It’s Spay Day every day with PAL programs, financial aid |

It’s Spay Day every day with PAL programs, financial aid

Mike Drummond , Columnist
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Usually when articles about animals appear in the paper, they tell the sad story of said animals’ plight. And while there is still much to do to help them, there is also a lot of good news.

We at the Pet Adoption League have made great strides over the past 11 years.

Several thousand cats and dogs have found homes either by way of our foster homes or through our referral service.

More than 10,000 animals have been spayed and neutered because of our intensive efforts in this area.

A few thousand feral (wild) cats have been spayed and neutered through our Feral Cat Program. Not long ago, we did a conservative estimate of how many cats were not born to all the feral cats we had altered that year. The answer: 16,000 kittens were not born into a life of misery, disease and painful death. This figure covered just feral cats altered in just one year.

Every year, the Doris Day Animal Foundation designates Feb. 26 as “Spay Day.” Their campaign slogans are clever. Last year, it was “2001: A Spay Odyssey.” This year, it’s “A Tale of Two Kitties: Don’t let Fluffy breed like the Dickens!” Their campaigns are also very effective. Thousands of animals nationwide get spayed and neutered. They recommend you get your pets altered or, if your pets already are, get someone else’s taken care of.

We’d like to suggest that at the Pet Adoption League, every day is Spay Day, because we offer financial assistance year long to everyone who needs it. We will pay for the entire cost of surgery for tame or feral cats. We will pay for all or part of the surgery for dogs. (We help with some of the cost, but if the need is there, we help with all of it.)

Since we have started offering free spaying and neutering for all cats (tame or feral), many people who are finding abandoned cats are keeping them, instead of taking them to the pound/shelter. One person we help in Camptonville takes 20 cats to the spay/neuter clinic every month. We pay for it. The cats and their people are very happy about it!

We also have given away several hundred cat- and doghouses to people who couldn’t afford to buy them. We give away at least 10 tons of cat and dog food each year. And our dog-obedience rebate, for people who want but can’t afford dog obedience training, has kept many dogs at home with their families rather than off to the pound. We spend about $60,000 per year on our programs.

We spend many hours helping people with pet-behavior problems, thereby helping them keep their pets. If they have other pet-related questions, we help them or refer them to someone who can.

Our Humane Education Program helps students learn about loving and responsible pet guardianship.

Eleven years ago, we approached The Union about featuring shelter animals as Pets of the Week. We also asked KNCO radio if they would run a program about the animals at the shelter. Both kindly agreed. Both have been very receptive over the years about helping get the word out when it comes to helping animals.

All of this translates into fewer animals euthanized at the shelters. When we started doing this very worthwhile work, roughly 4,000 were being euthanized. Now, that number is less than 1,000. The ideal would be, of course, to bring that number to zero.

We don’t usually go on and on about what we do, but we felt that the community should know that much has been done for our local animals, thanks to incredibly dedicated volunteers and because of your support.

If you would like to help us, you can reach us by phone: 273-7958; by mail: P. O. Box 3303, Grass Valley 95945; and by e-mail at

We publish a quarterly newsletter that we would like to offer you. Contact us, and we’ll send it to you at no charge. People tell us they love it! (Really.) Visit our Web site, too:

And, please, if you’re looking to adopt a pet, get one from one of our two local shelters: Grass Valley Animal Shelter: 477-4630; and Nevada County Animal Shelter: 273-2179. If everyone who wanted to adopt got a pet from the shelters, none would have to die there. These cats and dogs are literally at death’s door. If you rescue one, that one will not die.

If you are thinking of letting your cat or dog have even one litter, please reconsider. For every kitten or puppy you place, another one who is waiting at the pound/shelter will die. Send prospective adopters to the shelter to adopt instead. People tell us it’s too painful to go to the shelter because even if they take one pet, they know others there will die. But if everyone went to the shelters to adopt, none of them would have to die.

Anna and Mike Drummond started Pet Adoption League 11 years ago.

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