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ASPCA Celebrates First Anniversary of "Operation Pit"

Campaign extends free spay/neuter services for pit bulls, pit bull mixes on Friday, July 15;Nearly 600 surgeries performed in first year
July 6, 2011

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is celebrating the one year anniversary of "Operation Pit," the program that offers free spay/neuter surgeries to all healthy pit bulls and pit bull mixes between the ages of three months and six years, along with free vaccinations and micro-chipping. Throughout the year, "Operation Pit" procedures take place every Tuesday and Thursday at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in Manhattan. To mark this milestone and to encourage continued participation, appointments for "Operation Pit" will also be available for Friday, July 15.

Since its launch on July 15, 2010, 583 surgeries have already been performed through "Operation Pit." "I am very pleased by the success that we’ve had thus far," said Dr. Louise Murray, vice president of Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. "Outside of ‘Operation Pit,’ pit bulls and pit bull mixes make up a very small percentage of dogs that are brought in for routine spay/neuter procedures at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Pit bulls also have large litters compared to other breeds, so it comes as no surprise that they make up a vast majority of homeless dogs found in city shelters. One of the most effective ways to manage this overpopulation is to provide free spay/neuter services."

More than 50,000 homeless pets enter city shelters each year. Reducing this number depends on increasing adoptions and decreasing overpopulation. The ASPCA Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinics spayed and neutered close to 30,000 cats and dogs in 2010. However, the vast majority of dogs that are still euthanized due to lack of homes are pit bulls and pit bull mixes. With programs such as "Operation Pit" the ASPCA hopes to reduce this number.

In addition to a free spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations and micro-chipping, dogs who have the surgery will also receive free K9 camouflage "doggie gear" and a post-operative "honorable discharge" for completing the mission.

All appointments for "Operation Pit," including those for Friday, July 15, must be scheduled prior to the surgery date. All procedures are completed the same day, and owners can drop off and pick up their pets at scheduled times. For more information and to schedule an appointment, owners can call the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital at 877-900-PITS (7487). Details can also be found online at www.aspca.org/aspca-nyc/operation-pit.aspx.

Appointments can also be scheduled for select Sundays at the ASPCA’s new spay/neuter clinic in Glendale, Queens by calling 877-SPAY-NYC (7729-692).