Stray dogs are an abundant feature of Bakersfield, California. I mentioned this fact in my post, What To Do When You Find A Lost Dog.
There is one commonality among all the lost dogs I’ve found and helped get back home. None of them were fixed.
Sterilizing Your Pets Saves Lives
When you spay or neuter your animal, you help prevent needless euthanasia by keeping the pet population low and providing more space in shelters. Overcrowding is the primary reason why 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats are unnecessarily killed in shelters across the nation each year.
Let’s take a look at Bakersfield.
A friend of mine worked at a Bakersfield school that is adjacent to a large, empty field. The people living in this low-income neighborhood with pets tend not to sterilize them. The stray dog population is epidemic.
Unsterilized dogs have high sex drives and tend to wander from their yard in hopes of getting lucky. When a not neutered male crosses paths with a not spayed female, their rendezvous tends to lead to a litter of puppies. Usually, a litter of unwanted puppies.
The puppies get dumped in this field, along with many other dogs that are suddenly unwanted. It happens all the time. As a result, Kern County Animal Control patrols the area regularly. There was a point in time when they were trapping dogs in the field and bringing in four every single day. That’s 24 dogs a week from one field alone.
The numbers start adding up. Especially if adoption rates are low. In 2011, Kern County shelters euthanized 19,776 adoptable dogs and cats. That’s an astounding rate of 64 percent of intake animals killed. The average euthanize rate of shelters across the nation is 50 percent.
The only way to put an end to the needless deaths of healthy animals is spaying and neutering.
By decreasing the pet population and increasing adoption rates, we can eliminate overcrowding in shelters and stop euthanizing dogs and cats who are worthy of living beautiful lives.
The trend in Bakersfield has improved over the last few years. Euthanize rates have made a downward turn thanks to several organizations working to provide low-cost spay and neuter services.
Most communities do offer spay and neuter clinics, or vouchers. Some services are free to those who qualify.
In Bakersfield and Kern County, many residents can obtain vouchers to get dogs and cats fixed. Click here to view the current voucher list provided by Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation and see if you qualify.
In Los Angeles, the Amanda Foundation Mobile Clinic offers free spay and neuter services for dogs and cats to people who qualify. The mobile clinic operates by appointment only. Please call to schedule an appointment at 888-FIX-PETT (888-349-7388). Click here to see when Spaymobile will be in your neighborhood.
What low-cost or no-cost spay and neuter options are available in your city?