SSNIP provides fix for pet overpopulation

Friday, January 14, 2011 - 9:57am

Robinson's Rescue Low Cost Spay-Neuter Facility and the Caddo Parish Commission join together to fight the pet overpopulation and euthanasia problems in Caddo Parish by starting SSNIP, the new Subsidized Spay-Neuter Incentive Program.

Robinson's Rescue Executive Director Freda Powell describes the program as income-based.  She said the program will provide "our already low fees cut in half for people who have lower income, and for people who are on government-subsidized programs, (they) will get the service for free."

Powell said that they get dozens of calls each day from people looking for homes for their unwanted puppies and kittens, but Caddo and Bossier shelters constantly stay full.  "We are trying to combat the problem with prevention," Powell told us.  "That's what spaying and neutering does.  It prevents all of the unwanted pets that we see running around our city."

Loving pet owner of three dogs, Wanda Hay, says she notices the issue of pet overpopulation in the area and hopes that pet owners take the responsible step towards ending this problem by spaying and neutering their pets.  "Most veterinarians will do it at a reduced cost if they ask them to because the vet wants to see that happen, too."

When pets do not get spayed or neutered, kennels in animal shelters fill up with strays and unwanted animals.  Powell told us that when the shelters are full, the only other alternative is to euthanize the homeless animals.

She said that, with SSNIP -- "we are trying to cut the euthanizing rate, and we are trying to make sure that there are no pets that don't have families."

Robinson's Rescue Facility encourages people in this situation to call and make an appointment to find out if they qualify for the free services.  The free services from SSNIP are available for Caddo Parish residents only, but all pets are able to receive the already low costs of spaying and neutering at Robinson's Rescue.

Hay hopes that pet owners make responsible decisions and had some final advice for them -- "Take care of them and love them and treat them like their own children."

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