A group of over 25 national organizations, including BISSELL Pet Foundation, have joined forces to launch #SpayTogether, a stimulus fund to help animal shelters and veterinary clinics perform 50,000 lifesaving spay/neuter surgeries in the wake of COVID-19. This collaborative, historic initiative will provide surgery subsidy support grants, on-ground assistance, training in high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter surgeries, and discounted veterinary supplies and services to shelters and veterinary clinics affected by COVID-19. Participating spay/neuter veterinary clinics will be able to offer discounted operations to the public, providing much-needed help to underserved communities across the U.S.
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has forced communities in all 50 states to temporarily suspend nonemergency veterinary services such as spay/neuter surgeries. As states begin to reopen the economy, animal shelters and veterinary clinics in every state have backlogs of unaltered shelter pets, community cats and owned animals.
While #SpayTogether will impact every state, the coalition has identified eight key states that have substantial need due to veterinary shortages and/or large amounts of unaltered animals: Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, California, Texas, Nevada, Florida and Oklahoma.
Communities that are struggling with spay/neuter can apply for a surgical subsidiary grant through #SpayTogether by visiting www.animalsheltering.org/spaytogether.
“These states currently don’t have the resources needed to clear the immense backlog of unaltered animals currently in animal shelters and foster care,” said Dr. Julie Levy, a renowned shelter medicine scholar from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. “Not to mention that we are entering kitten season and we will therefore see a dramatic increase in the number of community cats in communities across the country.”
Expert veterinary surgical support teams from the ASPCA, Animal Balance, Vi DAS and Emancipet will provide onsite support, as needed, in the eight key states of focus. Community assessments that consider state and local emergency orders, equipment needs and safety protocols will determine the timing of these activities.
“BISSELL Pet Foundation has prioritized spay/neuter as a lifesaving measure since our inception and being part the #SpayTogether initiative is a perfect fit with our mission,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “In the wake of COVID-19, this effort will provide critical relief to struggling communities and animal welfare organizations to ensure the health and safety of pets.”
#SpayTogether is possible thanks to the support of the Humane Society of the United States, Maddie’s Fund, PetSmart Charities, GreaterGood.org, Boehringer lngelheim Animal Health USA, Inc, Banfield Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation, ASPCA, Petco Foundation, BISSELL Pet Foundation, Michelson Found Animals, Clinic HQ, Animal Balance, University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, PetPro Tele+, Emancipet, Georgia B. Ridder Foundation, IDEXX, Bark Avenue Foundation, ViDAS, DogsTrust USA, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Peter and Ann Lambertus Family Foundation, Life of Riley, South Fork Foundation, and the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.