Friday, December 12, 2008

Spay Neuter program for WA State 2009

There is something we can all do for the Holidays and it only costs 5 minutes of our time. Please click on the link for to help support much needed legislation to reduce our overpopulation of dogs and cats.

You can get all the information you need to send to your representatives by this link To make is super easy, I included my draft letter you can copy and paste to send to your representatives.

It is just that easy to get involved and help be a voice for our animal friends.

Please support and pass proposed legislation for a spay neuter program in Washington State.

Homelessness is the single leading cause of death for healthy cats and dogs in the United States. About five million animals are killed in our country’s shelters each year.

In Washington State, a survey of shelters revealed that over 60,000 cats and dogs were reported euthanized in Washington shelters in 2005. The number of animals actually euthanized is higher, since only one third of the survey recipients responded. Between 2001 and 2005, large shelters that consistently responded to the survey reported euthanizing between 45 and 48 percent of the animals brought to them each year. The euthanasia rate has remained at these levels for the last several years.

It's not just a matter of being humane. It costs a lot of money to handle homeless animals in shelter and through animal control agencies and rescue organizations. Washington State taxpayers spend millions of dollars each year to handle these animals.

The Sensible Solution
Spay/Neuter. The most effective and humane way to reduce the number of animals dying in shelters is a targeted, statewide spay/neuter program.

How this Will Be Accomplished
Using a network of private, public, and non-profit clinics and services around the state, spay/neuter surgeries will be performed on the categories most significantly contributing to the overpopulation crisis: cats and dogs belonging to low-income residents of Washington, and free-roaming or feral cats.

Similar programs have been established in other states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.
The New Hampshire program was started in 1994 and in its first few years a 34-percent decrease in shelter admissions and a 75-percent decrease in euthanasia were reported. New Hampshire has also reported significant savings from reduced animal impoundment costs due to its program. As these states have shown, there is a better way to address the pet overpopulation crisis. An aggressive spay/neuter program is the more humane and effective solution.

Reduced animal care and control, and shelter costs. Controlling the cat and dog population will save taxpayers dollars by reducing the number of animals handled by local animal care and control agencies. One Washington shelter reported the average cost to handle an animal is $93. Stray animal pickup and delivery to the shelter costs an additional $150 to $200. For every animal that is not handled by animal control or shelters, the savings can be significant.

Reduced dog bites, suffering, and costs. Nearly two percent of the U.S. population, or 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year. In 2003, the Insurance Information Institute reported that dog bites accounted for a quarter of all homeowner’s liability claims, totaling $321.6 million. In 2007, the claims total had risen to $356 million. Research has shown that about 82 percent of serious dog bites and 92 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks were not surgically sterilized. By focusing attention on spay/neuter to help address the problems of dangerous dogs, we can expect a reduced number of dog bites and injuries, less pain and suffering, lost time, legal costs, and liability.

It is not just the above but the true benefit is a healthy wanted animal. No animal should have to live in a cage without the natural life that nature intended.