February 26, 2007
Two hundred fifty faculty, staff and student volunteers at the School of Veterinary Medicine pitched in Sunday, February 25 to accomplish the spaying or neutering of more than 100 dogs on Spay Day.
"Spay Day is a fantastic opportunity for us to help the community," said Bennie I. Osburn, dean, who attended the event. "Our volunteers are making a real difference in reducing the number of homeless pets euthanized in shelters."
Up to 3,000 animals in Yolo County and 18,000 in Sacramento County die each year at shelters because there are not enough homes for all the pets born.
The Sacramento Area Animal Coalition coordinates Spay Day locally each year. Participants handled 800 animals total, and sponsors estimate that the Spay Day surgeries will prevent approximately 11,000 puppy and kitten births over the next year.
Sunday marked the fourth Spay Day event at the School of Veterinary Medicine. At the UC Davis site, veterinary faculty and experienced staff members performed the procedures. Students assisted according to their level of training. Student "guardians" tended their assigned animals throughout surgery, recovery and discharge to their owners.
In addition to the surgery, the dogs also received thorough physical examinations, vaccinations and identifying microchips.
A spayed or neutered pet has a longer, healthier life, with fewer reproductive problems, less cancer, and fewer behavior problems. Owners of spayed or neutered animals are also less likely to surrender them to shelters, UC Davis veterinary researchers have found.
Spay Day reduces the burden on overcrowded community shelters and shelter personnel.
The school extends special thanks to the Yolo County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, Schering-Plough Animal Health and Abbott Animal Health. These organizations provided funds and in-kind contributions especially to support the Spay Day effort at the School of Veterinary Medicine.
More spay-neuter program resources: www.sacanimal.org.