Strategies to DECREASE ENTRY of homeless and surrended pets into shelters and pounds

The tide of lost and surrendered pets into shelters and pounds can be significantly reduced by providing more resources for low-cost spey/neuter programs. They are most effective if targeted to postcodes where 80% of unwanted cats and dogs are originating from into the shelter or pound.  Spey/neuter programs for cats are best timed during autumn and winter, to prevent last summer’s kittens producing next summer’s kittens.

  1. Spey/neuter programs are targeted to people who feed cats but do not perceive they own them. Evidence-based social marketing messages are aimed at getting people to take responsibility for unowned cats. Programs are  subsidized for non-owners because research shows $15-20 is the upper tolerance for spey/neuter costs.
  2. Every owned cat and dog is confined on the owner’s property, and identified with a tag and microchip with current owner contact details.
  3. Microchip details are easily updated when changing address through collaborations between microchip data-base companies and postal, telephone and electricity companies.
  4. Every veterinary student graduates with hands-on skills at early-age spey/neuter in cats, is aware of the challenges facing shelters, and is motivated to help from practice.
  5. Every veterinary practice incorporates early-age desexing for cats in their initial preventative health program, together with vaccination. Spey before four (months)!
  6. More resources are directed at helping to keep pets in their homes. Every pet that could have been kept in its home but is surrendered and adopted, reduces the number of homes available for animals already in the shelter.
    • Provide subsidised health care to needy owners who would otherwise relinquish their pet
    • Provide owners with skilled counselling to modify unwanted pet behaviour
    • Provide food banks for needy people who love their pet, but are going through hard times and cannot afford to feed them.
    • Provide temporary foster care for pets whose owners are facing personal crises.