When one stops and thinks about all the social problems in the world we can't have much of a daily impact on, the list can get to be rather lengthy and overwhelming.
But there's one problem we can help control with just a little more attention and a few extra resources -- local pet overpopulation.
Unfortunately our local animal shelters are overpopulated with animals and in some cases more pets are euthanized than can find homes each year. The key to helping solve this population problem is simple -- spay or neuter your pets.
But many area dogs and cats aren't spayed or neutered and that proceedure can cost money -- anywhere from $50 to $250 depending on the size, sex and type of animal. That's why we're happy to hear about the Peninsula Spay/Neuter Fund started by longtime local veterinarian technician Judy Fandrei.
Fandrei said the fund works on a coupon system and it will pay up to 50 percent of the cost of the operation to a set limit.
The idea is a great one. We're lucky to have folks like Fandrei in our community -- those who see a problem they can help mitigate and step up to the plate. For that matter, many of the other folks who work or volunteer at local animal shelters deserve some recognition for the time they put in to caring for animals left or abandoned. It's unfortunately a problem that keeps growing and always needs attention.
With that in mind, we'd encourage folks to do three things:
* First, always have your pets spayed or neutered and if you can't afford it, apply for help through the program. Getting your pet fixed now could save dozens decades from now from ending up in shelters. That burden alone would cost much more than the operation in the first place.
* Second, when and if you can, please make a donation to the fund. Or, if you see Fandrei out selling handmade pottery or carvings at the local markets this summer to raise funds, consider picking out one for an early Christmas present.
* Third, remember that you, like Fandrei, can help make a difference when you see a problem. In this case, all it took was some organizational skills and some community donations to start making a difference.
In short: We'd like to give Fandrei a round of applause for the spay/neuter fund idea and would encourage the community to use, support and help develop it. Future pet overpopulation doesn't have to be a problem if we take a few proactive steps today.