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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Saving The Lives Of Homeless Pets With Spayneuter

Saving the lives of homeless pets with spay/neuter

PetSmart Kim Noetzel, PetSmart Charities®

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Public asked to join effort to raise funds for spay/neuter clinics and end euthanasia in Los Angeles

Every year, about 4 millions dogs and cats are put to death in U.S. animal shelters because there are not enough homes for all them.  While increasing the number of pets adopted from shelters is crucial, so is stopping the cycle of reproduction of puppies and kittens for whom there are no homes.

That’s why animal-welfare advocates, and nonprofit PetSmart Charities, Inc., are strong proponents of spay/neuter efforts – more notably, affordable, high-quality services in communities where they’ll have the greatest impact.

Los Angeles is one such community.

Every day, about 500 dogs and cats enter shelters in the Los Angeles community.  More than half must be put down.  Tragically, euthanasia continues to be the primary means for managing the community’s homeless-pet overpopulation crisis.

L.A. is among the top 20 metropolitan areas in the United States for euthanasia.  During 2008 alone, shelter workers had to put down 96,897 dogs and cats – more than half of the 181,234 who were surrendered or impounded.  Making matters worse, L.A. shelters collectively experienced an animal-intake increase of approximately 10% during 2008.  With a slow economy, high unemployment and record home foreclosures, more people are surrendering or abandoning the pets they no longer can afford.

“That’s why now more than ever, our Spay Los Angeles Initiative is so important,” says Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of nonprofit PetSmart Charities, Inc.

Being Part of the Solution
The PetSmart Charities’ Spay Los Angeles Initiative goal is to save the lives of pets in the city and county of Los Angeles by reducing the number of homeless and unwanted dogs and cats who are born only to be euthanized in a shelter or struggle to survive as strays.  The key?  Ensuring that low-cost, high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter services for dogs and cats are readily available where they are needed the most.

“The long-term solution to this epidemic is to stop the cycle of reproduction,” Della Maddalena explains.  “By dramatically reducing the numbers of homeless and unwanted pets who are born, we can not only slow the stream of pets into the community’s shelters, but also reduce the stray-pet population.  The result is fewer and fewer pets being euthanized.”

Already, PetSmart Charities® has invested $7 million in the LA community, working with clinics that are on target to sterilize more than a quarter of a million pets by 2012.  PetSmart Charities’ Spay Los Angeles partners include four non-profit agencies that specialize in low-cost, high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter services:  Clinico, Inc., FixNation, Inc., spcaLA Specialty Spay/Neuter Center and The AngelDogs Foundation.

To sustain their efforts for years to come – and continue saving precious lives – community support is crucial.  The fundraising goal of the Spay Los Angeles Initiative is $4 million by 2013.

“This will enable us to support, expand and sustain the low-cost, high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter clinics that are the key to this lifesaving effort for years to come,” Della Maddalena said.

To learn more, please visit the PetSmart Charities' website information on Spay LA.  Watch the PetSmart Charities’ Spay Los Angeles video and see, firsthand, what pet homelessness looks like and find out how you can help.

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