Race participants raise funds for dog surgery

Crazy M Cattle Dog Spay and Neuter Fund is holding its fourth annual virtual race to raise funds to provide free surgeries to dogs.

The Be My Valentine virtual race is being held until Sunday. In a virtual race, everyone sets their own course and runs or walks their own pace wherever they are. Participants can sign up online for a one mile, 5K, 10K or half marathon. The registration cost is $25 and ends on Sunday. Participants will receive a custom medal of their own and they can also register their pets for $5. Four legged friends will receive a participation ribbon of their own as well.

All proceeds will go directly to the Crazy M Cattle Dog Fund at the Animal Birth Control Clinic of Waco.

The clinic offers vaccinations, micro chipping, nail trimming, spay and neuter surgery, testing for heart worms and feline leukemia, flea treatment and several other services. Cat spaying and neutering ranges from $25 to $35. Dog spaying and neutering is $55.

“I thinks it’s very important for pet owners to be responsible for their pets, especially in the area of procreation,” Dr. Clay Butler, senior lecturer in the English department and dog owner, said. “The owner shouldn’t allow the pet to create more offspring if he or she isn’t willing to care for those offspring. The kennels in Waco are full of pets being euthanized on a regular basis. For many, spay/neuter is the only way to be sure there won’t be more unwanted pets euthanized. It isn’t very expensive, and there are places that hold free clinics around Waco.”

The Crazy M Cattle Dog Fund was started in 2012 by Kit Myers, who is also the owner of Crazy M Photography and raises bucking bulls and cattle with her husband using the brand Crazy M. The fund was started after she adopted her dog, Butch, from the Humane Society of Central Texas, where she volunteered as a photographer.

“This is our fourth virtual race,” Myers said. “We began doing them in 2013 after one of our supporters from Illinois suggested it. She had completed virtual runs for other charities and thought it would be a good fit. With Facebook, Butch’s fan base had grown outside of the local area so it seemed like a good idea. Since starting the runs, we had participants all over the United States and Australia.”

She started the fund because, historically, cattle dogs and herding breeds are the most numerous in shelters. Cattle dogs and herding breeds do not do well in shelters either and euthanasia rates for them are high. She wants to help the ‘root of the problem’ and hopes to decrease the number of dogs in shelters by helping to provide free spay and neuter services.

“I grew up on a farm and raise cattle now. I understand the financial burdens of farmers and ranchers,” Myers said. “They are stretched financially thin by necessities like equipment, seed, diesel, hay, feed. Spending money on a spay or neuter is not on the top of the financial priority list. It’s just my small way to help lower the unwanted pet population.”

Myers decided to partner with the Animal Birth Control Clinic because she is a board member and said she feels that the clinic provides quality work for the local area and has a great reputation.

Animal Birth Control Clinic of Waco’s mission statement states, “By providing affordable spay and neuter surgeries and wellness services, the Animal Birth Control Clinic promotes responsible, lifetime pet ownership and saves lives.”

This year’s goal is to raise at least $1,000. The fund also holds many other fundraisers such as selling calendars, tee shirts and offering photo sessions. Currently, 37 participants are signed up from 14 states across the U.S. In previous years, the races have had from 50 to 100 participants. The clinic has funded 165 surgeries so far.