This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and FiXiT is now offering the perfect present for the woman who has always been there for you – our NEW Gift a FiX Sponsorship! Previously, we provided a Gift a Fix option that provided FiXiT a donation in honor of your gift recipient to support our programs that are providing new solutions for ending the companion animal overpopulation crisis.
NOW, we have started a whole new ball game. We have updated our donation page AND provide an instant unique coupon code to you and your gift recipient via email. Just go to our new donation page, click on the GIFT A FIX tab, and then check on the “Give your special someone a GetYourFix Sponsorship” box. You will also be directed to a page with printable gift cards, where you can write a special note and include the gift coupon code, if you prefer.
With this code, your special someone can go to GetYourFix.org and CHOOSE the animal that they want to get fixed! Within minutes, your gift recipient could have an animal in need on its way to getting a fix and ending a constant cycle of unwanted breeding.
Just like on GetYourFix.org, a sponsorship costs $100, but the GetYourFix team will handle all of the details. We will contact the animal’s owner, help choose a clinic and set up an appointment, and then on the day of surgery provide payment to get the animal spayed or neutered. We will give your gift recipient ongoing updates during the process, until the fix is complete.
Your gift gives the opportunity for the animal lover in your life to become part of the solution for ending animal homelessness.
FiXiT has one focused mission: end companion animal overpopulation. To this end, we launched the Final Fix project, which has allowed us to experiment with different strategies for motivating caregivers to make spay and neuter an essential part of animal care. One of first conclusive findings was that FREE is so much better than not. The demand for a fix shot up by 300 percent nearly overnight here on St. Croix, after advertising a free fix.
FiXiT offers free fixes to persuade those pet owners that would not otherwise alter their dogs or cats. No matter what the financial priorities and resources, free fits into a budget. Free service can also be a motivational tool. Getting such a bargain can also be a great incentive to do something that we would not normally do. Black Friday, anyone?
The reason I bring up the benefits of free now is that I am now happy to announce FiXiT’s first free fix offer outside of St. Croix! With the support of animal charity Best Friends Animal Society, we have an amazing opportunity to offer a free fix to 100 pit bull terriers profiled on GetYourFix.org.
Pit bulls are hard hit by the overpopulation crisis. Nearly 1 million pit bulls are killed each year for lack of homes. FiXiT has made helping them a priority in the past, including our ongoing Half the Pits – Half the Price promotion. Now we can make an even bigger impact on preventing homeless pit bull terriers.
There is a catch – no free lunch, right? To get this free fix, you must qualify:
First, you must register on GetYourFix.org. As always, GetYourFix is a place dedicated to helping people without the financial resources to get their animal fixed. We don’t check your financials, but the majority of our Owners have a household income of less than $35,000.
This offer is exclusive to eight targeted states: California, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Texas and Utah. You must live and receive service in one of these states to take advantage.
Of course, you must also create a profile on GetYourFix.org for your pit bull terrier. All pit bull terrier-types qualify, including American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and mixed bred dogs of this “pit bull terrier.”
I have been living on St. Croix for more than two and a half years to manage the Final Fix Project. It has been eventful to say the least. I have enjoyed learning to scuba dive, spend relaxing Sundays on the beach, and appreciate a unique and rich island culture. Best of all, I have implemented FiXiT’s marketing methodology to take a population of pet owners that were apathetic at best to spay and neuter and change them into one that brings as many as 50 animals to the island’s clinic options ever week. This is a volume of surgeries that will be sufficient to REDUCE the population of homeless dogs and cats.
Currently, we are looking for support to take this program to the next level – actually maintain it until we END the overpopulation problem on the island. On St. Croix, 80% of dogs and cats that enter the shelter are euthanized, but this pattern is shifting as more people fix their animals. But by implementing our strategies to maintain a high level of demand, we estimate that withing just two years these numbers will drop to NO DOG EUTHANASIA for adoptable dogs.
To continue, we need to find funds to match a $20,000 matching donation that expires on March 30, 2013. UPDATE: The deadline was extended until April 30, 2013.
Why would this be a great investment? Here are some of our key accomplishments:
Created the St. Croix Animal Welfare Network, a collaboration between all local vets, the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center (the island’s only shelter), and local outreach groups, in order to support a free spay/neuter program.
Surveyed over 2% of the island on their perception of spay/neuter to determine the best messages that will motivate people to alter their animals. This research enabled us to identify that 65% of the island pet owners have NOT fixed their pets.
Conducted three annual island-wide census studies to estimate the number of animals on St. Croix.
Assembled a local advisory board to provide guidance on our messaging.
