NEW YORK--Oklahoma City, Okla. area shelters are getting closer to their goal of ending animal homelessness, thanks to a partnership with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), which today announced that Oklahoma City increased community-wide spay/neuter surgeries by 11 percent during the first six months of 2011 as compared to the same period last year.
The Oklahoma City partner agencies performed 3,881 spay/neuter surgeries, an increase of 374 surgeries over the same six months of 2010, when 3,507 surgeries were performed. Increased spay/neuter can help to prevent litters of homeless kittens and puppies from being born and entering the sheltering system. Performing these surgeries also can work to reduce the number of feral cats in communities when Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is practiced.
"Increasing spay/neuter by 11 percent is a major accomplishment in any community," said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. "We know spay/neuter will go a long way in helping Oklahoma City in its effort to end animal homelessness."
"We could not have reached these levels without the support of the ASPCA and the Oklahoma City community," added Christy Counts, president and executive director of the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, one of the ASPCA's local partners. "Collaborating with the ASPCA and local animal welfare agencies has been vital in helping to raise our surgery numbers, which in turn can help curb overpopulation and reduce the number of animals entering our shelters," added Catherine English, manager of the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division and another local partner.
The ASPCA Partnership is a unique collaboration with communities nationwide to increase the live release rate by saving those animals most at risk through sustainable data-driven plans and programs. These engage the community to reunite lost animals with their families, increase adoptions, target spay/neuter and support feral cats and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) initiatives.
Since the partnership began in 2008, the ASPCA has provided more than $530,000 in grant funding to the partner agencies in Oklahoma City. In addition to Oklahoma City, Okla., ASPCA partners have provided positive outcomes for homeless animals in many communities around the country, including Austin, Texas; Buncombe, N.C.; Cleveland, Ohio; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Charleston, N.C.; Sacramento, Calif.; Shelby County, Ala.; Spokane, Wash.; and Tallahassee, Fla.