Wasted lives | TheUnion.com

Wasted lives

More than 735 cats and dogs were euthanized in western Nevada County animal shelters last year.

Webster’s New World Dictionary describes euthanasia as a “an easy and painless death.”

But county animal advocates say there’s nothing easy about killing cats and dogs via euthanasia – also described by Webster’s as an act to end suffering from an incurable disease.

“These are healthy cats and dogs,” said Debra Sandler, coordinator of AnimalSave’s Foster Adoption Program. “Their only problem is that people won’t take the responsibility to spay and neuter their pets.”

The efforts of animal rescue groups, clinics and shelter volunteers have reduced the euthanasia rate to 35 percent, compared to 42 percent last year, said Paul Boch, the county agricultural commissioner and chief of animal control.

But animal advocates say the number of cats and dogs being put down is still too high.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable,” said Dr. Margaret Reister, a veterinarian at the Brunswick Veterinary Clinic. “We’d like to have zero kills; that’s our ultimate goal.”

Spaying and neutering, Reister said, is a critical component in reaching that goal.

Boch will go to Board of Supervisors Feb. 12 with a resolution declaring Feb. 26 Spay Day in Nevada County.

The last two weeks of this month, local clinics will offer discounts and incentives to encourage people to spay and neuter pets.

The effort coincides with Spay Day USA, the Doris Day Animal Foundation’s national day of action to end pet overpopulation.

America’s shelter workers are forced to kill one homeless cat or dog every 61/2 seconds, according to the foundation.

Sandler said AnimalSave has raised $265,000 to build a no-kill shelter, but more donations are needed. To help, call 271-7071 or send donations to P.O. Box 817, Grass Valley, 95945.

People who need financial assistance to get their pets spayed or neutered may call Nevada County Animal Shelter volunteer coordinator Cheryl Wicks at 272-8833.

Ongoing spay/neuter discounts:

? Brunswick Veterinary Clinic (477-2287) offers free spay/neuter of feral cats. Pet Adoption League donates vaccines.

? For the Love of Pets (477-5683) offers spay/neuter for Medi-Cal recipients<$5 for cats and $10 for dogs.

? Grass Valley Veterinary Hospital (273-7272) offers free spay/neuter for cats owned by Medi-Cal recipients.

? Pine Creek Veterinary Clinic (477-9141) offers senior pet owners a 15 percent spay/neuter discount.

? Nevada County Animal Control (273-2179) and Pet Adoption League (273-7958) offers spay/neuter discount coupons.

Special Spay Day discounts available through Feb. 15 -28:

? Animal Clinic of Penn Valley (432-3125) and the Animal Clinic of Rough and Ready (272-1924) will match half the value of spay/neuter coupons from AnimalSave or Nevada County Animal Control.

? Brighton Greens Veterinary Hospital (477-6863) and Nevada County Veterinary Hospital (273-5303) will offer a 10 percent discount on all spays/neuters.

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