Fixing dog & cat overpopulation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2002:

Ed Boks, director of the Mari-copa County Animal Care &
Control department in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 16 introduced
differential incentives to encourage residents to sterilize and
release feral cats instead of turning them in to be killed. The
county will now charge $61 to kill a cat–or $20 to sterilize the cat
and send him or her “home.” The Arizona Humane Society, which
requests a $15 donation to kill a cat, reports an increase in cat
intake, as have smaller local shelters. However, said Maricopa
County Animal Care & Control spokesperson Julie Bank, “We’ve spent
30 years trying to control feral cats the traditional way, and the
problem is not stopping, ” with feral cat turn-ins averaging a
steady 10,000 a year. “We hope in the next three to five years to
see a decrease,” Bank added.

The Humane Society of Indianapolis and Indianapolis
animal control department received 1,836 fewer dogs and cats and
killed 2,371 fewer during the past seven months than in the same
seven months a year earlier, FACE high-volume, low-cost
sterilization clinic founder Scott Robinson, M.D., told ANIMAL
PEOPLE on April 24. The data confirms Robinson’s decade-long
contention that a high-volume, low-cost sterilization clinic could
make a dramatic difference in the Indianapolis numbers, which had
plateaued well above the U.S. norm for shelter killing per 1,000
residents until the FACE clinic opened three years ago. The data
also validates the impact of an investigative series on Indianapolis
animal sheltering issues commenced by Indianapolis Star reporters
Bill Theobald and Bonnie Harris in October 2001, exactly seven
months ago. The series earned Theobald the 2001 George Polk
Journalism Award for metropolitan reporting, presented by Long
Island University.

Spay-Neuter Assistance Program founder Sean Hawkins, of
Houston, announced on April 11 that the Texas Department of
Transportation has raised $846,886 through the sale of 15,311 “Animal
Friendly” license plates, enabling the Texas Department of Health to
make available $250,000 “to eligible organizations for spaying and
neutering dogs and cats belonging to the general public. This is the
first time,” Hawkins added, “that the State of Texas has funded
spaying and neutering programs for dogs and cats.” Texas Department
of Health Zoonosis Control Division chief Jane Mahlow, M.D., said
that “Successful applicants will be those who demonstrate a
collaborative approach to ending dog and cat overpopulation in Texas,
with innovative programs not duplicating existing efforts.”
Application details may be downloaded from

Hawkins on April 16 announced that SNAP has accepted a $1.5
million, three-year contract from the City of Los Angeles,
California, to sterilize dogs and cats belonging to low-income
families. Founded in 1993, SNAP currently operates five mobile
sterilization clinics and two fixed-site clinics, with existing
programs in Houstan, San Antonio, Albuquerque, and Monterrey,
Mexico. Hawkins anticipates using a mobile clinic to sterilize about
5,000 pets per year in Los Angeles.

Maddie’s Fund announced on April 10 that a three-year feral
cat sterilization program and a one-year pet sterilization program
for low-income caregivers that it has funded via the California
Veterinary Medical Association are both to be completed by May 15.
“In less than three years,” Maddie’s Fund president Richard Avanzino
said, “more than 200,000 sterilization surgeries will have been
performed on targeted populations of dogs and cats which have
historically been underserved. The $12 million in grant monies that
Maddie’s Fund has awarded to the CVMA exceed the total amount given
by all foundations to perform sterilization surgeries since the
animal welfare movement began in this country,” Avanzino added.

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