CASA GRANDE — On a recent sunny September morning, dozens of dog and cat owners filed into a spay-and-neuter clinic organized by Pets In Need Action League.

The pet owners were financially disadvantaged and the sterilization of their animals was done for a nominal fee.

In total, 26 animals were sterilized.

“Our average at these clinics usually runs about 40 pets sterilized,” said Lynda Nesbitt, president of PINAL. “We were scheduled to do 47 animals and it’s disappointing, but we had a few no-shows.”

For the volunteers at nonprofit PINAL, the sterilization clinics are an important step in keeping pets in loving homes, preventing overcrowding at area animal shelters and reducing euthanasia rates among cats and dogs.

The organization was created in 2013 with the slogan “Keeping pets and people together” and it works to address the reasons why animals wind up in animal shelters.

In some cases, pet-owners are unable financially to feed, care for or sterilize an animal. PINAL’s volunteers work with area pet owners to solve those issues through its various programs.

PINAL’s Never Surrender program is designed to prevent pet owners from taking an animal to the shelter by working with residents to find other solutions, whether it’s keeping the dog or cat, “rehoming” it or finding temporary care during times of need.

In its Canines with Class program, a team of animal owners and dogs visit third grade students in the area and talk about pet care, responsibility, compassion, safety and the responsibility that comes with animal ownership.

PINAL also operates a pet food bank in which about 450 pounds of dog and cat food are given away each month to low-income pet owners struggling to feed their animals.

Volunteers with the organization stress sterilization of animals and frequently refer clients to various low-cost clinics.

The September clinic was arranged by PINAL and hosted by the Casa Grande Animal Care and Adoption Center. Tucson-based Asavet Charities performed the surgeries on the animals.

“Clinics like this highlight the collaboration of three separate entities on behalf of animals and the financially disadvantaged pet owners of the county,” Nesbitt said.

But PINAL needs donations to continue providing services.

“We are quickly running out of money and really need the community’s support,” Nesbitt said. “We are struggling financially.”

Although PINAL has received some grant money, including a small amount from the state’s Spay-Neuter License Plate grant program, such opportunities are tough to find.

“The grant avenue is becoming increasingly competitive and especially difficult for small, all-volunteer, grass-roots organizations that cannot easily collect or analyze all of the stats and sustainability data major grantors are now requiring,” Nesbitt said. “We receive no municipal or county funding.”

The organization has run some fundraisers on Facebook and is appealing to the public for financial assistance.

Those who wish to contribute may contact PINAL at 520-582-0299.

Those needing help from the organization may visit its website and complete an application for assistance.

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