Developed over 20 designs used in a marketing message surveys to narrow the messaging for our initial launch.
Launched a visiting volunteer vet program to supplement on-island vets
Managed a mobile spay/neuter clinic, donated to the Animal Welfare Center, to begin testing community-based strategies to increase demand for services, with supplemental support coming from the AWC to provide staff and supplies to support the clinic.
Integrated an educational component to the mobile clinic, by holding events at two schools thus far and providing educational information about spay and neuter and tours of the clinic to students in collaboration with Humane Learning Center
Completed over 2500 surgeries. We reached a volume of 200 per month in October thanks to a combination of private vet and mobile clinic surgeries. This is a 1000% increase over the surgeries being done via the voucher program that has been available on island for over a decade.
Your support will make twice the impact right now and support a program that could be the first to end overpopulation. You can make a tax deductible donation to our 501(c)(3) non-profit here or mail a donation to:
2143 Pier Point Pl.
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
You can read much more about our Final Fix program on St. Croix here or watch our video explaining our programs to end overpopulation in the U.S. here.
FiXiT is creating solutions to bring an end to the crisis that kills millions of homeless animals, but looking at the big picture it becomes pretty obvious which animals are most at risk of becoming a victim: pit bull-type dogs and feral cats.
Every year, nearly a million pit bulls are euthanized – 1 out of every 4 animals put down in shelters is a pit bull. Those odds are pretty depressing for what what many believe are cuddly couch potatoes (See our poll on Causes.org).
Despite some opinions to the contrary, there are many pit bull caregivers that DO NOT want to breed their best canine buddy. As seen by the volume of people who have profiled pit bulls on GetYourFix.org, there are many people that want to end the cycle of unwanted litters — or more suitably unwanted adolescent pits.
I know that when I was a volunteer at a Connecticut animal shelter almost all of the “dog people” had eventually fallen in love with a pit bull and adopted them into their family. This happens everywhere. Of course, not all of these adoptions are accompanied by a spay or neuter. When a family is already overextended financially and a death row pit bull enters their home, the resources to get the animal fixed are not always there.
Now there is hope! Thanks to grant support from Petco Foundation, FiXiT will take action to reduce the number of homeless pit bulls with your help. We are now offering a “Half the Pits – Half the Price” GetYourFix.org sponsorship promotion. For every pit bull that gets sponsored, FiXiT will refund or pay HALF of the cost! Our goal is to cut the pit bull overpopulation problem in HALF!
2. Search for animals that qualify. On the profile search page, select “Dogs” as your species of choice, then narrow the search down to “Pit bull” in the breed category.
3. Sponsor a Fix. Click on “Sponsor My Fix” on the profile page of your pit bull of choice. Sponsors are given two options for funding a fix on GetYourFix. You can use either option and still take advantage of the pit bull promotion.
Option 1. Contact the Owner: Make an offer to an Owner to fund the spay or neuter of the chosen pit bull. Work with the Owner to find a nearby low cost spay/neuter clinic clinic and make an appointment for the fix. Contact FiXiT by email or phone (757-726-SPAY) with details of the arrangements. Please include total cost for the fix only (no vaccines, optional services), clinic name, clinic phone number, and pet profile/Owner details. We will call the clinic and make payment for half of the cost on the day of the surgery.
Option 2. Make a flat donation: Choose a pit bull and make a $100 flat donation for that fix. You can make this donation as a registered Sponsor or as a guest Sponsor (new). FiXiT will refund $50 of the donation.
With your support, we can make a difference for these doomed dogs.
FiXiT loves to promote those that are creating solutions for ending overpopulation. Nancy Janes started her non-profit, Romania Animal Rescue (RAR), in 2003, with a goal to spay/neuter as many dogs as possible. Romania’s severe dog overpopulation problem was multi-faceted, requiring long-term solutions and thoughtful approaches. At first she met with severe resistance among people. There were those who believed that a female would make a better pet if she had birthed at least one litter. Conversely, they thought male dogs were entitled to have their fun. To combat the idea that pets were happier reproducing, Janes pointed out to her detractors that once the puppies were weaned, they were often disposed of in inhumane ways. Wouldn’t it be kinder for the dogs to avoid that situation?
Money was also an issue. Many of the people Janes encountered earned approximately $200 a month, making elective pet care a low priority, so Janes decided to hold a free spay/neuter week at a veterinary clinic in Galati, Romania. She had rubber bracelets produced that said in Romanian, “Sterilize your dogs and cats. Give them a new chance.” Billboard space was purchased advertising the event. To her surprise, people were lined up around the block on the first day.
