Hill’s gives $200K to cap fundraising for Helping Hands low-cost spay/neuter clinic

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 5:30 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Topeka-based company stepped up with the needed gift to make a low-cost spay and neuter clinic a reality.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition presented a $200,000 check Tuesday to Helping Hands Humane Society. The amount completes fundraising efforts to launch construction on the clinic.

“This is where we live and work and have had our headquarters for more than 70 years,” Joann Fuller, Hill’s Brand Engagement Manager, said. “We think that this project directly impact the lives of pets and people in this community. Low cost spay and neuter helps keep pets with their families and provide an opportunity for more people to have that wonderful relationship.”

Hill’s gift tops off an effort launched by former Hill’s employee Dr. Kevin Hahn and his wife Lisa, long-time animal advocates. They gave $150,000 to the project through a fund they established through Topeka Community Foundation.

Lisa Hahn says she believes in the importance of the human-animal bond, and does not want cost to get in the way of someone experiencing it.

“We want people to spay and neuter their animals and, in this way, we are taking away one of the obstacles if somebody has some financial hardships,” she said.

Kevin Hahn agrees. He says the clinic will compliment the work smaller organizations have been trying to tackle for years.

“Everybody’s heart’s in this. Everybody’s passion’s in this,” he said. “If we can bring all of (the groups) together and say here is a center of excellence to showcase what we’re doing in northeast Kansas - what a great thing to have happen.”

The clinic will utilize more than half of what’s currently a large storage area in the northwest corner of the shelter, behind their large training room. It will have its own entrance, and include an operating room, recovery areas, and isolation rooms.

The project also will renovate this conference room into a kitten colony, providing a special area to address their special needs.

Schwerdt Design Group assisted in designing the spaces.

“This is a huge deal for us,” HHHS executive director Kathy Maxwell said. “This is a goal that we’ve had for a really long time. Support from the community can help us achieve our dreams which in turn will help the community.”

People will qualify for services based on income or other factors, like disability. Fees will be on a sliding basis.

Helping Hands hopes to open the clinic by the end of the year.

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