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Spay Day Attracts 150 Volunteers to Community Effort

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Joining a community-wide effort to end pet overpopulation and protect the health of companion animals, School of Veterinary Medicine volunteers spayed and neutered 54 dogs from Yolo and surrounding counties during Spay Day 2009 Feb 21 and 22.

Spay Day volunteers included 150 veterinarians, staff members and veterinary students. Veterinarians performed the procedures, and student guardians escorted animals throughout the process. The animals also received checkups, any needed vaccinations and identifying microchips. The school's "niche" is larger dogs, including several Great Danes and a number of German shepherds as well as a mix of other popular breeds. The school's site and expertise are particularly suited for larger animals where handling, anesthesia and recovery may be more complex than with smaller dogs.

Clients brought their pets by appointment to the Gourley Clinical Teaching Center, the surgical laboratory where students learn basic clinical skills of anesthesia, surgery and case management during their DVM training.  

The UC Davis event is part of the national Spay Day project coordinated locally each year by the Sacramento Area Animal Coalition. The regional effort to spay and neuter 1,000 animals during a single event is the largest event of its kind in the nation.

This event helps low-income pet owners as well as each community because fewer unwanted animals are born and sent to shelters. "We gladly volunteer for this extraordinary community service event to benefit animals immediately--and help in the long-term fight against pet overpopulation," said Dr. Jan Ilkiw, associate dean of Academic Programs and leader of the school's clinical and facilities team for Spay Day.