LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -For the first time in history Lawton Animal Welfare is participating in a national program that cuts down on pet overpopulation.
It's called the Spay Neuter Assistance Program and it will be taking place on March 19, 2016. The free surgical spay and neuter clinic will be held at the expo building starting at 8 o'clock Saturday morning. Only Lawton residents can participate in the clinic and it is first come first served. There will also be an adopt-a-thon going on at the same time, with all local rescues represented.
In springtime, the number of puppies and kittens at the shelter can triple. Pet overpopulation is something Lawton Animal Welfare Superintendent, Russell Anderson is working to prevent.
"Before next month comes and we get all these puppies and kittens if we can make a dent right now and prevent those unwanted. 50-percent of all litters born in the United States of America are unplanned," said Anderson.
Anderson says they have been planning to put S.N.A.P. in place for about a year. He says the day of the event it will be one stop shopping for pet owners who can't afford to have their animals spayed or neutered.
"You just show up with your animal. Show up with your ID. It's all free. You're going to get spay and neutered. You're going to get a free microchip. You're going to get a 5 in 1 vaccination shot. You're going to get a rabies shot. So the only thing left for you to do is come down here and get your city license," said Anderson.
The animals must be six months to six years of age. They will be checked out by a vet to make sure they are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Anderson says they do an adoption event every month, but there is no way the shelter can adopt their way out of the pet overpopulation problem.
"Doing the spay and neuter my ultimate goal is less animals coming into our shelter. So that way the animals that we do have we can take our resources and focus on those and trying to get them out and get them into a good loving home," said Anderson.
The event is paid for by local business partners, and veterinarians are donating their time to do the work.
Lawton Animal Welfare is still looking for more local veterinarians to participate in the program. If you are a local vet that would like to donate your time to the spay and neuter program, please contact Lawton Animal Welfare at 580-581-3219.