By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
About a year ago, I wrote a story about FiXit, a 501c3 formed by Kellie Heckman and Stephanie Down. Kellie and Stephanie got a grant to study pet owners living on St. Croix about their attitudes and concerns regarding spaying/neutering pets. We learned that the attitudes of the people on this Caribbean island were a lot like ours in the 1970s; many people didn’t bother spaying or neutering their cats and dogs.
The euthanasia rate in the 1970s was around 12 million a year. Today, between 4 and 5 million cats and dogs are killed each year at animal shelters. We know that there is a direct link between spay/neuter and lower euthanasia rates. Just imagine if we all spayed/neutered our pets and didn’t shop at pet stores or support breeders, the kill rate would be even lower.
FiXit’s goal is to make spay and neuter affordable to everyone, and to eventually eliminate the use of euthanasia. To do this FiXit is recruiting volunteers in four major U.S. markets to help with its initiative. “We are thrilled to expand our volunteer network to save the lives of more dogs and cats around the country,” says Kellie Heckman, executive director, FiXiT Foundation. “Our volunteers are the foundation of our efforts to save the lives of the four million animals that are killed by euthanasia each year due to companion animal overpopulation.”
The FiXiT Foundation is launching Street Teams in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix to reduce the high rates of euthanasia in these cities. Initially, volunteers will promote GetYourFix as a resource for people that need help with the expense of spay and neuter, and they will help the animals in their communities by building relationships among surgery sponsors, volunteers, veterinary clinics, and pet owners. To participate in the Street Team network, volunteers must commit to a minimum of 15 hours per month for a minimum of six-months.
For those interested in joining a Street Team, click here. http://www.getyourfix.org.
Matching Making in Other Cities
Kellie and Stephanie are working hard to match people in need with people who generously agree to foot the bill for spay/neuter services. “Get Your Fix.org targets people who can’t afford spay and neuter services and matches them with people who can donate to cover these costs,” says Kellie.
The match making is just starting, and the women are working hard to find donors. To become a donor, click here.
Fixing Cats and Dogs
Thanks to a grant and lots of incentives spay/neuter services are up. Spaying/neutering pets on St. Croix is free. “When we switched from charging $25 for spaying/neutering a pet to no cost, we not only increased spaying/neutering, we found that residents developed a relationship with their pet’s veterinarians,” says Kellie.
For more information about FiXit, click here.