This article appeared in Absolute Underground Volume 15-2 Issue 86

Interview by Absolute Underground Editorial

Neüterhead: Ace of Spays is a non-profit organization that uses rock and metal to raise funds to help animal rescue groups with a necessary vet expense: spaying and neutering. The organization began fundraising in spring of 2013, and to date, has donated over $30,000 dollars to rescue groups around BC. Over the past six years, the organization has slowly grown through word of mouth: primarily people telling others about the annual fundraiser show, and they’re hoping this year’s event will continue that trend so they can keep helping out BC animal rescues.

Spaying and neutering are core solutions to the problem of overflowing animal shelters, but the issue is much more complex than simply getting individuals to fix their new cat or dog. With this in mind, rather than arbitrarily giving money out, Neüterhead accepts grant applications from rescues all over BC to help them with their specific needs. About half of their donations go directly to funding spaying and neutering procedures, but the rest have gone to community outreach projects that wouldn’t have been possible without special funding. This has included funding Spirit’s Mission to bring vets to an isolated community in Northern BC that didn’t have access to spaying and neutering procedures, and an outreach program by Hug-A-Bull and other non-profits to enable families in high-risk communities across the Lower Mainland to get their pets fixed.

Neüterhead’s primary fundraising is done at an annual metal show at The Rickshaw Theatre, with the next show coming up on March 1st. All profits from the show are used to fund grant applications. The show always features one-night only cover bands assembled by members of local metal bands, with this year’s show featuring members of Waingro, Baptists, Revocation, Bison, Anciients, Dead Again, and more. It is thanks to the metal community’s desire to help that the fundraisers have been so successful: volunteers run the show, local artists and businesses donate items to the raffle, bands give up a significant amount of time to rehearse and play, and The Rickshaw Theatre and its staff generously donate the venue and their time. And of course, that’s not to mention the hundreds of music fans who turn out to see the bands, drink some brew, and have a rad night out in support of the cause.

AU: Who are we talking to and what are you most infamous for?
Shane Clark: My name is Shane Clark, I’m a founding member and on the board of directors of Neüterhead: Ace of Spays, I’ve been involved in the music scene for a long time, I played Guitar in 3 Inches Of Blood for 11 years and currently play bass in Bison.

AU: What do you do outside of the organization?
SC: I’m a metal fabricator/welder in the film industry, I’m involved in music projects with my friends, and I hang out with my animals.

AU: What’s the story behind Neüterhead? What got you into animal welfare issues?
SC: It started at Long Live Cats and Dogs. Becoming immersed in the lives of cats and dogs made us aware of the issues surrounding lack of funding for spaying and neutering. We decided in the beginning to use our resources in the music scene and put on a fundraiser show, where the theme was all one-time only cover bands with
friends from the rock and metal scenes, it’s now become an annual event.

AU: Can you estimate how many communities you’ve helped?
SC: The majority of our work is across the Lower Mainland and into the Fraser Valley, but we’ve also funded organizations in Victoria and the Vanderhoof area. It’s hard to estimate how many communities we’ve helped because many of the programs we’ve funded have worked with individuals going through rough times on a case-by-case basis, and their information is kept anonymous.

AU: How did you turn a noble idea into such a success?
SC: We have a great group of individuals running it together, plus an amazing community full of like-minded animal lovers who support Neüterhead.

AU: Any future goals for Neüterhead?
SC: Yes, we have a few things in the works. Stay tuned for that, but for now we’re just staying the course and doing our thing.

AU: What can you tell us about the program that we don’t already know?
SC: In January we donated $1600 to pay for the spaying and neutering of Dolly, Dutch, Pico, Luna, Eddie, Bella, and the Cinder puppies, currently in the care of Cross Our Paws Rescue.

AU: Famous last words?
SC: Spay and neuter your pets! You can donate directly and get further info at www.neuterhead.com