World Spay Day Today!

by Mary Haight on February 26, 2013

world spay dayWorld Spay Day is here! Why do we need such a day? Where should I begin…I’ll start with statistics. Here’s the truth: People don’t remember statistics in the long term. For instance, of the 6 to 8 million pets who enter US shelters every year, only roughly half get adopted or returned. That shock value shakes many people when they first hear it. Yet if asked a month later, they will probably need to look it up.

If you told them stories – ah, now that would captivate. Imagine the stories of all the 3 to 4 million that don’t get a chance at a new home, a new family, a second chance at love. But instead of weeping for the loss, imagine instead being able to push change. Spay/neuter can cut into those numbers. Put away your kleenex and spread the news. Preventing unwanted litters saves lives.

World Spay Day is an opportunity for many shelters, veterinarians, local and global businesses to work together to support community efforts for the month of February, Spay/Neuter Awareness month. Having a special day and a month to promote it is a great way to bring the issue to the forefront of the animal welfare discussion and move good ideas from city to city, country to country.

In the US, thirty-four states plus DC have established funding mechanisms to support spay/neuter programs, leading to significant reductions in their euthanasia rates. New Jersey managed a 61 percent decrease and New Hampshire saw a 75 percent decrease after implementing state programs. In  New Hampshire, statistics showed for every dollar invested, $3.15 was saved in reduced costs for shelter care and euthanasia. This outcome should encourage slacker States not yet on board to get with the program.

ASPCA, Petsmart Charities, Petfinder, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Humane Alliance, House Rabbit Society, and Doris Day Animal Foundation are partners in this event. “I was so pleased when I heard the results from World Spay Day in 2012,” said legendary actress Doris Day. “It is a dream come true for me to see how the spay/neuter program has grown over the years and how, by working together, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, along with the Doris Day Animal League under the supervision of The Humane Society of the United States have been able to accomplish so much. This year the Doris Day Animal Foundation will award a $75,000 grant to fund spay/neuter for pets in 16 towns and cities in 14 states.”

Founded originally as “Spay Day USA” in 1995 by the Doris Day Animal League, the event now includes 45 participating countries. Since it began, it is estimated that one and half million animals have been spayed/neutered during this event.

An annual Humane Society International campaign, World Spay Day saves lives of companion animals, ferals, and street dogs around the world. You may have seen notices from local veterinarians for a day, a weekend, or a week offering low or no-cost spay/neuter in under-served areas. Take a minute and look around your town – now that the animals are fixed, you might want to see if a shelter near you needs volunteers for their next adoption event.

You could also help by passing this post around on FB, twitter and other favorite hang-outs, letting people know that spay/neuter is an important step in saving more animals. The animals thank you! So do I =)

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