INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Twenty-three lucky cats and dogs will be able to live a life without worry of unwanted pregnancies as the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County offers 23 discounted spay/neuter vouchers in recognition of Spay Day USA today starting at 11 a.m.
The annual event serves as a way for the Humane Society to further reach out to the community to help address the pet overpopulation problem, according to the agency’s executive director, Chalmers Morse. On Feb. 23, for $23, 23 Indian River County residents can purchase discount vouchers to take to participating veterinarians to have their pets spayed or neutered.
“We just played with the number,” Morse said, noting that had Spay Day USA been on Feb. 20, the price would have been $20 and 20 vouchers would have been offered.
The Humane Society offers discounted vouchers year-round, according to Morse, who said last year the agency gave out more than $100,000 worth of vouchers.
The voucher program could not happen without the support of various veterinarians in the county and the community’s generosity, Morse said.
“It’s a cost for them, too,” he said of the vets, who cover the remainder of the surgeries’ expense.
Pet lovers who are unable to get a $23 voucher at the Humane Society Tuesday – which are being handed out first-come-first-serve – can still receive discounted vouchers on a sliding scale basis, depending on the size of the animal and the financial need.
According to various national humane organizations, an unspayed female cat and her offspring can potentially produce up to 420,000 cats in seven years while an unsterilized female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in six years.
“They are just astounded,” Morse said of the Humane Society’s volunteers when they hear the numbers.
Spay Day USA started years ago, founded by the Doris Day Animal League in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted companion animals.
Tuesday’s Spay Day USA in Indian River County is available to county residents only who can show proof of residency – a driver’s license, utility bill, etc. Residents wanting a voucher should visit the Humane Society’s Adoption and Education Center at 6230 77th St., Vero Beach.
Vouchers are solely for spay/neuter surgeries and do not include medication, tests, licenses or vaccines.
For more information, call the Humane Society at (772) 388-3331 ext. 10, or visit www.hsvb.org.