HELENA — The Lewis and Clark Humane Society’s biggest fundraiser—Spayghetti—is coming back in-person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year it’s more important than ever.
“We usually raise close to $80,000,” LCHS director of development and communications Cassidy Cook said. “It’s absolutely massive for us, we rely heavily on it.”
The first Spayghetti fundraiser was held more than 20 years ago in the basement of the VFW to support the Humane Society’s spay and neuter program. Today, the event is large enough to be held at the Helena Civic Center.
While Spaghetti has grown over the years, so has the number of animals the Humane Society helps.
“We are seeing a lot of puppies, a lot of kittens, a lot of pregnant cats and dogs, which has overall increased the amount of intake that we’ve had by at least 200 animals,” Cook said.
The pandemic is likely part of the reason behind the rising number of animal intakes at the Humane Society. To preserve personal protective equipment, the ASPCA and other organizations recommend doing only emergency medical procedures for animals, so Cook said things like spay and neuter procedures were halted.
“We are now in the last year, two years, starting to see the fallout of that,” Cook said.
In addition to a growing number of animal intakes, inflation is another reason Spayghetti is so important this year.
The Humane Society is dealing with higher costs for essentials like dog and cat food, medical supplies and vaccines.
“We are looking at what vaccines are costing us, and it’s over double what it cost us last year,” Cook said.
Tickets for Spayghetti are on sale now, and early bird pricing is available through the end of February. Tickets can be bought at lchsmontana.org.