Brief history of the Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society:
The Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose goal is to promote animal welfare through education, care, and placement of stray or unwanted animals. Additionally, SOAPS advocates sterilization as a means of pet population control, offers community awareness of pet health and safety issues, and strives to encourage humane care of all animals in Toombs County and surrounding counties.
For nearly 30 years animal advocates have provided financial and volunteer support in the Toombs county area. The Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society was originally known as the Vidalia Animal Protection Society, Incorporated, which was established in August 1987 by a group of individuals concerned with the welfare of homeless animals in the Vidalia area. This group was an outgrowth of work started in the mid-seventies by the Vidalia Optimist Club when they built the animal shelter building currently used by the city of Vidalia. SOAPS and its members have added the cattery to the city shelter, replaced air conditioning in the buildings, provided for building repairs, maintenance, and painting of the exterior, donated food, and covered the cost of adoption days. SOAPS also helps in surrounding counties when asked.
Mission Statement for the Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society
The mission of the Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society (SOAPS) is to work closley with the all local animal control officers and the Georgia Department of Agriculture authorities to promote animal welfare through public education, care and placement of stray or unwanted animals. SOAPS also advocates the use of a sterilization program as a means of pet population control, a care and placement program for strays and unwanted animals, a community awareness program concerned with pet health and saftey issues, and high profile programs that encourage enforcement of humane care and treatment for all animals in the Toombs County area.
Adoption Days – SOAPS joins with the Vidalia Animal Control division to offer at least two special adoption weekends each year. An Adopt-a-thon sponsored by the North Shore Animal League is held each May, and the HOME 4 the Holidays event sponsored by the Helen Woodward Animal Center is held during December. During these two weekends, SOAPS provides financial assistance for families wishing to adopt a pet from the Vidalia Animal Control Shelter by paying a portion of the normal $45 adoption fee. We also provide a voucher of up to $100 to be applied toward cost of spay/neuter at participating veterinary facilities. We have Foster Showcases as often as possible, as well.
Youth Education – SOAPS provides a monthly newsletter through NAHEE to all second graders at J.D. Dickerson and sixth graders at Robert Toombs. This newsletter has articles, games, facts, and fun activities related to animal care.
Reduced cost spay/neuter – individuals with financial need can apply to have their pet sterilized through the SOAPS low cost program. If approved, the pet owner is responsible for a co-payment and SOAPS provides a $100.00 voucher towards the cost of the spay/neuter. Below are some offices participating in this on-going program.
Altamaha Animal Clinic (Vidalia: 537-3711)
Vidalia Veterinary Clinic (Vidalia: 537-1069)
Four Rivers Veterinary Center (Vidalia: 535-8165)
McRae Vet Clinic (Swainsboro Office only: 478-237-4036)
Padgett Veterinary Services (Hazlehurst: 375-3465)
Parkerson Animal Hospital (Baxley: 367-7161)
Metter Veterinary Clinic (Metter 685-7877 or 685-5621)
Reidsville Veterinary Clinic (Reidsville: 557-4993))
Palaces for Pets – pet owners in need of shelter for their dog can apply for assistance in obtaining a doghouse.
Animals in crisis – SOAPS provides money for medical care to animals in the Toombs County are in need of medical are when the pet is a stray or the owner can show extreme financial need. Additionally, donations are made to the animal care agencies such as shelters and refuges to help in time of natural disaster.
Soaps also publishes a monthly newsletter titled PAWS that keeps members informed of current activities.