Sunday, October 09, 2005
A tricky balancing act.All of our animals that are up for adoption get spayed or neutered before they are made available. We do the surgeries in house at either the Oakland or Tri Valley SPCA Surgery Centers. These centers are high volume, high quality spay neuter clinics. They are set up to handle between 30-40 animals per day in a safe, calm and thorough manner. We have outstanding vets and techs who treat each animal like it is their own.
The clinics "hold" a certain number of spots for the shelter animals each day, with the rest of the appointments going to rescue groups, low income clients, feral cats and pit bulls (we spay and neuter those for free) and public clients.
When the adoption centers have a successful adoption weekend, we need to get more animals to fill up the kennels for the next week. If we fill them up, we need to get those same animals spayed or neutered quickly to make them available for adoption. So to ensure there are enough spots for the shelters each week, it would seem that the easy answer would be to always block off a good number of appointments so we don't fall short.
But...if we don't have a good adoption weekend, we can't get new animals in, the appointments go unfilled and the spay neuter surgery centers are under-utilized and lose money. Money lost means less free and low cost appointments for those animals needing it.
So this week, when we adopted 6 dogs and 10 cats, we will go searching for already spayed and neutered animals so we can fill up the kennels without overcrowding the spay neuter centers. We can usually find already 'fixed' animals in local shelters, rescue groups or from owner surrenders.
We always manage to make it all happen, but it certainly is a tricky balancing act.