Barb Hoover is the co-director, secretary and 10-year member of the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society.

Barb Hoover is the co-director, secretary and 10-year member of the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society.

1. Can you tell us what sort of activities will be featured at the Wine and Chocolate Event on Oct. 12?
Along with what will be a great spread of delicious chocolate desserts, appetizers, and other goodies, we will also have a silent auction. Some of the things to be auctioned are theme baskets to include individual ones for cats and dogs. Baskets from Scentsy and 31 as well as a picnic basket, a gardening basket and several others.

2. The funds raised will help the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society's (LAWS) free Spay Neuter Program. What does the program offer for those who can't afford to have their dog or cat spayed or neutered and about how many people have benefited from the program so far?
The program actually has no income restrictions. It is open to anyone living in Leavenworth County and fully covers the spay or neuter of any dog or cat. Of course if a person can truly afford to pay for the surgery, we would hope that they would do it themselves, but would not deny anyone from participating in the program.
As of July 2012, we have payed for the spay or neuter of over 2,000 animals.
Non-pet owners also benefit from the program. Stray animals cause property damage, dig into the trash, can be a nuisance and sometimes can even be dangerous to others. The more animals that are unable to reproduce, the fewer strays we will see on the streets.

3. What advice would you give to someone who doesn't believe in the importance of having their companion animal spayed or neutered?
My advice for someone who doesn't understand the importance of spaying or neutering would be to volunteer at the city shelter. When you actually see the numbers of animals, kittens especially, that have no owner, no home, it is overwhelming.

4. Leavenworth seems to have an abundance of events that bring awareness to animal issues and LAWS is a big reason for that. What are some of LAWS' proudest accomplishments and are there any more events we can look forward to this year?
LAWS has been serving the Leavenworth area for over 20 years. In my opinion, this free spay/neuter program is our proudest accomplishment. It gets at the root of the dog and cat over-population problems.
We have a few other events planned for this year. The Blessing of the Animals was held on Oct. 7. We will also be doing holiday pictures with Father Christmas on Nov. 2 at Kansas Country Store from 6-8 p.m.

5. What would LAWS' members most like to see happen in our community to ensure that the number of stray animals continues to decline?
LAWS receives no government or state funding. All of our activities are funded by donations from the public. We would like to see continued participation at our fundraising events so we can continue to help the citizens and animals of Leavenworth County.
— Rimsie McConiga