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East Bay SPCA offers free and low cost spaying and neutering for World Spay Day

on February 20, 2012

The East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, SPCA, is hosting a spaying and neutering marathon on Saturday, February 28th, at both their TriValley and Oakland locations. Their goal is to spay and neuter one hundred Chihuahuas, pit bulls, and cats that belong to low-income families.

“Our phones were ringing off the hook and we are filling up really fast,” said Laura Fulda, Director of Marketing and Development for the East Bay SPCA.

While the East Bay SPCA has no more available appointments this Saturday, many other Bay Area clinics will be participating in the Doris Day event, offering free or low-cost spaying and neutering surgeries.

This is an annual event held in conjunction with the Doris Day World Spay Day, established in 1995. The goal is to stress the importance of spaying and neutering pets, primarily because spaying or neutering are the best ways to prevent more animals from going into already overcrowded and underfunded shelters.

This isn’t just an issue for strays and pets that have unexpected pregnancies said Fulda. Particularly in tough economic times, families will breed their purebred animals with the intent to sell the puppies. However, far too often, when the animals don’t sell, they end up at the shelter said Fulda.

However, this day surgery offers additional benefits. Pets who are spayed are neutered are also less likely to mark their territory, fight other dogs, or wander off looking for a mate. It can also help prevent cancers and complications in birthing, particularly with Chihuahuas, Fulda said.

The SPCA choose to focus on the two breeds of dogs because those are the two that get dropped off at a Bay Area shelter most often, Fulda said.

Chihuahuas are victims of the cycle of trendy pets. A few years ago, when Paris Hilton was seen carrying the teeny dogs and their bedazzled collars around in bags,  they became fashionable. Years later, when the Chihuahuas became more of a nuisance and expense than an accessory, owners dropped them off in hordes at the SPCA.

“These things go in phases,” said Fulda, adding that a pet should be “a family member that you keep for its lifetime, not something for your purse.”

Adult cats are consistently common drop-off animals at animal shelters in the Bay Area and with the spring kitten season approaching, spaying and neutering can help keep unwanted kittens out of the shelter, Fulda said.

The SPCA offers this surgery at low prices every day. Spay and neutering surgeries start at $60 for a male cat, $75 for a female cat, and can run anywhere between $100-$150 for dogs, depending on weight and sex.

On any day, the SPCA will lower those already-low prices for families who can prove that they receive food stamps, WIC, or any other governmental support.

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