Three Central Coast nonprofits to host “Snip & Chip” event to fight pet overpopulation in SLO County
Three Central Coast nonprofits are joining together this weekend to try to fight pet overpopulation and improve the welfare of animals in the county.
They’ll turn the Nipomo Cat and Dog Hospital and its parking lot into the site of a clinic providing spay and neuter services, pet vaccinations and more.
The “Snip & Chip SLO” event, happening this Sunday in Nipomo, will bring together three Central Coast nonprofits: Animal Shelter Adoptions Partners (ASAP), Animals in Need Fund and Santa Barbara County’s C.A.R.E.4Paws.
Terry Parry is the co-founder of ASAP.
"The professionals, the vets, tell us that they're going to be able to spay and neuter about 75 animals on that one Sunday,” Parry said.
ASAP has been around since 2001, promoting spay and neuter to reduce the euthanasia of adoptable animals at the SLO County animal shelter.
"We spend a lot of time and money on working within that shelter to raise the adoptability [of the animals]. And at a certain point, adoption's not enough. There are too many animals, so we want to work outside of the shelter so that the animals are not even born, so that supply side ends. We have enough animals that will be available for adoption — we don't need to have homeless animals," Perry said.
With that goal in mind, ASAP is co-hosting the event, where residents can get their animals spayed or neutered for free or a low cost. But Parry said there will also be services there to improve pets’ health and well-being in other ways.
“We're going to have a microchipping going on for anyone in the community that wants to come and get their animal microchipped, and that will be for one dollar. We're also going to be having vaccinations given to the animals — rabies, cat vaccinations, I think there are four vaccinations we're going to be giving that day, including rabies. And we'll also have pet wellness checks on that day," Perry said.
Ellen Perryess with ASAP said that holding these kinds of events has a tangible impact on the health of pets and stray animals in the county. She pointed to ASAP’s work over the last two decades as proof.
“Now we're down to the point, because of spay and neuter, because of microchipping, we're now almost on par with some nonprofit facilities in terms of being no-kill. There are a percentage that are being put down, but it's far lower than most county shelters by a large part, and that's because of community commitment as well as the efforts at the animal shelter and nonprofits like ASAP trying to work to reduce those numbers," Perryess said.
Perryess said the fact that the clinic’s spay and neuter services will be mostly free is meant to help lower-income people in SLO County who maybe can’t otherwise afford those services.
“Just because you don't have a lot of money doesn't mean you're not a good pet owner," Perryess said.
Between Sunday’s clinics and another one happening on March 20, the three nonprofits hope to spay and neuter at least 150 animals inside the pet hospital and C.A.R.E.4Paws’ two mobile clinics.
According to Parry, volunteers are crucial to making this work.
"To do something like this, we need a lot of volunteers. You can sign up and help us either to manage emails and phone calls about appointments and such, or be there on the day of the event, to be able to manage the animals and the peoples in this parking lot — signing up, registering, things like that. Cleaning cages, breaking things down at the end of the day, and we're going to offer training on all of these things so that people will feel they are capable of hitting the ground and [running] with it," Parry said.
Volunteers can sign up for either of the clinics by emailing email@example.com. The organization says each event costs about $3-4,000 to put on, so they’re also accepting donations at sloasap.org/snip.
“Instead of adding to your prisons, let's eliminate the inmates in the first place. So we don't have to add to our prisons, right? And these shelters, as good as we can make them, still are not homes. And we want all of these beautiful animals in homes," Parry said.