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Jun 17, 2014 10:51 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Village Preservation Society Launches Spay-A-Doe Initiative

Jun 17, 2014 2:21 PM

The East Hampton Village Preservation Society on Saturday launched a “Spay-A-Doe” initiative to help fund a deer management program.

The society hopes to raise $100,000 to help East Hampton Village spay does as a way to control the deer population. To be performed by White Buffalo Inc., the spaying would be the first municipal program on Long Island to use that technique to manage the population.

Village Administrator Becky Molinaro said the program would be the village’s primary form of deer management. The village issues permits in accordance with the State Department of Environmental Conservation regulations to allow deer hunting, but there is not a hunting program created by the village itself.

“We applaud their initiative,” said East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. of the preservation society’s initiative in a phone interview on Monday. “They’re working in harmony with the village and we support the initiative and we’re very thankful for their presence.”

East Hampton Village budgeted $30,000 in its 2014-15 fiscal year plan for the program, but the preservation society said that will not suffice.

“We pledged five [thousand dollars] to the village to inspire them to put a line item in the budget,” said the preservation society’s executive director, Kathy Cunningham, in a phone interview on Tuesday, referring to a $5,000 grant to get the program started. “It’s pretty typical for our organization. We usually give out a grant each year to a project we think is worthwhile.”

However, Ms. Cunningham said the $30,000 budgeted by the village seems somewhat arbitrary, given that it costs roughly $1,000 to spay one doe.

“I credit the village with what they’ve done,” Ms. Cunningham said. “They have an excellent financial rating because they do very well, but the fact of the matter is by pledging $30,000 to start a program for this sort, it’s a little bit of a catch-22. One needs to set a meaningful goal for the program to have a meaningful impact.”

The money raised by the preservation society, the $5,000 grant, and the money budgeted by the village would all go toward the same program, Ms. Cunningham said.

She said spaying is 100-percent effective but that it will need to be done on more than 30 deer.

“There’s a lot of evidence that this is an effective way to do it,” said Ms. Cunningham of the spaying program. “It’s also the most humane way to do it and we hope that by supplementing the village’s initial investments that they’ll recognize the efficacy and take this on as an obligation.”

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