Neuter for a nickel

This Valley, with its gorgeous setting and wonderful sense of community, holds a secret. A dirty little secret. And we need your help.

Our community, like many across the country, has a pet overpopulation problem. There are too many dogs and cats being born, and not enough good homes. In this state alone, more than 100,000 dogs and cats a year are being killed in shelters. What does that mean? It means that as you read this, 34 dogs and cats are being taken into back rooms and euthanized. But the reality is they are being killed, their only crime - being born without a home.

I have heard people say, "My dog had puppies, but I found good homes for them all." Giving puppies away in front of the grocery store does not count as finding them good homes. In our experience, for every two that found a good home, four end up languishing alone in backyards and four end up in shelters awaiting their deaths when they are no longer cute puppies.

If your dog or cat has a litter, at least be responsible and contact a local chapter of the Humane Society. Let them find people who are committed to providing loving homes for the pet's lifetime. Is it really appropriate for someone going to the store to buy beer to walk out with a puppy or kitten?

There are many reasons why neutering your pet benefits you. The statistics are staggering: more than 70 percent of dog bites occur from unaltered male dogs. And, unaltered male dogs account for almost all fatal dog bites. Protect your children, protect your neighbor's children. Unaltered dogs and cats are a nuisance, getting into fights, roaming the neighborhood looking for love, getting hit by cars. An unaltered dog or cat is much more likely to die of cancer at a young age.

But there is hope. We have been given an incredible opportunity and we ask you to join us in dealing with this problem. Pasado's Safe Haven, an animal sanctuary in Sultan, is bringing its mobile spay/neuter clinic to North Bend for a "Neuter for a Nickel" day.

That's right, if you have a nickel to spend, we will neuter your friend! Some of you may have seen the truck in Snoqualmie, they have been coming once a month for the last several months. On Friday, Aug. 20, they will be able to fix 40 male pets.

For those of us in animal rescue, we have a dual mission. It is obvious that we strive to improve the lives of the animals we meet, but we are also here to help people in need. Some examples, the lady dying of cancer who could no longer care for her beloved friend, the homeless boy selling his puppy on the street, the family with the handicapped child who couldn't pay the vet bills for their dog who meant so much to their disabled child and the woman who lost her job and subsequently her home requiring her to give up her three dogs. We offered solutions and, more importantly, comfort. Isn't this what rescue is for? Instead, our shelters are overflowing with the products of people's irresponsibility. We are too overwhelmed to deal with the real rescue situations.

So if you have an unaltered male dog or cat, I ask you to join us at the Mount Si Senior Center in North Bend the morning of Friday, Aug. 20, by 7 a.m. It's early, but we will be waiting with coffee and donuts. This is also the perfect opportunity to fix the neighborhood cat, the one everyone cares for but no one really owns. Don't wait for someone else to step up to the plate. It is up to you to take charge.

In closing, I would like to thank the business owners of our community. Over the last several months I have been posting flyers announcing the arrival of the Pasado's Spay/Neuter truck each month. Not one business has refused to post a flyer. Many have expressed support and gratitude. I am so grateful for your cooperation and support. The business community has shown they care. I am asking for the people of the Valley to do the same. We cannot solve this problem by ourselves, we need your help.

Andrea Logan

North Bend

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