Shelters and rescues are bursting at the seams with no end in sight.
New York City shelters saw a sharp increase in dog and cat intake from 2022 to 2023. They spent most of last year significantly over their humane capacity for pets, and saw an increase in euthanasia due to the overcrowding and lack of adopters.
There is a clear solution to how we can decrease the number of pets being killed each year. Spay and neuter.
According to a recent study, spay and neuter surgeries helped reduce the number of euthanized shelter pets from 13.5 million in 1973 to 1.5 million in 2009. However, despite this improvement, shelters and rescues are still severely overcrowded because there are more pets than homes, leading to increased euthanasia rates.
Cost and access are the primary reasons people do not spay/neuter their pets. While some areas throughout New York State have low-cost spay/neuter clinics, many do not. Moreover, some pet owners cannot afford the prices at their local low-cost clinic.
The domino effect of not spaying and neutering is why we are at this critical point.
It's time our representatives create resources for low-cost spay/neuter to ensure this is an affordable service for everyone. A state voucher program is a feasible way to make it easier for people to have their pets spayed and neutered. Offering veterinary offices a tax break would incentivize participating.
Governor Hochul supported the New York State's Companion Animal Capital Fund to support NYS animal shelters and humane societies in making critical infrastructure upgrades. While this is helpful for NYS shelters, we also need resources for spay/neuter to get to the problem at the source.
Sign and tell Governor Hochul to include a state spay/neuter voucher program as part of her Companion Animal Fund.
Dear Governor Hochul,
Thank you for supporting the Companion Animal Fund to help shelters and humane societies make critical infrastructure upgrades. Your attention to animal welfare is sincerely appreciated.
Right now, shelters and rescues are overcrowded because there are more pets than homes. This will continue until new steps are taken to slow the growth of the pet population. The best way to do this is to make spay/neuter affordable and accessible for everyone.
Currently, veterinary offices are charging as much as $1300 for a spay or neuter surgery. This is a significant increase from as little as 10 years ago. The lack of affordability has created a domino effect that has led to euthanasia rates climbing. Healthy, adoptable animals are being killed because shelters are bursting at the seams.
Spay/neuter gets to the problem at the source. Spaying just one female cat eases the pressure on shelters and rescues, as that can mean hundreds of kittens they never need to find space and resources for.
The Companion Animal Fund has the potential to make an even greater impact. I ask you to consider allocating some of its funding for a state voucher program to cover the cost of spay and neuter surgeries through veterinary offices and clinics.
The effect of a program like this would be groundbreaking. Shelters and rescues are carrying a heavy, unending burden. Making spay/neuter more affordable and accessible for pet owners would decrease the pet population significantly, and allow more pets to stay in their homes.
Thank you for helping the animal community.