Pet advocates say even if it isn't broke, fix it

Posted: Thursday, May 04, 2000

A quick look around peninsula animal shelters bears proof that the number of offspring an unaltered domesticated dog or cat can produce is overwhelming.

While many groups and individuals advocate spaying and neutering as a humane alternative to pet overpopulation, two actively encourage the procedure by subsidizing all or part of the simple surgery.

Peninsula Animal League and Homer Animal Friends are nonprofit organizations that provide financial help for pet owners.

Peggy Pittman, president of Homer Animal Friends, said much of the money from fund raising goes toward the spay and neuter program.

The group was organized to work on the issue of cruelty to animals in the Homer area. But Pittman said the group's No. 1 focus is spaying and neutering.

"We are always raising funds for spay, neuter and education," she said.

Interested pet owners requesting assistance need to fill out an application.

Homer Animal Friends will pay 40 percent for pet owners needing assistance and will pay the full cost for those on public assistance. Friends has an agreement with the Homer Veterinary Clinic to pick up its share of altering procedures.

Peninsula Animal League's mission is to subsidize and promote spaying and neutering of pets through donations and endowments.

Brett Reid, president of Peninsula Animal League, said the organization deals with veterinarians from the central peninsula.

"It is an important project," Reid said.

The group, through the Kenai Animal Control Shelter, can help pet owners pay up to 50 percent of the procedure.

Ronda Oglesby, treasurer of Peninsula Animal League, said the group gave $150 to four clinics in late February with the sole purpose of sterilizing pets.

Some of the clinics gave deductions, others picked up the difference of what the customer could not pay. More than 16 animals were helped with the money.

A $5,000 endowment was granted to the group by a Kenai homesteader who had an interest in dogs. The money was invested, and the group uses the interest made from money for the program.

Homer Animal Friends travels to Homer schools to educate kids about domestic pets.

"It will make such a difference in the end result of cruelty," Pittman said.

Peninsula Animal League raises money through membership costs and donations made through the shelter.

Oglesby said the organization is currently in need of volunteers to help with fund raising and education.

"We are trying to get more animals spayed and neutered," she said.

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