If you’re wondering why you’re hearing so much about spaying and neutering your pets these days — everything from low-cost clinics to fund-raising ”SPAY-ghetti” dinners — it’s because this is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month.
February will see a host of events across the country, all leading up to World Spay Day on Feb. 26, which promotes working together to bring an end to the euthanasia and suffering of homeless companion animals, feral cats and street dogs.
This year, PetSmart Charities is providing grants, under a program called “Beat the Heat,” to 61 clinics, aimed at spaying and neutering 15,500 cats. The Doris Day Animal Foundation is awarding a $75,000 grant to fund spay/neuter programs for pets in 16 towns and cities in 14 states.
The HSUS is partnering with the ASPCA to host a low-cost spay/neuter event for pets in East Harlem in New York City on Feb. 23. The Iowa Humane Alliance plans to host “Twenty Bunny Monday” on Feb. 25, a day reserved solely for spaying or neutering twenty rabbits. East Tennessee Spay Neuter hosted “Hunka, Hunka Furry Love” — featuring a singing dog named Melvis — over the weekend to sign up low-income clients for pet spaying and neutering.
And here in what’s my home base for now, Winston-Salem, N.C., scores showed up — including the young couple above doing their best Lady and the Tramp imitation — at a “SPAY-ghetti” dinner yesterday to raise funds to reimburse veterinarians who offer low cost spaying and neutering.
The dinner at the West End Cafe was sponsored by Humane Solution, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that believes spaying and neutering is the key to reducing pet overpopulation and reducing euthanizations.
Humane Solution is a coalition of area shelters, including the Forsyth Humane Society, that relies solely on donations, grants, and fundraisers to make the low-cost spay/neuter program possible. The organization also sponsors rabies and microchipping clinics several times a year that help fund the program to help pay for spay/neuter surgeries.
As part of Forsyth Spay Day, on February 23, the organization will be handing out vouchers for spaying and neutering to qualified applicants at six different locations.
World Spay Day got its start as Spay Day USA in 1995, sponsored by the Doris Day Animal League. It now includes participants in 45 countries. Events include low and no-cost spay/neuter clinics for under-served communities, fundraisers to benefit spay/neuter programs and educational campaigns.
Since Spay Day’s inception, it is estimated that more than one and a half million animals have been spayed or neutered in conjunction with the campaign.
Its partners include The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, the ASPCA, the House Rabbit Society, the Humane Alliance, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Petfinder, and PetSmart Charities. World Spay Day 2013 is sponsored by Abaxis. To find a World Spay Day event near you, visit worldspayday.org.
“Sterilizing dogs and cats is the best way to stem the overpopulation of cats, dogs and other pets, and to prevent homelessness and suffering,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “World Spay Day allows caring people the world over to come together and raise awareness about the life-saving benefits of spaying and neutering …”
The HSUS is hosting a World Spay Day 2013 online Pet Pageant. Participants can upload their pets photo until March 19, and all proceeds will benefit local U.S. non-profit organizations participating in World Spay Day.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 11th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aspca, awareness month, cats, clinics, dogs, doris day animal foundation, events, forsyth county, forsyth humane society, funding, grants, hsus, humane society of the united states, humane solution, low cost, neuter, north carolina, overpopulation, pets, petsmart charities, programs, rabbits, spaghetti, spay, spay day, spay day usa, spayghetti, vouchers, west end cafe, world spay day
This year fewer than 4 million unwanted dogs and cats will be euthanized, down from as many as 20 million before 1970, the Associated Press reported this week.
That figure’s still nothing to brag about, but it’s a massive improvement, and a testament — not just to surgery, but to the work shelters, rescue groups and animal welfare organizations do to encourage adoptions.
Most animal experts, though, according to the AP story, believe spaying and neutering has played the biggest role in reducing the number of unwanted, euthanized pets.
Nearly every public shelter, private rescue or animal welfare organization in the country now donates money, space or time to low-cost spay and neuter clinics, and spaying and neutering, in addition to becoming a requirement for most adoptions, has become the law in some states, counties and cities.
Spaying and neutering have also become less traumatic — for pets and owners.
“Now they make a one- or two-inch incision and use self-absorbing sutures” that mean a much quicker recovery for the animals, said Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Zawistowski recalled when he got his first dog spayed 50 years ago, “she had an incision that must have been a foot long and was sewn up with what looked like piano wire.”
In addition to eliminating shelter kills, spaying and neutering can make pets easier to manage, less aggressive and healthier, said Andrew N. Rowan, president and CEO of Humane Society International and chief scientific officer for the Humane Society of the United States.
The first public spay and neuter clinic in the U.S., according to the AP story, was opened in Los Angeles in 1969.
What makes the figures all the more impressive is that the decline in the number of animals being euthanized each year comes even as the pet population has boomed. There were about 62 million companion pets in 1970, versus about 170 million today, Zawistowski said.
In years ahead, sterilizing a dog or cat may not always mean surgery. Work continues on pills, implants and vaccines that render cats and dogs unable to reproduce.
Dr. Gary Michelson, a billionaire orthopedic spinal surgeon and founder of Found Animals, posted a $25 million prize in 2008 for the creator of an affordable chemical sterilant, and has put up another $25 million for grants to scientists doing the research.
“When we first saw grant proposals coming in, we saw old ideas that had been laying around for 15 or 20 years. What we are seeing now are proposals based on cutting edge science — areas related to cancer and stem cell research. The level and sophistication of the science has moved to a higher level,” said Zawistowski, who is on the prize board.
In 2003, the FDA approved the first sterilant for male dogs. But at about $50 a shot, Neutersol was too costly. It was reworked, the price was cut to about $6 a dose and it was again approved by the FDA under the name Esterilsol. After trials around the world, it is expected to be available in the United States later this year.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andrew rowan, animals, aspca, cats, chemical, clinics, contraception, dogs, esterilsol, euthanasia, euthanized, found animals, hsus, neuter, neutering, neutersol, perceptions, pets, pills, reproduction, rescues, shelters, society, spay, spaying, stephen zawistowski, sterilizing, surgery, unwanted