February 26th is recognized by animal welfare advocates as World Spay Day, a day to acknowledge and promote efforts to reduce pet overpopulation worldwide. The Humane Society of the United States describes the occasion as “an annual campaign of The HSUS and Humane Society International that shines a spotlight on spay/neuter—a proven way to save the lives of companion animals, feral cats, and street dogs who might otherwise be put down in a shelter or killed on the street.” Here in San Diego, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA is celebrating by launching a new low-cost spay/neuter clinic at its Oceanside campus.
In recognition of World Spay Day, SDHS will provide one hundred free spay or neuter surgeries to pet owners who meet income eligibility requirements. Although the Humane Society already offers low-cost spay and neuter at its central campus, the existence of the new clinic will improve access for San Diego residents in North County. It also represents the participation of SDHS in the recent growth of Spay San Diego, a broad coalition of animal organizations built to promote responsible pet ownership.
According to recent reports, most pet owners who survived the economic downturn have not curbed their spending on pets. However, affordable spay and neuter is often out of reach of America’s growing lower income population. Mobile services such as the Spay Neuter Action Project reach many disadvantaged neighborhoods, yet the pet overpopulation problem in San Diego is growing and rescues are scrambling to save the shelters from overflowing. The San Diego Humane Society’s new clinic will hopefully raise awareness and help lower the rate of pet relinquishment due to unwanted litters.
Most animal welfare organizations agree that affordable and accessible spay and neuter facilities are a key component in the reduction of the unwanted pet population. We too must do our part. If your pet is not spayed or neutered, please take advantage of local services and encourage your friends and family do so as well.
San Diego residents: For eligibility and to schedule an appointment, please call the San Diego Humane Society at (619) 299-7012. For more information and spay/neuter resources, please visit: www.sdhumane.org/spayneuter or www.spaysandiego.com.