A mind-boggling number of healthy animals must be put to death in the U.S. each year. Approximately 12 million cats and dogs will end up in U.S. animal pounds or shelters this year. Only 30 percent will be reclaimed by their owners or find new homes. The other 8 million will be put to death. The rest are left to die on the roadside or from starvation, exposure, disease, and abuse.
The problem was even more serious in Southside Virginia before the Southside SPCA. Euthanasia rates in the county pounds of our service area were almost 100 percent when we began operating in 1975. The rates have fallen to average of 50% today due in large part to the Southside SPCA’s efforts, particularly our education and aggressive spay/neuter programs.
We operate two programs designed to continue reducing the number of healthy animals euthanized in Southside Virginia with the goal of eventually reducing it to zero.
- Low and No-cost Spay/Neuter Program for Pet Owners – Each year, we pay for the cost of spaying and neutering an average of over 1,300 animals with our low and no-cost spay/neuter program. This year, with the support of a generous donor, we will expand this program to include a “Spay/Neuter Your Pet Month” to enlist more owners in Southside Virginia to spay and neuter their pets.
- Shelter Animal Spay/Neuter Program – Each week we transport animals at our shelters to the Beath Animal Clinic in Hanover County. In 2014, we spayed or neutered 355 animals with this program.
During the last two years, we have spayed or neutered almost 3,000 Southside Virginia dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies. Our goal is to continue increasing these numbers until we reach 2,000 spays and neuters each year by the year 2020.