Fort Payne charity helps reduce unwanted pet population

Daisy Spay, a local licensed 501c3 charity that helps pay for spay and neuter procedures for dogs, recently donated dog food to the DeKalb Animal Adoption Center. Daisy Spay works to cut down on the local stray dog population and full animal shelters. Purina donated bags of dog food that volunteers then gave to the local shelter. Pictured is Stuart Stanley (president of Daisy Spay), Leslie Ledbetter (director of the animal adoption center) and Sara Hall (Daisy Spay board member).

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A nonprofit Fort Payne charity is promoting the importance of controlling DeKalb County’s animal population. Daisy Spay President Stuart Douglas Stanley said the group seeks to drastically reduce the number of stray animals and reduce euthanasia for unwanted pets.

“The process is very simple,” Stanley said. “We ask that local pet owners message our Facebook page at and provide the weight and sex of their dog. We’ll then work with them to determine a discounted price they can afford. There’s a little bit of paperwork to sign -- all done through the mail or email -- and then you get a voucher to use at one of Daisy Spay’s affiliated veterinarians.”

Daisy Spay picked up momentum in 2019, helping to spay/neuter a total of 68 dogs that year. They celebrated May 2020 as their largest month ever by helping to fix 24 dogs, which could potentially save 500 unwanted dogs being born. Daisy Spay does not work off an income base. Anyone can receive help if they reach out. The main goal is to help the dogs, Stanley said. They have not yet found a local veterinarian who can discount the service for cats but hope to in the future.

The Purina pet food company learned about Daisy Spay’s efforts and sent vouchers for $100 worth of dog food and treats, which the group then donated to the DeKalb County Animal Adoption Center Director Leslie Ledbetter.

Stanley shared his personal belief that dogs should not have to be euthanized because they don’t have a home.

“Thousands of dogs are killed every year in our area. There are many factors involved, but the easiest, most effective way to avoid this is to spay or neuter your dog. Some numbers to think about: One unspayed dog and its offspring are capable of producing 67,000 puppies in just six years! I think most people want to do the right thing, but the cost is problematic. That’s where Daisy Spay comes in. We provide spay and neuter at about one-fourth of the normal cost. Together we can reduce the killing in our community."

Daisy Spay was founded in 2014 and also includes board members Sara Hall, Angie Shugart, Donna Pate and Megan Veal.

Shugart said she came in contact with a lot of neglected animals with loving pet owners while growing up in rural DeKalb County and working for a veterinarian during her teenage years.

“In most cases, the animals weren’t neglected because the owners didn’t care, it was because they couldn’t afford to spay and neuter their pets! It is rewarding to work with a program that takes direct action to address root causes to issues of animal neglect and overpopulation,” she said.

Veal said she joined Daisy Spay to help fix the problem.

“We have too many unwanted animals and not enough loving homes for them. Spaying and neutering prevents that! You save thousands of lives. Visit a shelter and you’ll see why this is so important to us all,” Veal said.

Hall agreed, adding, “We’re just so happy to be becoming a large part of the community and to be able to help in any way we can!”

Pate said pets play an important role in many lives, especially during periods of hardship.

“My pets are what gets me through the bad days and makes my good days better! They love us unconditionally for their entire lives. Let’s love them the same and give them a safe, happy, healthy life,” Pate said.

Daisy Spay operates based on donations, which can be made to To learn more about this free service to help people more affordably spay and neuter their dogs, visit

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