Making the Case for Spay Neuter

first_imgMaking the Case for Spay & Neuter Twitter Email Pinterest E-Headlines LinkedIn Share. 0center_img Facebook Google+ Tumblr on June 5, 2014 Every year in the United States, 3-4 million adoptable animals are euthanized; over 13,000 in Oregon alone. Why you ask? The answer is simple, because there are simply too many. How many of you reading this now have had a pet with a litter or know someone who has? You’re not alone. Consider that 70,000 kittens and puppies are born each year and you’ll soon realize that with numbers that high, there will never be enough homes.  Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. All across the country, high volume, high quality, affordable, spay/neuter clinics are providing affordable preventative care for animals at risk. Many communities that have implemented targeted, high volume, spay and neuter programs have seen euthanasia rates at local shelters cut in half within a few years or less. At the root of the overpopulation problem is lack of affordable sterilization services and lack of education. Studies have shown that just 10 percent of those living below the poverty line will have their pets fixed, compared to 80 percent of those who earn $35,000 or more per year. Spay and Neuter clinics typically work to address both education and cost barriers through providing affordable services, as well as outreach programs targeted towards low-income pet owners. For example, locally, Bend Spay and Neuter Project operates the HOPE Pet Food Bank in partnership with Bend Pet Express. This program not only provides free pet food for low income pet owners, but also provides the opportunity for BSNP to reach those most likely to contribute to overpopulation, and provide them with education about their pet’s care as well as vouchers for spay and neuter. With the help of programs like this one, low-income pet owners, including seniors, people with disabilities and families, are able to keep their beloved pets in their homes and keep unwanted litters from ending up in local shelters.This is not only an issue of compassion however. Across the country, taxpayer money is being spent to sustain a sheltering system that is outdated and ineffective. Consider, that as a nation, our current model for stopping the flood of unwanted animals is to collect and house them in shelters for months on end.  We pay to feed and care for them and ultimately euthanize many of them because there is no space to house them all.  Some of the cost spent on housing, feeding and euthanasia of thousands of animals each year could be diverted to a much more cost-effective model focused on high volume, targeted spay and neuter programs, which prevent unwanted litters in the first place.  Most spay and neuter clinics receive no public funding from city or county, and Bend Spay and Neuter Project is no exception. Unlike many problems our society faces, the solution to ending pet homelessness is here now. Through a combination of affordable, high volume, spay/neuter services, education and adoption, we can solve this problem. If you would like to learn more about how you can help end pet homelessness in Central Oregon, visit Megan Wellinghoff is executive director of Bend Spay and Neuter Project By Megan Wellinghoff Bend Spay and Neuter Projectlast_img read more