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  • Community supports expanded low-cost spay/neuter efforts

    Mar 11, 2014 | Read More News
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    The most effective way to stop the flow of homeless pets into rescue shelters over the long term is to prevent more breeding.none

    With Pima County forced to open a tent as a stopgap measure to reduce chronic overcrowding in the Pima Animal Care Center shelter, the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to expand opportunities for low-to-no cost spay/neuter in the community.

    Pima County has long recognized that it is not sustainable to continue serving the thousands of homeless pets we see every year. The Board, consequently, has invested approximately $220,000 each year in reducing the flood of pets into Pima Animal Care Center, which was caring for 520 dogs and 244 cats on March 7 in a facility built for far fewer pets.

    With growing community awareness about the need to address the root cause of the problem, Pima County collected sufficient additional donations from the community over the past year to add an additional $80,000 to the effort next contract year, for a total investment of $300,000. The Town of Oro Valley also joined the effort in November, the only local incorporated jurisdiction dedicating a portion of dog licensing fees to increased sterilization efforts.

    The resources will be shared among three vendors, with the Animal Welfare Alliance of Southern Arizona receiving $200,000, and $50,000 each going to Spay & Neuter Solutions and The Animal League of Green Valley.

    Experience has proven that residents will alter their animals if the service is affordable and accessible. Ultimately, preventing new litters is more cost-effective than sheltering. It costs an average of $75 to spay or neuter a pet, with the average sheltering cost running about $95 per pet.

    “Our community wants to do the right thing in caring for unwanted and abandoned pets,” said Kim Janes, manager of the Pima Animal Care Center. “Investing in spay/neuter efforts is the single best decision we can make to improve the welfare of pets and we are deeply grateful for the community’s support for this initiative.”

    To make a gift that will help stop pet overpopulation and care for Pima County’s homeless pets, please visit our donation page.