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EDITORIAL: Don’t contribute to the problem: Spay/neuter cats and dogs

For many of us, pets become part of our families. Whether it’s a dog happily greeting you after a long day or a cat curled up alongside you on a wintry evening, pets are affectionate companions. Given how sweet and loving they can be, it’s difficult to think about all the unwanted animals who don’t have homes.

“Cats, cats, cats … our communities and shelters have far too many unwanted cats,” the City of Powell/Moyer Animal Shelter staff posted Friday.

They encourage residents to reduce the problem by spaying and neutering pets as well as feral cats that you may be feeding.

Throughout February, local veterinarians and the City of Powell are partnering to sponsor spay/neuter and vaccination clinics. Participating vets are offering a 20 percent discount on spaying or neutering your pets to prevent unwanted kittens and puppies. For more information, see the story on Page 6 in today's edition (Feb. 14) of the Powell Tribune.

The local campaign coincides with Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, recognized in February.

If you haven’t made an appointment for your animals, now’s the time to do it. Pet owners have a responsibility to help reduce the number of unwanted animals that end up in a shelter, fending for themselves on the street or worse.

Thankfully, the City of Powell/Moyer Animal Shelter is committed to caring for cats and dogs until they find homes. But sometimes it takes months before an animal is adopted, or, in rare cases, even years.

While Powell is blessed to have a no-kill animal shelter, that’s not true for many communities across the U.S. About 2.4 million healthy, adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters each year, according to The Humane Society of the United States.

“Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets,” the Humane Society says. “A solution is possible and starts with each of us taking one small step: Getting our own pets spayed or neutered.”

The community also needs residents who are willing to adopt the cats and dogs who end up in the shelter. We often feature photos of cute animals who need a good home — perhaps one of them is right for you.

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