Pet owners line up for free spay/neuter clinics

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX - In honor of World Spay Day, the Arizona Humane Society held a "Spay Up All Night" program in an effort to bring free services to pet owners. Every year, Valley shelters take in tens of thousands of animals, but only half find their forever homes. Officials say spaying and neutering is the most effective way to reduce the number of homeless pets in the Valley.

Angela and Brenda Garcia waited in line for more than seven hours outside the Arizona Humane Society's Dobbins Road location. With the help of Circle of Friends donor group, the facility offered free spay and neuter surgeries to 40 dogs and cats on a first-come, first-served basis. "It's really nice for someone like me. I work two jobs and this makes it affordable. It's worth the wait for sure," said dog owner Amy Marshall.

"Affordability and accessibility are what's keeping people from spaying and neutering their pets, but it's so important - the health benefits for your pets -  cutting down on infections, cancers, and it's going to be more cost effective in the long run in caring for your pets," said Bretta Nelson, spokesperson for the Arizona Humane Society.

Nelson says their organization works tirelessly to fight pet overpopulation in the Valley, and says low-cost or free spay and neuter clinics are offered regularly. She says most pet owners want to be responsible but in some cases can become overwhelmed. "I'm a perfect example with 10 kittens," said Joanne Stewart. "I didn't realize that females can actually get pregnant right after the kittens are born," she said.

Officials say spay/neuter is a simple and safe procedure that helps ensure that less pets end up on the streets, and more pets find forever homes.

For more information on spay and neuter programs, visit:
http://www.azhumane.org/our-services/veterinary-services/spay-or-neuter-your-pet/