According to the Humane Society, every eight seconds one of the four million cats and dogs in shelters is euthanized in the U.S. That is a horrifying statistic. Never mind the ones that die on the street, tied up in the back yard or as the victim of a hoarder.
Most of the animals that end up in shelters would have made loving companions, but they never had a chance.
That’s why the Humane Society started an annual Spay Day campaign to encourage people to spay and neuter their pets. Today is the 15th annual celebration.
According to their numbers from last year’s spay day, they spayed or neutered more than 32,000 cats and dogs, raised more than $200,000 for spay/neuter operations, and spread the spay/neuter message to more than 13 million people.
Now don’t go feeling all bad because you missed a chance to participate this year. The point of spay day is to raise awareness so that people keep this crisis in mind everyday.
Spaying and neutering is the best way to be a responsible guardian. Millions are spent every year on animal shelters, and efforts to place unwanted animals, but there are more animals than homes available for them.
Like they say, prevention is the best medicine. By placing emphasis on the importance of spaying and neutering, the number of unwanted animals will decrease and reduce long term costs for shelters and welfare groups. Less puppies and kittens on the market will also leave room in homes for animals in shelters who desperately need to be adopted. The solution is that simple.
Spaying and neutering is a one shot deal. For many, the cost is the problem, but a lot areas are also make this service available to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Check with organizations like Spay USA, or the ASPCA’s directory of assisted services.
Other areas are considering more aggressive alternatives. Washington state, for example, has new legislation on the table, Senate Bill 5329 and House Bill 1406. Supported by groups like Save Washington Pets, these new bills would help provide an additional 70,000 spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations for dogs and cats, making the copay no more than $20 at most.
Funding for this would be based on a fee that pet-food distributors already pay for food inspection throughout the state. The impact would be less than $1 a month for pet owners. That’s hardly noticeable and would save thousands of lives, and increase savings on the local level over time.
Since these bills have no effect on state programs or funding, there’s no reason not to pass them. Programs like this have also been successful in other states.
For more information on how to support this type of legislation, visit the How to Help page on Save Washington Pet’s website.
Let’s start at the root of the problem, and make Spay Day everyday!