S.N.I.P. - The SPCA Alliance's Spay/Neuter Intervention Program
In fiscal year 2006, there were 20,733 animals that were brought to Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Control. Of these, 14, 113 had to be euthanized because there was not enough space to house them and there were not enough people coming to adopt them. In fact, 3,606 animals were adopted and only 2,141 were lost pets reclaimed by their owner(s). The rest were killed by the City of Charlotte.
These are devastating statistics and totally preventable IF people would only spay and neuter their pets. Unfortunately, Mecklenburg County is not unique. All the other counties in this region have similar statistics.
For the past 7 years, the SPCA Alliance has focused its energy on S.N.I.P. ² a proactive Spay/Neuter Intervention Program. The mission of S.N.I.P. is to provide free or low cost spay/neuter surgeries on dogs and cats living in targeted low-income areas within Mecklenburg County and surrounding counties. By providing free or low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to animals whose owners cannot afford it, S.N.I.P. will decrease the number of animals entering the Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Control Bureau and other animal control facilities which will, in turn, reduce the euthanasia rate and increase the adoption rate of homeless animals from this shelter.
Spaying and neutering is the heart of a successful community animal management program and it is only through an aggressive and proactive spay/neuter program like S.N.I.P. that the admissions of animals into the Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Control Bureau and other animal control facilities will be drastically reduced.
- Over 80% of the animals that come into Animal Control are from low-income neighborhoods.
- Consider the fact that in just 6 years, one unspayed female dog and her offspring can give birth to 67,000 puppies and in 7 years, one cat and her young can produce 420,000 kittens!
Similar spay/neuter programs in New Hampshire, Utah and San Francisco have been extremely successful when properly funded and have seen their euthanasia rates drop between 50%-70% in just a few years! In addition, without even trying to do so, the adoption rates went up dramatically within these areas.
Running a program like S.N.I.P. is expensive, but can we really put a price on the lives of all the animals we will be saving from euthanasia? S.N.I.P.¹s success boils down to the fact that we need to get the businesses in Charlotte involved with the SPCA Alliance as corporate sponsors. Our goal is to raise $500,000 and we can do that if we get 500 companies to sponsor us at $1,000 each (more if we're lucky). That's a lot of money for a non-profit organization to raise, but we can do it if we come together as a community.
The money from corporate sponsors and residents would also be used to educate the public about the pet overpopulation problem and why spaying and neutering their pets is so important. Pet overpopulation is a community problem and these homeless animals are in desperate need of help from the entire community.
By establishing long-term partnerships with the City of Charlotte, other animal welfare groups, businesses and residents within the community, we can obtain our goal and have a positive impact on the homeless animals within Mecklenburg County and Animal Control.
Most importantly, everyone needs to understand that the solution to reducing the euthanasia rate is to make sure every pet is spayed and neutered. The worst part of this situation is that every dog or cat who dies as a result of pet overpopulation (whether humanely euthanized in a shelter or by injury, neglect, or disease) is an animal who, more often than not, would have made a wonderful companion, if given the chance.
Please keep in mind that every time someone breeds their pet whether intentionally or unintentially, they are taking away the opportunity for a homeless animal to be adopted. This causes tremendous heartache for all the caring Animal Control shelter workers who are forced to euthanize one animal after another because there arenÿt enough people coming in to adopt them.
It is only through the generosity, understanding and compassion of residents and businesses that S.N.I.P. will be successful. Above all, we want support S.N.I.P. because you feel it is a worthy cause and would be proud to support it.