Mountaineer Spay Neuter Assistance Program\u00a0 was awarded a $50,000 grant from The Peterman Foundation.\r\nThe program \u2014 known as M-SNAP \u2014 has a\u00a0 mission\u00a0 to eliminate euthanasia as a means of pet population control in Monongalia County, said Nancy Young, treasurer and chair of community outreach.\r\n\u201cWe know that spay and neuter is the only viable solution to pet overpopulation,\u201d Young said. \u201cWe don\u2019t rescue, foster, transport or adopt. We just fix them.\u201d\r\nEuthanasia at shelters is the number one killer of unwanted dogs and cats in West Virginia, she said.\r\nResidents of Monongalia County can call M-SNAP and request a\u00a0 voucher for a free spay or neuter at one of 13 area veterinary clinics, Young said.\r\nThere are no income requirements to receive a voucher, but the program asks\u00a0people requesting one \u201chonestly need help,\u201d Young said.\r\nThe nonprofit organization sent out its first voucher in 2009 and issued more than 10,500 since, Young said. In total, M-SNAP\u00a0 spent more than $700,000 fixing pets in Monongalia County.\r\nThe Peterman Foundation issued its first series of grants in 2011, said treasurer Sheri Smith. The private foundation was established by Morgantown locals Richard and Margret Peterman to provide free spaying and neutering to cats and dogs in Monongalia and surrounding counties, she said.\r\nGrants from The Peterman Foundation are directly responsible for 569 animals getting fixed, Young said.\r\nYoung said M-SNAP\u00a0 had a noticeable reduction in the number of pets killed each year. In 2009, the Monongalia County Canine Adoption Shelter \u2014 the county\u2019s animal shelter \u2014 euthanized 1,349 cats and dogs.\r\nIn 2018, the shelter killed just 609 cats and dogs.\r\nEducation is the second component to eliminating euthanasia in Mon County, Young said. The organization attends Kid\u2019s Day, Mountaineer Week, the Pet Expo, Women\u2019s Expo and WVU\u2019s Freshmen Welcome Week.\r\n\u201cYou can\u2019t do one without the other,\u201d she said of the education.\r\nFixing offers many benefits to both owner and pet. Spaying before a female cat or dog before its first heat virtually eliminates breast cancer and uterine infections, Young said. Additionally, fixing an animal helps reduce many, but not all, behavioral problems.\r\nPets should be fixed early, Young said. Cats can reproduce as young as four months\u00a0and dogs as young as six months. Cats can have up to three litters a year and go into heat for four or five days every three weeks during breeding season.\r\nGrants aren\u2019t the only source of money for M-SNAP. Retails,\u00a0a thrift store in the Mountaineer Mall, also raises funds for\u00a0the program.\r\nYoung said the staff at the store is all volunteer.