Help Protect Pet Population Through Affordable Spaying and Neutering

Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of U.S. Department of Agriculture

Goal: Support expansion of low-cost spay and neuter services to vulnerable populations.

A Texas animal shelter reported the discovery of nine border-collie mix puppies found in a duct-taped box. The pups were left in a dumpster. While the young animals are fortunately healthy and recovering now, they represent a larger problem in the area where they were found–and across the state and country.

The founder of the shelter taking care of the puppies released the following statement: “I’ve done this for between 35 and 40 years, and it is worse than it has ever been, and I don’t know exactly why, except that it’s just out of control and people don’t know what to do. The key is to spay and neuter animals and just find a way to take better care of our animals.” Spaying and neutering are important tools used in curbing the animal overpopulation that often leads to abandonment, but the services feel out of reach for many pet parents.

Many states have attempted to remedy this trend by instituting mandatory spay and neuter laws. Such laws punish either with fines or jail time individuals or institutions who have un-fixed pets. These laws ignore one of the major barriers to spaying and neutering, however: its cost. Studies have consistently shown a correlation between low-income households and the lack of pet sterilization. Impoverished communities also demonstrate higher animal shelter take-in rates and subsequent euthanizing of shelter animals.

A nationwide investment in affordable spaying and neutering services could be the single greatest boon to decreasing companion animal overpopulation and deaths. Sign the petition below to help make this important initiative a reality.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has taken a position against mandatory spay and neuter laws for companion animals. This position does not derive from a belief that sterilization procedures do not work. The downward trend in shelter euthanizing that has taken place in recent decades is largely attributable to sterilization’s effect on companion animal overpopulation.

The problem is that mandatory laws exacerbate the driving force behind failure to spay and neuter pets: affordability. Low-income communities often present lower levels of pet spaying and neutering and subsequent higher shelter intakes. Desperate individuals often abandon new litters in unimaginable and dangerous ways.

Assistance rather than punishment should be the priority, for the sake of pet parents and for the welfare of at-risk animals. Please advocate for national investment in low-cost spaying and neutering services and assistance for the pet lovers who need this vital service.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bill Emrich

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