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Transforming Spay/Neuter in 2023

Change is inevitable. Over the last several months, the BISSELL Pet Foundation team has been redefining how we approach spay/neuter, for both community and shelter pets, in the coming year. With a national veterinarian shortage, our shelters are in crisis, and access to veterinary care has become increasingly complicated. We will focus on three strategies to reach as many pets as possible in 2023.

  1. Grants: BPF will continue to offer spay/neuter grant opportunities. We will be making minor adjustments due to the recent trend of shelters being unable to use their entire grant within the specified time frame because of veterinary and staffing shortages. We recognize the value of each of our applicant’s work, and while we want to help every organization, we do not always have the resources.
  2. Partnership: Collaboration saves lives. We see this in transport, our Empty the Shelters adoption program, and many areas of our work beyond spay/neuter. BPF will work in the underserved communities that need us the most to form partnerships with veterinarians and spay/neuter service providers to create access for pet owners.
  3. Hands-On Approach: BPF will focus on areas of the country with a significant spay/neuter surgery deficit by deploying our high-volume spay/neuter veterinarian, Dr. Alana Canupp. Since late April 2022, Dr. Canupp has provided more than 5,000 surgeries. She is licensed in 7 states, allowing us to utilize her incredible skills to help meet the need.

Our programming will remain fluid to best address the needs of pets in shelters and the community. With change happening all around us, BPF remains nimble and committed to our mission of helping pets and the people that care for them. The animal welfare industry is certainly not a one-size-fits-all environment! We must be able to look at the issues and provide lifesaving solutions. What may have worked for us 5 years ago is not working today.

As we look ahead, I want to challenge all shelters to examine their strategy for saving lives. Get to the why behind your work by finding out if you are doing things simply because “we have always done it this way.” Change is not easy, but it is necessary. Where can we form new partnerships, and how can we bring others along rather than leaving them behind? There is strength in numbers and collaboration.

We continue to face a national crisis within our shelters, and we need everyone working together to get through it. I hope you all will join me to look at your practices through a new lens. BPF is a small foundation using our budget wisely to make the biggest difference, and we look forward to saving lives together in the new year.