Spay/neuter programs yield huge returns for the investment, in reduced cost of animal control, in reduced number of dogs euthanized, and reduced population of stray dogs. Yet many animal control
administrators and agencies do not fully appreciate the magnitude of the benefits.
To achieve a no-kill society, we must understand and confront the forces that yield the current status of dog treatment. The issues are highly intertwined; economic, political, administrative, legislative, and cultural factors work to preserve the status quo.
In a recent article (Creative Budgeting for Preventive Animal Control, NACA NEWS, May/ June, 2013) the advantages of adding a strong preventive animal control element to traditional animal control were discussed and include cost benefits, enhancement of animal control’s public image, personal job enrichment, and an increasingly humane operating environment.
The above article urges widespread collocation of LCSN clinics with public animal shelters and features a clinic of this type recently established in Sacramento County, California. One of the country's first collocated LCSN clinics was established in San Mateo County, California, forty years ago, and the number of homeless dogs and cats there has since plummeted, a direct result of the clinic and related educational efforts.
Change always is difficult, but positive change can occur if animal control directors will:
1. reflect on the above benefits and review the related references given here;
2. thoughtfully consider the quantitative analyses available in the Dog Population Model (DogSim)
3. carefully review the excellent Low-Cost Spay/Neuter clinic budgeting guide and spreadsheet templates that are available to facilitate development of a pro forma budget
(See LCSN Pro Forma Budgets).
4. pro-actively engage municipal staff up the ladder from the animal control department as to the advantages of ‘collocating’ an LCSN clinic with the Animal Shelter.