February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month, and leaders in the animal welfare industry are aiming to raise awareness of the significant impact spay and neuter surgeries can have in reducing the overpopulation of pets. PetSmart Charities is continuing its work in this area and recently announced it has issued more than $11 million in grants to over 200 animal welfare organizations over the course of two months. The grants will help fund more than 200,000 no-cost or low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for pets in need—both owned and free-roaming—across the United States and Canada in 2017.
While spaying and neutering pets is essential to curbing unplanned litters, veterinary care is not always affordable nor accessible for all pet parents and families. With these grants, animal welfare organizations in local communities across the continent will offer free or low-cost surgeries—about $20—for a procedure that can traditionally cost as much as $100 or more.
“Spaying and neutering pets is key to reducing the number of pets entering shelters, lowering euthanasia rates and proactively preventing pet homelessness,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities. “By partnering with more than 200 animal welfare organizations, PetSmart Charities can help provide accessible spay and neuter services for pets and pet parents in need across North America. This brings us one step closer to ending pet homelessness and finding lifelong, loving forever homes for all pets.”
PetSmart Charities provided the grants to more than 200 animal welfare organizations. Below are examples of the impact of this significant funding support across North America:
- Altered Tails (Phoenix, Arizona) received more than $300,000 to provide low-cost services for at-risk breeds, pit bulls, cats and chihuahuas for $20. Funding will also help cover critical vaccinations and support 4,450 surgeries at the organization’s facilities in Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson, Arizona.
- Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Newmarket, Ontario) will use $135,000 in grants to provide pet transfers, food, supplies, spay and neuter procedures and wellness services to pet parents in remote First Nations communities across Ontario, Canada. The grant will support an estimated 250 pets in need.
- Second Chance Animal Shelter (East Brookfield, Massachusetts) was awarded a grant for more than $180,000 to secure essential clinical equipment for its third subsidized veterinary clinic and low-cost spay and neuter program with the goal of assisting an estimated 2,500 pets.
- Spay-Neuter Assistance Program, Inc. (SNAP) was awarded two PetSmart Charities spay and neuter grants. A grant of $158,000 will make it possible to provide an estimated 1,200 free spay/neuter surgeries for dog and cat companions of income-qualified residents of the greater Houston area. A second grant of $52,000 will fund approximately 500 free surgeries for residents in and around the San Antonio, Texas, metropolitan area.
- University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) secured more than $450,000 to fund a three-year spay and neuter surgical program with Penn Vet’s Surgical Outreach Program. This grant will be used to secure a mobile clinic and nursing/technical staffing to execute surgeries for 4,000 rescue, shelter and community pets in need per year. In addition, the program is predicted to train at least 200 veterinary students per year while spearheading medical and education outreach to the community and shelters.
Thanks in large part to the support of generous PetSmart shoppers who donate in stores using the pin pad at checkout, PetSmart Charities, along with its Canadian counterpart, PetSmart Charities of Canada, have contributed more than $300 million to date to directly help pets in need. With the help of its animal welfare partners, the organization has funded more than 1.4 million spay and neuter surgeries in the U.S. since 2009.
In 2016, PetSmart Charities introduced a new focus on strategic grant-making and unveiled an expanded mission, allowing it to reach beyond its core efforts to end pet homelessness and help pets in need to include connecting pets and people. In late February, the organization will unveil an enhanced online application process and its 2017 grant cycle calendar with more information on how to apply across 10 new grant categories.
For more information on how to make a donation to PetSmart Charities and PetSmart Charities of Canada or to apply for a grant on behalf of a deserving animal welfare organization*, please visit PetSmartCharities.org or PetSmartCharities.ca.
*Must provide documentation verifying status as a 501(c)(3) organization for the U.S. or registered charity in Canada.