East Hampton Village Preservation Society Donates $100K To Deer Spaying Program

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The East Hampton Village Preservation Society donated $100,000 to the village’s deer spaying program at the Village Board’s monthly meeting on Thursday, September 4.

The money will supplement a $30,000 line item in the village’s budget for the deer management program, which is to be spearheaded by White Buffalo Inc., a deer management company based in central Connecticut. White Buffalo works with villages to capture and perform a spaying procedure—much like those performed on dogs and cats—and release the does back into the wild in the hopes of curtailing reproduction.

The preservation society previously gave the village a grant of $5,000 to help get the project started.

“We wanted to get the money to you as soon as we thought practicable,” the preservation society’s executive director, Kathy Cunningham, told Village Board members last week. Getting the money to the board right away, she said, was crucial because it planned to approve a resolution entering into a contract with White Buffalo Inc. at Thursday’s meeting.

Ms. Cunningham and other members of the Spay-A-Doe campaign have been working to raise money since the announcement of the campaign in mid-June after the village resolved to contribute $30,000 to the program. Ms. Cunningham said that while the society appreciated the village putting money toward Spay-A-Doe for deer management, which has been one of its core initiatives over the past few years, the figure was not enough to carry out a successful program.

Spaying each doe will cost approximately $1,000; this includes capturing the animal, performing the surgery, tagging it and returning the deer back into the wild, according to Ms. Cunningham. Therefore, the village’s contribution would cover only 30 deer—a number not high enough to significantly reduce the population.

“We have a lot of confidence that we have at least 100 does,” Ms. Cunningham had said previously. “We feel very confident in that.” She said the number stems largely from her own observation of deer in the village, but that an accurate statistical survey has not been taken.

The program is set to start sometime in mid-December, said Village Administrator Rebecca Molinaro. However, the launch of the program was met with some concern from community member Alissa Meyer, whose husband is a local veterinarian.

“We’ve spoken to other vets in the town and the Village of East Hampton who are also very concerned about who you’re going to bring in to do these experiments,” she said, referring to herself and her husband, James Meyer.

Ms. Meyer asked East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. and Ms. Molinaro for the name and license numbers of all of the vets the village plans to bring in to perform the surgeries. However, Ms. Molinaro said the board did not yet have that information, as the resolution allows it to enter into a contract only with White Buffalo Inc.

“As soon as I get that, I’m happy to share it with you,” Ms. Molinaro said.

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