SOURCE: PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities

January 25, 2012 08:30 ET

New $1 Million National Spay/Neuter Grant Program From PetSmart Charities® to Save Lives of Nation's Most At-Risk Pets

Cats & Pit Bull Terriers Will Benefit From Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Surgeries

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - Jan 25, 2012) - PetSmart Charities®, the country's largest funder of spay/neuter efforts, has announced a new $1 million national spay/neuter grant program aimed at saving the lives of pets that have the highest risk of being euthanized due to overcrowding in shelters: cats and pit bull terriers.

The new grant program builds on PetSmart Charities' efforts to improve spay/neuter rates, reduce shelter overcrowding and increase pet adoption. Since 2007, PetSmart Charities has provided $26.3 million in grants that have subsidized almost 1 million spay/neuter surgeries in the United States.

In 2012, the new grant program will help 65 non-profit spay/neuter clinics around the nation provide high-quality, affordable spay/neuter surgeries for more than 23,000 cats and pit bull terriers during February and August -- ultimately reducing the homeless pet population by tens of thousands of at-risk cats and dogs that would otherwise wind up in shelters because of unplanned litters, said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc.

Four million adoptable pets are euthanized every year in the United States because they aren't adopted -- that's half of the 8 million pets that land in shelters each year.

"Approximately 34 percent of dogs and cats in U.S. households are not spayed or neutered yet the procedure is one of the most effective ways to reduce the homeless pet overpopulation," said Della Maddalena. "With our new national grant program and our ongoing efforts to make affordable spay/neuter available to the public, PetSmart Charities is addressing the root cause of pet homelessness and this will have a national impact on reducing shelter intake and, ultimately, the euthanasia of adoptable pets."

Lori Redmon, president/CEO of the Kentucky Humane Society in Louisville, agrees. "Shelters do their best to find forever homes for all of their cats and dogs that are loving pets, but unplanned litters quickly lead to overcrowding, and tragically, too many wonderful pets are at risk for euthanasia. With the grant from PetSmart Charities, we will be able to perform 200 more spay/neuter surgeries and give some much-needed help to cats and pit bull terriers that are especially at risk."

"Beat the Heat" and "Primp Your Pit"
PetSmart Charities' new grant program will support two spay/neuter campaigns:

  • "Beat the Heat" will be held in February 2012 to spay female cats before they go into heat, preventing unplanned litters that create "kitten season" during spring months.
  • "Primp Your Pit" will be held in August 2012, giving clinics resources to spay or neuter pit bull terriers. This breed, in particular, ends up in shelters in large numbers due to the myths and negative media and public perceptions that are associated with pit bulls.

Through these special campaigns, spay/neuter clinics receive: grant funds to help lower the cost of spay/neuter for the public; professionally-developed marketing materials to educate the public; and funding and support to advertise and promote the campaigns in local communities.

To find high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter services locally, the public can go online to www.petsmartcharities.org and click on Spay/Neuter to access a free searchable database made possible through a partnership between PetSmart Charities and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®).

How to Donate to Save Pets' Lives
Donations allow PetSmart Charities to offer these types of grant programs and resources that support local clinics and shelters across the nation. Members of the public can join the fight to end pet homelessness by making a tax-deductible donation online, by email at gifts@petsmartcharities.org or via phone at 623-587-2826.

Stay up to date on the lives that are being saved through PetSmart Charities' Facebook page at www.facebook.com/savehomelesspets.

ABOUT PETSMART CHARITIES®
Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal-welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided more than $134 million in grants and programs benefiting animal-welfare organizations and has helped save the lives of nearly 5 million pets through its in-store adoption program. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit petsmartcharities.org or call 1-800-423-PETS (7387).

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