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Kitsap Spay Day 2009 looks to control pet overpopulation

Wheaton Way Veterinary Clinic in Bremerton is one of 14 veterinary practices countywide participating in the first-ever Kitsap Spay Day Tuesday, Feb. 24. - Courtesy photo 2008
Wheaton Way Veterinary Clinic in Bremerton is one of 14 veterinary practices countywide participating in the first-ever Kitsap Spay Day Tuesday, Feb. 24.
— image credit: Courtesy photo 2008

In the words of Bob Barker, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”

The former “The Price is Right” host must be excited for Tuesday, Feb. 24.

The first-ever Kitsap Spay Day is part of Spay Day USA — an annual campaign of the Humane Society of the United States, typically on the last Tuesday in February, to encourage people to have their dogs and cats spayed and neutered by offering discounted services at veterinary practices.

Tara Trezona created the Kitsap Spay & Neuter Council in November 2008. She participated in a similar organization in Bellingham and decided the group was needed right here in Kitsap County.

“There actually is a really big need,” Trezona said. “There definitely is a need even though there are programs already in place.”

Trezona said there are about 25 people involved with the Kitsap Spay & Neuter Council and their primary focus at the moment is Kitsap Spay Day.

Fourteen veterinarians throughout North, Central and South Kitsap are offering discounted spay and neuter rates Feb. 24 in honor of Spay Day. Trezona said the discounts vary from veterinarian to veterinarian, but some are discounting the spay and neuter surgeries by 20 percent.

“It really varies, it varies a lot,” she said.

Millions of dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters each year, Trezona said, and that could change if more people had their pets spayed and neutered to keep the population down.

“They don’t even have a chance, it’s terrible,” Trezona said.

Kitsap Humane Society (KHS) Development Manager Dana Lerma said the animal shelter euthanized less dogs and cats last year than in years past because more people are having their pets spayed and neutered.

“It’s declining, you can see it’s declining,” Lerma said. “More and more people are doing what they should do.”

KHS requires that each animal adopted from the shelter is spayed or neutered and KHS performs about 600 spay and neuter surgeries each year for low-income pet owners.

Trezona said she was surprised and pleased that 14 local veterinarians decided to offer discounted services for Kitsap Spay Day.

“We were surprised, we were very surprised,” she said.

Lerma said the all-volunteer Kitsap Spay & Neuter Council is a great beginning to raise awareness about pet overpopulation.

“As it grows and as people become more familiar with it, they will encourage local veterinarians and people to participate and decrease those numbers of unwanted litters,” Lerma said. “This is a way to begin to truly involve the community and veterinarians.”

Kitsap Spay Day is endorsed by KHS, PAWS of Bremerton, Rescue Every Dog and PAWS of Bainbridge.

To schedule an appointment for a spay or neuter surgery on Kitsap Spay Day, call (360) 479-6775. For more information about the Kitsap Spay & Neuter Council, visit www.meetup.com/Kitsap-Spay-and-Neuter-Council.

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