PetSmart Charities, the country’s largest funder of spay/neuter efforts, has announced a new $1 million spay/neuter grant program aimed at saving the lives of pets that have the highest risk of being euthanized due to overcrowding in shelters.
The new grant program builds on PetSmart Charities’ efforts to improve spay/neuter rates, reduce shelter overcrowding and increase pet adoption. Since 2007, PetSmart Charities has provided $26.3 million in grants that have subsidized almost one million spay/neuter surgeries in the United States.
“In 2012, the new grant program will help 65 non-profit spay/neuter clinics around the nation provide high-quality, affordable spay/neuter surgeries for more than 23,000 cats and pit bull terriers during February and August,” said Susanna Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities.
Four million adoptable pets are euthanized every year in the United States because they aren’t adopted – that’s half of the 8 million pets that land in shelters each year.
“Approximately 34 percent of dogs and cats in U.S. households are not spayed or neutered - yet the procedure is one of the most effective ways to reduce pet overpopulation,” said Della Maddalena. “With our new national grant program and our ongoing efforts to make affordable spay/neuter available to the public, PetSmart Charities is addressing the root cause of pet homelessness.”
PetSmart Charities’ new grant program will support two spay/neuter campaigns:
- “Beat the Heat” will be held in February 2012 to spay female cats before they go into heat, preventing unplanned litters that create “kitten season” during spring months.
- “Primp Your Pit” will be held in August 2012, giving clinics resources to spay or neuter pit bull terriers. This breed, in particular, ends up in shelters in large numbers due to the myths and negative perceptions that are associated with pit bulls.
To find high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter services locally, the public can go online to access a free searchable database made possible through a partnership between PetSmart Charities and the ASPCA.