Help animals by making every day a spay day |

Help animals by making every day a spay day

Mike Drummond, Columnist
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Spent the morning at a grand opening ceremony. “Morning” should be a tip-off. It wasn’t one of those limousine/red carpet deals with searchlights scanning the evening sky, fireworks, flashbulbs and paparazzi. As the chronicler of life here at Clear Creek Ranch, I am definitely NOT that caliber of celebrity. Forget A List or B List. Look for my name a lot farther down the alphabet, if at all.

The event itself was strictly A List – the opening of AAARF’s Pet Adoption Center on Masters Court off Highway 49 in Auburn. I picked my hors d’oeuvres carefully. If I chomped down on any organic dog biscuits by mistake, I’d chip a tooth.

The AAARF center is, to borrow from Hemingway, “a clean, well-lighted place.” And cheerful, too. Not to mention well ventilated. Nary an odor, although 30 cats and their litter boxes, a dozen dogs, and several lop-eared rabbits were in attendance. Just waiting for the right human guardian to stroll in looking for a new laptop (or two).

AAARF’s center is one of those “no-kill” shelters, which means they don’t euthanize any of their charges, no matter how long it takes to place them in a good home. It is quite fashionable to TALK about setting up a no-kill shelter, but it is quite another thing to actually DO it.

Both of the no-kill shelters I’ve visited (the other one is run by Friends of Nevada County Animals, 10147 Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley) were started on shoestring budgets in a short time, with leased space and relatively few modifications and low overhead. Helping animals NOW. No need to amass a fortune to erect new buildings to rival the Edifice Rex of no-kill shelters: the palatial Maddie’s Center, run by the San Francisco SPCA.

These shelters (AAARF and Friends) need plenty of word-of-mouth to steer anyone to their door who might be a responsible pet guardian. They have a wish lists of things they can use, too. One of those things is volunteer time. Check with any nonprofit group and that is the one commodity they never seem to have enough of: time – time donated by reliable, caring volunteers. A few hours every week or month make a dramatic difference.

But no matter how many cats and dogs flow through no-kill shelters to permanent, loving homes, this flood of homeless animals will never dry up until the spigot is turned off. Please spay and neuter ALL your pets BEFORE they reproduce.

The annual Spay-Day USA is coming up on Feb. 25. No doubt there will be plenty of publicity surrounding that one day, when thousands of pets are fixed across the country. You’ve seen the postage stamp. You’ve read the ads. Now do it!

Can’t get an appointment on Feb. 25? There are 364 other days of the year – the sooner the better. Make every day Spay-Day.

As longtime readers know, I helped found Pet Adoption League, a no-kill humane agency, a dozen years ago. Back then almost 4,000 pets were euthanized at the pound each year. Thanks in large part to aggressive spay-neuter programs paid for by PAL, the numbers have dropped almost 90 percent for the current year. If you can’t afford it, PAL (273-7958) can help.

Enough spay-neuter will put these no-kill shelters out of business. Nothing would make these humane groups happier than having no clients left to serve.

But in the meantime, visit AAARF (887-5500) on Masters Court in Auburn, or Friends (477-8700) 10147 Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley. Your best friend is waiting there to meet you for the first time.

You can write Mike Drummond c/o The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945; or e-mail him at

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