Snapping Into Action

February 21, 2012  

The Spay Neuter Action Project offers low cost and free services to San Diego’s pit bulls and other animals

This month, StubbyDog is focusing on shelters. Of course, no exploration of shelters would be complete without also tackling the issue of unwanted pets, an problem that can be largely addressed through spay and neuter. Here, we chat with Dorell Sackett of San Diego’s Spay Neuter Action Project (SNAP), a group that offers low cost spay and neuter to all dogs, and often hosts free days for pit bulls in particular.

Q: Can you tell StubbyDog readers a bit about SNAP and its mission?

A: SNAP is the first and only organization in San Diego County that provides comprehensive programs to solve the core causes of pet overpopulation and its tragic consequences. Our mission is to end euthanasia of adoptable and treatable pets in San Diego County through prevention by providing public awareness, free educational materials, affordable spay/neuter procedures, and subsidies when qualified.

Q: SNAP often has free spay/neuter days for pit bulls. Why target pit bulls?

A: Pit bulls are the most prevalent type of dog in the San Diego shelters.

Q: Are pit bull guardians usually responsive to the free spay/neuter offerings?

A: Yes, most pit bull guardians are responsive to the free spay/neuter service because they are responsible pet guardians who love their pets but just cannot afford the surgery. Spay/neuter surgeries at a general practice can range from $200 – $600 dollars or more depending on the location, pet’s size, age and other factors. Our surgeries are less expensive because we have a lower overhead than a private practice. (No rent!)

Q: Are there certain people that are reluctant to have their dogs altered? If so, what are there reasons, and how do you help to educate them?

A: There are some people who believe it is important to “witness birth,” some who believe it’s not fair to prevent the pet from “experiencing sex,” and some who think that it will “alter the dogs personality.” Some feel neutering a dog will “rob them of their man-hood.” None of which are valid reasons.

We provide people with factual information about these myths and then present all the benefits of having a dog spayed or neutered.

We have lots of information via handouts that explain the importance of spaying and neutering: Besides the horrific overpopulation of the breed, it is better for the dog’s health and longevity to be fixed:

It’s Good for You:

• Prevents or decreases many behavior problems.
• Eliminates the worry, hassle and cost of pregnancy and litters; approximately seven puppies and kittens are born for every person – there cannot possibly be enough good homes.
• Having your pet spayed or neutered teaches your children about responsible pet care.

It’s Good for Your Pet:

• Eliminates or reduces the incidence of cancers and increases life expectancy.
• Reduces the incidence of injury and disease because it reduces the urge to roam.
• Makes pets friendlier to other pets.

It’s Good for Your Community:

• Unaltered dogs cause nearly 100 percent of serious bites – nearly 60 percent involve children.
• Reduces pet-related public health and safety risks and law enforcement costs.
• Frees funds for other essential services like police, schools and health services.

Q: Pit bulls are the most prevalent type of dog in shelters. Spay/neuter is a big part of the solution. How can people help make a difference in their communities?

A: Spaying and neutering is the solution. There needs to be more low cost options for people. Also, a little talk goes a long way. Becoming pet adoption advocate helps also. If someone likes the look of your dog … tell them there are many, many more like him or her waiting for a home a their local shelter or rescue group! Remind them that your dog is spayed or neutered! Talk to kids! Kids like to do what is right … let them know it is not OK to breed or buy while shelter pets die.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: SNAP’s Neuter Scooter offers low cost spay neuter in low-income neighborhoods in San Diego County. We offer 11 – 17 clinics per month. We fix 25 – 50 dogs and cats per clinic. We target areas that animal control receives the most dog bite reports, animal cruelty cases and strays from. As an incentive, we offer free Advantage flea treatment, free nail trim, and dogs get free rabies vaccine and free one-year license with the spay or neuter surgery. We provide free pet care classes to schools, libraries and after school programs in these same areas. We work with other groups to provide more outreach and assistance. For example, we offer free feral cat fixes (three ferals or untamed cats per clinic) and “special clinics” like our Cat Only clinics and our Pit Bulls Only clinics, where we will fix up to 60 pit bulls in one day. The Neuter Scooter runs on volunteers and donations!

« « Plenty of Pit Bulls | Beautiful Joe » »


4 Responses to “Snapping Into Action”
  1. In our local community there’s a similar spay & neuter initiative called “Neuter Commuter” that’s active once a month. We advertise the dates & times two weeks before the date and every day until the day of the event. It is very important to for communities to be educated.

  2. starscreeam says:

    Amazing project!! Is there a central site that posts very low cost/free spay/neuter programs around the U.S.? How does one of these initiatives get started? The area I live in in NE Ohio really could use this type of project.