Annual fundraiser benefits Community Animal Rescue Effort


It was all so simple.

A quick drop-off. Easy paperwork. A next-day pickup.

What was not to like about the local Community Animal Rescue Effort’s low-cost spay and neuter clinic that Elisa Rodriguez used about a year ago for her dog Ruth?

“But I think a lot of people still don’t know about it,” Rodriguez said.

She was so appreciative of CARE’s work that made the $60 spay possible that she became a CARE volunteer. That includes serving at the nonprofit group’s annual Spay-ghetti Dinner fundraiser scheduled from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Tre Bicchieri restaurant, 425 Washington St. in Columbus.

More than 7,000 local animals have been spayed/neutered through CARE’s low-cost clinics since the first Spay-ghetti event. The gathering features a meal including a salad, spaghetti, bread, a homemade dessert and a drink for $12, the price of an adult advance ticket.

Already this calendar year, the all-volunteer CARE has spayed or neutered more than 200 animals, organization president Lia Elliott said.

“We are incredibly excited about the potential this trajectory holds for 2017,” Elliott said. “It signals that advocacy and educational efforts are absolutely paying off, making a difference and saving animals.”

CARE and officials with local shelters have long discussed concerns about the animal overpopulation in Bartholomew County.

Elliott cites national figures to build awareness of the problem. Each year, an estimated six to eight million cats and dogs enter U.S. shelters, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Of the 3 million dogs and cats euthanized in shelters each year, about 80 percent are healthy and adoptable.

CARE offers two low-cost spay/ neuter clinics — the first and third Tuesday — of each month. The cost to spay/neuter is $60 for dogs and $10 for cats. Proof of rabies vaccination is required; if not current, that’s available for an additional $15. Sign-up sheets for C.A.R.E.’s low-cost clinics are available at Speck’s Pet Supplies, 3860 W. Carlos Folger Drive, Columbus.

Normal veterinary cost for spaying or neutering a dog can run about $300, depending upon the facility.

“It definitely can be expensive,” Elliott said. “But I believe most people want to do the right thing.”

Last year’s dinner generated $11,000 for the case, Elliott said. The challenge gets a little bigger this year, with a goal set for $15,000.

Dinner for a cause

What: Community Animal Rescue Effort’s 10th annual Spay-ghetti Dinner fundraiser.

When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Tre Bicchieri restaurant, 425 Washington St. in Columbus.

Meal: Salad, spaghetti with meat or marinera sauce, bread, dessert (a variety of homemade cakes, pies and such to chose from) and a drink.

Cost: Adults, $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Children, $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Available at Tre Bicchieri; Viewpoint Books, 458 Washington St.; and Dog World Day Care and Behavior Center, 1629 Southpark Ct.

Author photo
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.