What is World Spay Day?
World Spay Day is a global campaign to encourage the spay and neuter of companion animals and community (feral and stray) cats in an effort to save and significantly improve their lives.
World Spay Day was first started as Spay Day USA by actress/singer Doris Day and the Doris Day Animal League. It was initiated in 1995 when the estimated euthanasia rate in overcrowded shelters was between 14 and 17 million dogs and cats each year – today the rate is estimated to be 1.5 million. This annual event has grown across 74 countries, resulting in the spay/neuter of millions of animals.
World Spay Day is celebrated on the last Tuesday in February each year. Here, within our San Juan Island Community, APS-FH traditionally celebrates World Spay (and Neuter) Day by hosting its annual “Spay-ghetti” dinner to bring attention to the importance of animal birth-control.
Unfortunately this year, due to COVID-19, we are not able to acknowledge this important work together. However, we are not letting that stop us. We have some exciting spay/neuter-related news to share. So, this year, we are celebrating virtually through this newsletter!
APS-FH’s Capital Campaign Sets the Stage
APS-FH’s capital campaign to build a new animal shelter on San Juan Island was completed and doors opened in September, 2018. The state-of-the-art shelter included a two-room suite for surgeries and exams, but the suite lacked the medical equipment and supplies required to provide medical care to animals.
In 2019, APS-FH raised funds to complete the suite and hired Dr. Merriss Waters as the shelter’s part-time Veterinarian. On February 5, 2020 Dr. Waters, with APS-FH staff, completed the first surgery in our Surgical Suite.
Having the capacity to provide shelter animals essential medical care within our own facility has significantly reduced our medical expenses and has helped decrease the average length-of-stay (arrival to adoption) for shelter animals.
With a fully equipped clinic and our own dedicated vet, APS-FH has increased our TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) Program activities – with the goal of reducing and eventually eliminating feral or “community” cat over-population on the island.
In 2020, APS-FH provided medical care to almost 300 shelter animals, plus 70 TNR cats from feral/community cat colonies.
APS-FH felt great about this accomplishment, but had another goal in sight…
APS-FH Celebrates World Spay Day with exciting news – New Spay/Neuter Clinic for Low Income Families!
Today, on World Spay Day, APS-FH is excited to officially announce the launch of the “APS-FH Spay/Neuter Clinic.”
According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: “cost is the reason most often cited by owners for not having their dogs and cats spayed or neutered. People with low incomes are nearly as likely to own pets as are people with high incomes, indicating that many animals live in households that simply cannot afford full-service veterinary care.” On San Juan Island, 10.2 percent of people live in poverty.
To address this need, APS-FH has historically provided vouchers ($50/dog and $25/cat) to help low-income residents spay/neuter their pets. But even with this voucher, the additional cost of spaying or neutering a pet can be prohibitive for people living below the poverty line.
The APS-FH Spay/Neuter Clinic will expand our current services to provide in-house, high quality spaying and neutering of dogs and cats to qualifying low-income residents. This will make it more affordable for our low-income residents to spay/neuter their pets; improving pet-health and reducing the number of abandoned, homeless, and surrendered pets. (Clinic information will be available in both English and Spanish.)
We will ramp up slowly to ensure the highest level of services, starting with one appointment per week for public animals. We hope to quickly increase the number of procedures: look for information in future newsletters or our website. If you or someone you know could benefit from our services, please call the shelter. As the program grows, more information will be available on our website at www.apsfh.com.
We at APS-FH are dedicated to support our community in the spay/neuter effort. To further assist our low-income residents, APS-FH is actively raising funds for those who need additional financial assistance. If you would like to help us in our efforts, please click on the button below.