Humane Alliance in Asheville, N.C. rolled out the “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” campaign on June 26.
The national campaign kicked off in Asheville with support from spay/neuter clinics in 59 cities, including Charlotte, N.C., Springfield, Ill., and Oklahoma City, Okla. The goal is to unite clinics everywhere with one message to pet owners – fix your pets by four months old because it’s safe and easy to do and will help prevent accidental litters from being born.
Of the pet owners who admitted their pets have had at least one litter, 59% of cat owners and 38% of dog owners say those litters were “unintentional” and “accidental.” The national campaign “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” is designed to address procrastination by dispelling myths, providing facts and giving pet owners a place to search for low-cost spay/neuter clinics in their communities.
“Most people don't want to deal with females going into heat, males who roam and spray, and unplanned litters they have to care for and find homes for,” says Aimee St. Arnaud, extreme project manager for the Humane Alliance. “We hear people say all the time they ‘woulda’ gotten their pets fixed, if only they knew when to do it. But if they wait too long, then it’s too late and accidental litters are born.”
Sadly, it’s not just pet owners that are impacted by these accidental litters either.
“These ‘oops’ litters keep our animal shelters full,” says Dr. Boyd Harrell, DVM, veterinary spokesperson for the Humane Alliance “We really need people to understand that cats and dogs can get pregnant much earlier than most people think with some cats going into heat as early as four months and some dogs by five months.”
“Littermates can reproduce with each other as well adding to these accidental litters. If people know when to spay or neuter their pets, these accidental litters may all but disappear, making a huge difference in the number of animals entering our nation’s animal shelters every year.”
To learn more about the Humane Alliance’s “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” campaign, to find a spay/neuter clinic near you, or to help spread the word, visit www.WhenToSpay.org.
*IPSOS Study 2012: Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter: Understanding Public Perceptions by the Numbers