A Woman Who Has Made a Difference
By Toni Dougherty
In 2007 we lost the founder and the driving force of our organization, Peg Banes. She has left behind a legacy that with continued support by dedicated volunteers will go on for some time. Spay and Save is just one of several organizations that has been dealing with the unwanted pet explosion. The difference is that Peg's mission was not just to save these animals but also to solve the problem by making neutering a viable option for pet owners thus heading off more problems. Until recently most organizations of this type have not taken on the mission of neutering as Spay and Save has done.
I was asking some of our long-standing volunteers Chris Daniels, Kathy Orlando and Naomi McCarron how Spay and Save came to be and this is what I learned.
What is the Mission of Spay and Save?
Spay and Save, Inc., strives to provide assistance to pets and their financially distressed owners. In doing so, the organization provides low cost spaying; neutering and veterinary care for needy animals, and rescues, treats and finds homes for helpless animals using a network of volunteers and foster homes. Spay and Save is not a shelter but rather attempts to educate the general public in all matters of animal welfare hopefully to eventually eliminate the burgeoning population of unwanted cats and dogs.
When did Spay and Save start and what made Peg decide to start the rescue?
Peg actually began the organization in the late 70's, but it was not incorporated as a non-profit until 1982. Her love for cats brought her to the conclusion that more should be done so she began to foster and adopt out cats and kittens from her home. She was fostering several cats and they are now in the care of two of her closest friends.
How did we develop the relationship with Petco?
It all began in King of Prussia with a manager named Donna Weeden, who allowed Spay and Save to have a cage there. Chris Daniels and Val Nave went over daily to check on cages and clean them. The cages were first, and then it was Chris’s idea to have adoption days in the store. Donna shortly there after moved to the Malvern Petco and she invited us to expand our relationship. From this point on we have made a concerted effort to expand into other similar retail outlets. As of September 2007 we have cages in three Petco’s and two Pet Valu's and the Perk Valley Pet Eatery
Did Peg have any dreams for Spay and Save that were not realized?
Peg's dream of having a large barn/feral division was never realized. So few people are willing to donate the time, effort, and expense of driving hundreds of miles for these placements, setting up cages, and then going back to check on them. Also, if there are problems or an animal gets sick, the adoptive home is not around the corner. Only Peg in her determination to protect the cats that no one else wanted, was willing to do this. She tried training a few volunteers, but unfortunately, no one took it upon himself or herself to carry on her dream.
Spay and Save just recently had a board meeting and at this point Spay and Save will continue much in the manner in which its Founder and President had intended it. The mission will not change.