New Hampshire has completely eliminated euthanasia of healthy adoptable pets; Jacksonville should be there within a year, and Chicago is well on its way to zero. The secret to their success? Best practice, targeted spay-neuter programs.
Not all spay-neuter programs are created equal. The effective programs that lead to zero euthanasia all utilize the same approach. Rockin’ Zero®
is based upon these best practices:
- Surgeries are focused on pets of low-income individuals, as pets from low-income households are the primary source of shelter intake.
- Surgeries are free or very low cost (under $20-$25) for those seeking services.
- Proof of need is critical to success. The best practice protocol shows that participants must show that they need the subsidy, and proof of government assistance is the gold standard. Programs that fail to employ this critical component, proof of need, are notoriously ineffective. They may reduce euthanasia but they will not eliminate it.
- One stop shopping is essential. Those who use the program must be able to get the surgery and any other ancillary services like shots/vaccinations all at the same time. Programs that require shots ahead of time do not work if a community wants to get to Zero.
- A community must perform a minimum number of surgeries per year to the pets of low-income individuals to get to Zero.
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