Millner Inspired Gives a Fix to Georgia Pets
Ginny Millner traces her passion for animal welfare to a single event: the moment when, at the age of four, she saw a small dog run over and killed on a Mexico City street. The memory has inspired her efforts to help all animals escape abuse, neglect and homelessness to this day. “That’s where my whole mission started,” says Millner. “It’s very painful for me to see any animals abused.” Now a longtime Atlanta resident, Ginny Millner is working to end Georgia’s pet population crisis through the organization Fix Georgia Pets.
Recognizing that spay/neuter is the key to managing Georgia’s pet population crisis, Millner and co-founders Chip Perry, Davis Cosey, Rubye Reid and Dale Wintlend started Fix Georgia Pets in 2012 with the mission of making affordable spay/neuter services available in high-risk areas of the state. The organization provides grants to spay/neuter agencies, helps them find additional funding and educates Georgians about the benefits of spay/neuter programs.
Raising critically needed funds is a major part of the work of Fix Georgia Pets, and for every dollar the group invests, it raises $3 through events such as the Dog Bone Golf Tournament and the Red Carpet Fete and Auction. A very special project that the group has worked towards since its inception is about to become a reality and will be the centerpiece of its fundraising efforts going forward: a new Georgia specialty license plate with all proceeds going to fund spay/neuter programs statewide.
While much remains to be done, Millner sees encouraging signs as she works towards her dream of making spay/neuter services available free of charge across Georgia. “I think we’re getting somewhere,” says Millner. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve done something, and that makes me happy.”
Cats & Dogs
euthanized a year
Unspayed, a female cat or dog is capable of producing two to three litters every year. Left unchecked, the number of animals born from these litters grows exponentially, and there aren’t anywhere near enough homes for even a small percentage of them. Homeless animals most often face a short, brutal life that ends in disease or injury. Those surrendered to shelters are not likely to leave, especially in Georgia, where 350,000 cats and dogs—62 percent of those received—are euthanized annually at a cost to taxpayers of more than $100 million.
“goes beyond being just an ‘animal issue,’ it’s a community welfare issue.”
The benefits of spay/neuter go beyond population control. Altered animals live longer, healthier lives, with lowered stress levels and reduced risks for many cancers. They exhibit fewer behavioral issues (frequently the cause of owner surrender or abandonment), and as they’re less inclined to roam, are less likely to be injured by cars or other animals or to bite people or damage property. Spay/neuter also represents a significant savings to taxpayers over the costs of animal control and euthanasia. As Millner points out, pet overpopulation “goes beyond being just an ‘animal issue,’ it’s a community welfare issue.”