Tuesday, 02 April 2019 03:43

Richmond County Animal Advocates' Spayghetti Dinner to raise money for spay and neuter program

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Several prizes, including scratch-off lottery baskets, will be up for grabs at this weekend's Spayghetti Dinner, hosted by Richmond County Animal Advocates to pay for spaying or neutering of low-income families' pets. Several prizes, including scratch-off lottery baskets, will be up for grabs at this weekend's Spayghetti Dinner, hosted by Richmond County Animal Advocates to pay for spaying or neutering of low-income families' pets. Contributed photo

HAMLET— Allison Story has been the director of the Richmond County Animal Advocates since 2012, and in that time has seen her group help low- and fixed-income families get their pets spayed and neutered when money has been an issue.

One of the ways the RCAA has continued their work is through events such as this Saturday's Spayghetti Dinner, set to be held at the Hamlet American Legion for the second year in a row.

The idea for the dinner came to Story while Googling new ideas for fundraisers and she had seen other local animal rescue groups such as the Richmond County Humane Society hold similar events.

"It's easy," Story said of preparing the dinners. "Spaghetti is one of the more simple meals to make, and it kind of plays off the word 'spay.'"

This will be third time overall that RCAA has held the Italian meal fundraiser, the first being in 2014 at Cafe on Main in Hamlet. Story said the group then took a small hiatus before eventually starting back last year at the American Legion.

In addition to the Spayghetti Dinner, the Richmond County Animal Advocates have held a dog wash the last Sunday of each month at Tractor Supply Company with the business letting them use their tubs for two hours to bathe dogs. One hundred percent of those proceeds go to the group's spay and neuter program, with each wash costing $10. There is also an annual Halloween party held at the Sports Connection bar on Main Street.

"In addition to those, we have miscellaneous events to be determined, such as the Murder Mystery private event in September," Story said. "That event was held at Ellerbe Springs last year, and the proceeds went to RCAA. That was a fun event that was very entertaining. I learned some new skills that night because I've never done any kind of acting. It was a different type of fundraiser because it brought in a completely different type of people; people that are interested in theater and acting in addition to helping animals."

For Story, helping pets is personal. She's seen the shelter have a low-income spay and neuter program that costs $49. It was designed for those on food stamps, adult Medicaid or disability, and she noticed that people were still struggling to get their pets fixed.

"We didn't have a lot of fosters and didn't have the rescue contacts that we used to," she said. "It's great that animals get sent to rescue and get adopted out, but if you can lower the intake, that makes the biggest impact over the next 10 years. It's $42 for the surgery and $7 for the rabies shot. That's where that number comes from. So we thought, 'How can we make this even better?' Why doesn't our group pay for that $42 up front, and people only have to pay for the $7 rabies shot?"

More than $2,500 was raised during last year's Spayghetti dinner, Story said, and all of that went to the spay and neuter program. In addition to the monetary numbers, Story added that 206 cats and dogs were able to be fixed last year, and as of Jan. 1, the group has already helped 165 more animals. She went on to say that they're hoping to blow past that number this year and hit 400.

When asked what people can expect from Saturday's event, Story said an amazing meal, as well as a ton of stuff that's been donated and is set to be raffled off such as gift baskets from Scotty's Bait and Tackle, a couple of scratch-off lottery baskets, restaurant gift cards from Pattan's, No. 1 Diner, Godfather's Pizza and Hudson Brothers, a Family Video movie basket and other items bought by Story and her staff.

She also said that people can expect, "good company with good people that are all about preventing unwanted births on the animal end."

"Even if we send and adopt ever animal in the shelter, as long as they're animals making babies, those shelters are gonna keep piling up," she continued. "Puppies and kittens are the most vulnerable in a shelter situation. They're the most apt to get sick and the least likely to get fixed. If they're adopted at 10 weeks old, people don't think to fix them. People forget. So we're trying to prevent that. We hope that by offering this affordably, there's no excuse. We hope to help everybody, no matter the income."

The Spayghetti Dinner will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 at the American Legion in Hamlet. Tickets are limited and $10 each. Attendees can buy tickets at the door, according to Story, but are encouraged to buy them ahead of time.

"It is a family friendly event, but people can buy beer at the bar if they want a drink with their meal," Story said. "You can come in, get your ticket and take it to go. We had 100 people last year, but I'd love to have 150 this year."

For more information or to purchase tickets, email Story at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Richmond County Animal Advocates Facebook page.