In a county of 76,000 people, over 5,000 dogs and cats entered the shelter last year! These kind of numbers are only seen in the south, and limited states. The shelter’s budget is approximately 1 million, which works out to be about $200 per pet that Valencia county taxpayers have to pay for. Let’s just put this out there for food for thought. If we took that $1 million dollars we could fix 10,000+ dogs and cats!!
But I am not recommending we take the whole budget for that. Even if we took a portion of the budget and used if for spay and neuter, say 250,000 dollars, you could fix 2,500 pets and it would have a huge impact on the amount of suffering and strife in this community when done over a five-year period. The number of pets brought in to the shelter would decrease much quicker if that was implemented, greatly decreasing the suffering we choose to impose on pets here.
The shelter could focus eventually on being a resource for low-cost, basic preventative veterinary services like microchipping, spay/neuter and shots. Being able to take the time with citizens and their pets who come in to get these services would help build relationships and trust and keep people and their pets together. It could be a center for prevention versus problems. Wouldn’t this be nice?
I’m not saying that there wouldn’t still be a need for sheltering unwanted pets, but it would greatly be lowered if there was public demand for our hard earned taxpayer money to be focused on spaying and neutering and low-cost basic services.
Why not be proactive when the numbers are clear? Communities that focus on spay neuter and basic vet care, like vaccines, see their intake numbers plummet, thereby saving taxpayer money in the end.
This isn’t even considering the average $400-$600 per pet of donated dollars spent on the lucky pets that get transferred out. Approximately 1/3 of the pets at Valencia are transferred out – that’s $640,000 on the low-end raised for helping find homes! Imagine what we could do with a fraction of that money to help stop this unending problem.