifesaving Work

$10,000 grant extends efforts to continue Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) community cat project

Haywood Spay/Neuter today announced a $10,000 Petco Foundation grant in support of its ongoing TNR project for Haywood County’s free roaming “community cats.” The nonprofit organization actively seeks to lower the county’s cat overpopulation, with nearly 6,000 community cats sterilized and vaccinated since 2009. TNR cats receive rabies and distemper vaccines and Ivermectin for parasites.

The happy result is a down turn of unwanted cats ending up in the county shelter. Unless friendly or socialized or adopted as mousers, most community cats are euthanized. The shelter’s euthanasia rate for cats dropped from 75% in 2008 to 17.2% in 2015.

TNR team volunteers return fixed cats to their trap site. The left ear is ‘tipped’ to alert people that this cat will not reproduce and received at least one rabies vaccination.

“I am so grateful that Petco Foundation is helping to keep our TNR project – instead of cats – intact,” said Connie Hewitt, president. “The calls for help with community cats keep coming in. We have been dipping into our meager reserves to cover TNR expenses. Petco Foundation’s investment in our community keeps the project viable for another 300 cats without having to deplete resources from other critical programs. With the requests we receive for help with community cats, this grant should be depleted by early spring,” she stated.

Haywood County residents who feed outdoor cats can participate in its ‘You Feed, You Fix’ initiative by calling the TNR Hotline at 828-400-5981 to request support.

For more information about Haywood Spay/Neuter or the Petco Foundation, visit or

About Haywood Spay/Neuter
Over the last 10 years, Haywood Spay/Neuter provided nearly 18,000 low-cost and no-cost surgeries for Haywood County pets. It serves the community by providing low cost spay/neuter and animal wellness programs like inexpensive flea and worming medicines, which is a big hit with pet owners.

In addition to its TNR project, Haywood Spay/Neuter has an ongoing Operation Pit initiative for qualified owners that provides free surgery, rabies, and microchip for pits of all ages. Dogs fixed by 5 months avoid first heats and gain other health benefits.

For other pet owners, the organization offers low- cost spay/neuter services, generally charging $10-$20 depending on income for each surgery and rabies vaccination.

Haywood Animal Welfare Association, Inc. (HAWA) dba Haywood Spay/Neuter is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Tax deductible donations make its programs available for low-income pets and can made online or mailed to P.O. Box 992, Waynesville NC 28786.

About The Petco Foundation
The Petco Foundation believes that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, it has invested more than $167 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, they inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through its Think Adoption First program, Petco partners with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. Petco has helped more than 5 million pets find new loving families.