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World Spay Day 2021

Posted By SLCo Animal Services
February 10, 2021

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world spay day blog

If you look around the internet hard enough there is a day for everything!  Some are just for fun, some are local, and some of them are a really big deal – like WORLD SPAY DAY! World Spay Day is historically celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of February – so this year it is February 23rd.  You’re asking yourself, “Who celebrates a day that is all about removing the reproductive organs of pets?” Well, to that we say Salt Lake County Animal Services does, and so should you! 

The Doris Day Animal League (yes, that Doris Day) founded Spay Day USA in 1995 as a day to bring attention to the pet overpopulation problem in the United States and also to encourage animal population control by spaying and neutering pets. The movement later spread globally to over 70 countries and is now known as World Spay Day. Animal welfare agencies, rescue organizations, and even veterinarians worldwide celebrate and support World Spay Day as a day of awareness, a day of action, and a day of hope.  Hope that someday, with the help of the communities we support and serve, we can bring an end to the euthanasia of healthy and adoptable animals in our nation’s overcrowded shelters.

Here in Utah, we have an amazing animal welfare and rescue community that has been on this mission since 2008.  Thirteen years later, Utah is ALMOST a ‘No Kill State’ – the state is only 1% away from it being official!  Here at Salt Lake County Animal Services, we have been at or above the ‘No Kill’ metric since 2013. This achievement is due in no small part to the heroic efforts of our amazing veterinary staff. They are here seven days a week, 365 days a year, and every year for the last ELEVEN years our vet staff has averaged over 3,200 spay or neuter surgeries/year.  That’s almost 36,000 animals that are not able to reproduce and contribute to community animal and shelter overpopulation! 

Imagine how many animals have been spayed and neutered in the last eleven years by other organizations all over the country – that is an unfathomably huge number.  But still, every year shelters are being forced to euthanize over ONE MILLION ANIMALS in the United States alone. That number is WAY down from the estimated 2.6 million animals euthanized in 2011.

So how can you help? Every year in the United States 70,000 puppies and kittens are born.  Surveys of the pet owning community indicate that almost 60% of those litters are accidental.  If we were able to prevent all of those unwanted canine and feline pregnancies, we could prevent over 410,000 puppies and kittens every year!  We know that sounds like a huge task, and it is!  But, with our community’s help and diligence about getting your owned pets fixed, we are well on our way to a solution to our pet over-population problem.  But now you’re thinking “but puppies and kittens are SO CUTE!  We can just find homes for all of them, right?” We all wish that were always the case, but with over one million pets still being euthanized in shelters in the United States every year, we’re afraid it’s not.

Even though our shelter and many others in our community are ‘No Kill,’ there is room for improvement.  Here’s where you can help – please spay and neuter your pets BEFORE they have a litter!  If they’ve already had a litter, let us help you get them fixed before you find them new homes.  If you have already fixed your all of your pets, first of all – thank you, consider donating to our Spay & Neuter Fund so that we can continue to help those who need assistance in our community! 

So you want to get your pet fixed - where do you start?  Check with your veterinarian about getting your pet fixed today! Citizens in Salt Lake County can schedule their pets for spay/neuter surgeries at lower prices with our clinic ONLINE. These spots are for owned pets and licensing is required for animals within our jurisdiction with the spay/neuter appointment.  During the appointment, your pet will also be microchipped and vaccinated. 

What about the community cats, you ask?  Well, community cats in our jurisdiction are getting more attention than ever as well. We have added even more TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) and SNR (Shelter-Neuter-Return) services to our jurisdiction and we are creating a Working Cat Program for cats that come to us and don’t especially want to live in households.  We are expanding programs to help other trappers, rescues, and veterinarians in our community too.  We realize that if we all work together as a team, we can bring the community cat population down and keep it under control.  You can help us with this goal too!  If you see community cats in need, please email our Community Cat Team at cats@slco.org.

Pet overpopulation can be prevented one pet at a time. 

Written by:
Randee Lueker/Rescue & Events Coordinator