Every year, about 6.5 million unwanted pets are surrendered to shelters: 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. 1.5 million of them are killed because the rescues are full, and there aren’t enough responsible adopters available to save them.
At Rescue Ranch, we know all about the impact of overpopulation on the ability of no-kill shelters to perform their function. The numbers would be bad enough if we were just trying to save individual unwanted animals, but we also take in pregnant mothers, mothers with puppies, or puppies alone. On rare occasions, we also get the father.
Since even a good shelter is not an appropriate environment for young puppies, we first have to find fosters for the mothers and pups. At any given time, we might have 35+ puppies and 5 or 6 mothers in foster care.
Then, we have to find space for the moms at the shelter, after the puppies are weaned. And, when they are old enough, for any puppies that didn't get adopted right away. As soon as they leave, there are new moms and pups waiting in line to take their place. It is a never ending flow.
Meanwhile, Rescue Ranch continues to network with other shelters, animal control, and independent rescuers to take in individual adult dogs. As a no-kill shelter, we prioritize dogs in high-kill situations. We want to save them all, but our resources are limited and we simply don’t have the space for all of the dogs that need our help.
While we can’t solve the entire problem on our own, Rescue Ranch wants to be part of the solution by helping to curb dog overpopulation. That’s why we’ve created RRAAP, Rescue Ranch Alter Assistance Program, to help responsible dog-owners in the community with their spay-neuter needs.
RRAAP Addresses the Top 3 Barriers to Spay-Neuter:
- Access: even if cost is not an issue, in rural communities like Yreka, there often aren’t enough veterinary resources to meet local needs. This means that patients can wait months for an appointment. As for traveling to a remote location, not everyone has the ability or the time to travel 45 minutes or more each way, two days in a row. Work schedules aren’t always flexible enough and there are other reasons community members might not be able to travel.
- Cost: spay and neuter procedures can cost up to $600 or more at a private vet clinic. The cost depends on the size and health of your pet, and on the procedure. Spaying is usually significantly more expensive. Low-cost programs, on the other hand, typically cost less than $200, even for spaying.
- Transportation: the high cost of gas is only one obstacle to transportation. The fact is that not everyone has access to a vehicle or is able to drive, even if they can afford the gas. Age, health, mobility, work schedule, and other factors affect transportation, and prevent many responsible dog owners from spaying or neutering their pet.
Through RRAAP, Rescue Ranch overcomes all of these challenges by obtaining appointments, negotiating rates, and offering free transportation to and from the vet. In addition, we try to provide additional support to community members for whom the lower rates are still too high.
Spay-Neuter is an act of love. You can show some love by joining Rescue Ranch efforts to become a part of the solution.
To spay or neuter your dog call RRAAP: 530-859-0139