Clipping Away at Pet Overpopulation in the South
Back in March, IFAW received word that some of the largest US-based animal welfare organizations were planning to join forces and combat pet overpopulation in the states of Mississippi and Louisiana. Pet overpopulation in these states has always been a problem and spay/neuter efforts have been previously attempted. But following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina many animal welfare organizations sparked a national interest in this issue.
Other organizations involved include the ASPCA, PetsMart Charities, United Animal Nations, HSUS and many local humane organizations. The strength and interest provided by these joined forces will assist local groups in developing future programs that will encourage animal owners to take a more active role in caring for their pets and having them spayed or neutered.
For anyone who is aware of the politics that surface when NGOs tackle a popular issue in a common area, they should realize that this is a noble step towards alleviating a problem that requires the strength of multiple parties. We are now five months into the program and have very little to be disconcerted about.
At the onset of discussions, IFAW suggested that, in addition to the practical solution of spay or neuter (S/N), census data be collected and an attitudinal survey administered to further our knowledge on public opinion and awareness. The success of IFAW’s CLAW Dominica project is due to our expertise in this area.
This two year collaborative project in Louisiana and Missouri also includes an S/N voucher program utilizing local vets, fixed high volume clinics servicing a 90-mile radius in each state and a mobile S/N clinic servicing areas not provided for by the fixed clinics.