SACRAMENTO – The Sacramento Valley Veterinary Medical Association, the Sacramento Area Animal Coalition and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine will partner for the first time in an effort to provide up to 1,000 free spay-neuter surgeries for dogs and cats of low-income families on Spay Day USA, February 22, 2004.
Low-income animal caregivers in Sacramento, Placer, Solano and Yolo counties will be able to set up appointments for Spay Day 2004 beginning in January 2004. On February 22, caregivers with appointments will take their animals to one of 20 participating veterinary clinics in the Sacramento area or UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where volunteer veterinarians will conduct spay or neuter procedures.
More than 40,000 unwanted dogs and cats are killed each year in the four-county area. By spaying and neutering 1,000 animals on Spay Day USA 2004, the community will prevent the births of more than 20,000 puppies and kittens over the next year alone.
“This is the first partnership of its kind in the nation,” says Sacramen to Area Animal Coalition President Jennifer Fearing. “Companion animaloverpopulation is a crisis and the resources are slim. But working together we will make great strides toward reducing the needless deaths in the Sacramento area.”
The veterinary association will recruit veterinarians from throughout the Sacramento area. The coalition will coordinate volunteers, schedule appointments and procure donated medical supplies. At the School of Veterinary Medicine, faculty, staff and student volunteers will conduct surgery and care services at the school’s new 30-table student surgery facility.
“Veterinarians are pleased to help needy families do the right – and healthy- thing for their dogs and cats,” says Dean Henricks, DVM, President of the Sacramento Valley Veterinary Medical Association. “We can make a big difference on Spay Day and are proud to be a part of community that is devoted to eliminating companion animal overpopulation.”
The coalition, www.sacanimal.org, has coordinated Spay Day USA in Sacramento for the past five years. The effort achieved national recognition as the largest event of its kind when more than 650 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered during Spay Day USA 2003.
Dr. Jan Ilkiw, Associate Dean of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine,remarks, “We gladly volunteer our resources and expertise for this extraordinary event to benefit animals and to help in the long-term fight against companion animal overpopulation.”
Note: High-resolution professional photos from the 2003 Spay Day USA event are available from the Sacramento Animal Coalition.