The founders of PAWS had a vision of ending overpopulation for companion animals by offering low-cost, easy to access spay and neuter surgeries. They knew that making this vision a reality would involve partnerships with veterinarians and their staff, the support of policy makers, and of course dog and cat guardians.
PAWS has pursued this vision consistently since our beginning in 1967, and in recent years we have been active participants in the national Spay Day USA campaign, launched by the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1995 to save the lives of homeless animals through altering companion animals and feral cats.
Right from the start, PAWS' focus for Spay Day has been on securing the participation of private veterinary clinics to offer a special one-day low-cost rate. At first there were 17 veterinary clinics that performed 267 low-cost surgeries, and over the next decade we evolved the event to a tri-county effort that now results in more than 500 surgeries each February.
It is a simple approach to a complex problem. The formula of asking the veterinary community to join this once-a-year effort, along with PAWS and our three shelter partners—W.A.I.F. on Whidbey Island, the Humane Society of Skagit Valley, and the N.O.A.H. Center—makes this tri-county event a true life-saving collaboration. In fact, according to the Doris Day Animal Foundation, in 2005 Washington State ranked tenth for the number of surgeries performed for the event nationwide, and the PAWS-led endeavor accounted for 523 of the 1,214 surgeries performed in Washington!
The 12th annual Spay Day USA took place on February 28, 2006, and this year 412 animals were altered, resulting in literally thousands fewer unwanted animals that will need homes. If you or someone you know is seeking vet care, start by looking at our Spay Day veterinary partners as they are actively supporting a more humane community. And thank them from PAWS for participating in Spay Day!