Mark your calendar – Tuesday, February 22, is the 17th Annual Spay Day, sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). On this day and throughout the month, events and activities are being held around the world to promote the spaying or neutering of pets.
Spay Day is observed each year on the last Tuesday of February. Veterinarians, animal welfare professionals, business owners and animal lovers will join forces to provide spay/neuter services and promote spaying and neutering as an effective and humane way of helping to reduce the number of homeless animals in shelters.
More than 4 million pets are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year. “Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Maybe someone’s pet got out just that one time or maybe the litter was intentional, but efforts to find enough good homes failed,” according to the HSUS.
Spaying or neutering pets is the only 100-percent effective method of birth control. As the HSUS reports, it is a proven way to reduce the large numbers of animals born only to die prematurely and without families who love them.
Spay Day was created by the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) in 1995, and became a program of the HSUS when the two organizations combined operations in 2006.
During its first 15 years, participants spayed or neutered more than 1.4 million animals. Considering that an unspayed dog can give birth to 20 puppies — and that it costs an average of $176 for a shelter to care for a homeless animal — the HSUS states that since the inception of Spay Day, participants have prevented millions of unwanted births, and saved millions of taxpayers’ dollars.
How to Participate in Spay Day
Do you want to help reduce the number of unwanted pets? The HSUS offers these suggestions:
If you haven’t already done so, spay or neuter your pets. Tell your friends and family to do the same.
Buy Spay Day postage stamps.
Organize an event.
Volunteer at an event.
Enter the Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest.
More ideas can be found at How to Participate in Spay Day.