County teams with Humane Ohio for low-cost ‘fix’ program

The Big Fix, a low-cost spay/neuter program, has returned to Wood County.

Wood County licensed dog owners can have their dog spayed or neutered at a significantly reduced rate.

Spots are limited. The Big Fix is open to the first 120 dogs when their owners call the Humane Ohio Spay/Neuter Clinic in Toledo.

Since the program started in 2017, there have been more than 1,000 spays/neuters performed in Wood County.

“This program is a win-win for dog owners and the community,” said Steve Serchuk, creator of the Big Fix and local animal advocate. “Some pet owners just can’t afford to get their dog fixed so the program allows them the opportunity to help their pet while following the law.”

There are multiple positive effects when owners get their dogs spayed or neutered. Spayed/neutered dogs are less aggressive and less likely to roam. Therefore, it helps improve public safety by reducing strays wandering the streets and reduces pet overpopulation, which lessens the burden on local shelters and taxpayers.

If Wood County residents have not yet gotten a license for their dog, this is an opportunity to do so. Also, dog owners with a current license who have not spayed or neutered their dog can renew their current license to become eligible for the program. The 2023 license year begins on Dec. 1.

“When you get a dog license in Wood County, it helps fund the dog shelter. It’s also Ohio law to get your dog licensed at three months or older. Plus, when your dog is licensed, it’s easier to reunite you if your dog gets lost,” said Matt Oestreich, Wood County auditor, who oversees dog licensing. “The Big Fix actually has helped increase the number of licensed dogs in the county, as residents want to be able to participate in this great program and get their pets fixed for a fraction of what it would normally cost.”

The cost for participants is $20. The Big Fix is funded by the county and Midwest Happy Tails Animal Fund.

“This is such a positive program for our community,” said Doris Herringshaw, Wood County commissioner. “It’s been a great partnership with the commissioners and the shelters, and we hope to be able to help even more owners in the future.”

There are currently 19,024 licensed dogs in Wood County. Of those, 29% still are not “fixed.”