Last year, more than 44,000 pets were euthanized in Colorado because there were not enough homes for them. Colorado's numbers are low compared with the rest of the United States, in which between 3 million and 4 million pets are euthanized annually. This is because of the more than 55 subsidized spay and neuter programs statewide.
Despite our remote location, we have three such programs in Montezuma and La Plata counties: For Pets' Sake Humane Society, the La Plata County Humane Society and Dogster's Spay and Neuter program. All three programs are offering discounted spay and neuter services during the month of February in honor of Spay Day USA, Feb. 24.
Another big reason that Colorado's euthanasia rate is so low is because of subsidies provided by the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund.
People can donate to this fund by checking a box and designating an amount on their tax return. Last year, the CPOF provided $225,000 to spay and neuter programs throughout the state, including more than $38,000 to programs in La Plata and Montezuma counties.
Spaying and neutering makes sense on many levels. It eliminates the unnecessary suffering and euthanasia of unwanted pets. It eliminates or substantially decreases many behavioral problems associated with territorial aggression. It increases pets' life spans by eliminating the risk of many types of cancer. It saves big money for taxpayers, as well - the cost of a spay/neuter surgery is much less than the money it costs to impound, house and euthanize.
Please become part of the solution by spaying and neutering your pet and donating to the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund. If each of us contributed just $1 of our tax refund, we could prevent the suffering and euthanasia of thousands of homeless pets in Colorado.
Wendy Haugen, Durango