The Humane Society of Southern Arizona, thanks to a $94,500 grant from PetSmart Charities, will be helping dog owners in the 85705 ZIP code with free spay or neuter for their pets.
Now through June 30, 2015, the HSSA will spay or neuter about 1,300 dogs in the 85705 area at no cost as part of the “Fix it, Tucson!” initiative. Pets will also be given, free of charge, necessary vaccinations and pain medications as part of the program. Owners must show proof of ZIP code residence at the time of the appointment.
The 85705 area was selected by the HSSA and PetSmart Charities because it is one of the most economically depressed areas in the city. More than 36 percent of the residents in that area live below the poverty level. In the past year, 12 percent of the pets relinquished by owners to Pima Animal Care Center and 7 percent to the HSSA have been from this ZIP code – more than 3,400 pets. Also, about one-fifth of the people who request assistance from the HSSA’s monthly pet food distribution are from 85705.
At the same time, the requests for spay and neuter surgeries from pet owners in this ZIP code jumped about 8700 percent from 2011 to 2012 at the HSSA Low-cost Spay & Neuter Clinic. This shows a desire by pet owners in the area to give them the best care possible. This initiative is the HSSA’s way of helping them meet that need.
The number of pets ending up in Tucson-area shelters has remained fairly static for the past 10 years at around 35,000. The only effective way to combat this problem is to decrease the number of pets through spaying and neutering. This high-volume, targeted program is a good first step.
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“This grant is so important, it will provide the much-needed spay and neuter services for our community, allowing us to decrease pet overpopulation,” said Dr. Erika Hartle, Lead Veterinarian at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. “Pet overpopulation has significant detrimental effects on both the animals and people of our community. This grant will allow the HSSA to help pets and the people who love them in a big way.”
To schedule your appointment today please call 881-0321 or visit hssaz.org/fix for more information.
The HSSA, the oldest and largest nonprofit animal welfare organization in Southern Arizona, is celebrating 70 years of helping pets and the people who love them. HSSA is a leader in the practices of the no-kill movement, thanks to its live-saving veterinary programs, education and outreach. The HSSA has a 94 percent live-release rate.