As word spread, Janes realized RAR could make a difference. She enlisted American veterinarians to help train their Romanian counterparts. Janes expanded the spay/neuter services to other areas and hired a permanent, full-time Romanian vet in 2008, Dr. Stefan Aurelian, who had trained in the U.S. RAR has performed 18,000 spay/neuter surgeries in the last 10 years but Janes says that the majority have occurred since 2009. She credits Aurelian and his team of five for making the difference.
Only one in ten procedures is performed on cats, who seem to have an easier life than dogs. In a country of 21 million humans, there are 2.5 million canines, many of whom are homeless. Janes says that people are fearful of dogs because the ferals pack-up and pose a public safety problem. While RAR never turns away a cat, their primary focus remains reducing the dog population to ensure more and better homes for those already here. Janes and Aurelian estimate that those 18,000 surgeries have probably saved millions of lives by preventing unwanted puppies from entering an unforgiving world.
Janes notes that given the knowledge and tools, most people want to provide a better life for their pets. She also proves that one dedicated person can make it possible.
photo credit: Camil Agapie via photopincc
The Final Fix project has kept me on St. Croix for the last two years – my anniversary was last week, in fact. Wow – time flies! In that time, FiXiT’s Final Fix program has raised the demand for spay and neuter by nearly 500%. At the most popular clinic, there is a multiple week waiting list to get an appointment for our free service with the prospect of getting an interesting incentive.
But considering that the animal shelter’s euthanasia rate here has remained at 80% for the last 5 years, waiting for an appointment is out of the question for us. We want to get the animals of St. Croix fixed NOW!
This weekend we are launching a new mobile spay/neuter van service to relieve the current bottleneck and expand service in areas that need it most. In collaboration with the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center, we will be taking this van that was recently donated by a generous sponsor on St. Thomas all over the island and target neighborhoods that have the highest levels of shelter relinquishment. We will have events on Saturdays, which accommodates those with challenging work schedules during the work week. It will also relieve some of the challenges of transportation that we have discussed in the past.
This Saturday will be our first event and within 3 days of announcing the event we are booked solid! This makes it very clear that there is still a lot of room for increasing demand for spay and neuter and reaching a level that will begin to decrease the populations of dogs and cats on the island.
This new animal nonprofit program will make it even easier for pet owners to spay and neuter their pets to help eliminate euthanasia on St. Croix due to pet overpopulation.
Over the weekend, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) released a sneak preview of their 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook. Surprisingly, the number of companion dogs and cats are both down compared to results from 5 years ago.
The number of companion animals is down 2.4% overall, but cat companions took the biggest hit. In 2011, there were 70 million dogs and 74.1 million cats compared to 72 million dogs and 82 million cats five years ago.
Dogs remain the most popular companion, living in 36.5% of all U.S. households. Cats are found in only 30.4% of households, but are at a greater proportion per household: 2.1 cats vs. 1.6 dogs. Hey, I am right in line with the national averages with 2 cats and 1 dog — does that mean I am not a crazy animal person?
This is an interesting revelation given the results of the most recent results on the euthanasia rate published by Animal People – Issue July/August 2012. They estimate that the number of animals killed in U.S. shelters is DOWN a half million from last year to 3 million! They attribute this reduction to a more aggressive push for spay/neuter in major U.S. cities, specifically New York City, and the work of animal charities, such as HSUS, pushing laws restricting the activity of puppy mill breeders.
So what this means is that the number the number of animals in homes and abandoned to shelters are both on the decline – there are now fewer companion animals (and fewer animals that suffer).
This is great news! We still have a long way to go before ALL cats and dogs are happy companions in loving homes, but we are certainly on the right track. FiXiT will continue to work to provide spay/neuter to everyone until we are a no-kill nation.
For the month of August, 63 spay/neuter clinics across the country will be offering a special promotion to reduce the population of homeless pitbulls called “Primp My Pit.” This promotion offers a spay or neuter service and a nail trim for a small fee of $20 thanks to the support from our friends, the animal charity PetSmart Charities. The goal of this promotion is to fix 6750 pit bull terriers this month.
What a terrific opportunity! Pit bulls make up 60% of all dogs euthanized in shelters every year – 90% of all pits entering a shelter will be killed. We need to end the homeless pit bull problem.
Primp My Pit is offered in 30 different states. If you are an owner of a pit bull in need of a fix, you can find a complete list of participating clinics here.
And if you are concerned about the pit bull problem, don’t forget your donation can make double the impact right now thanks to FiXiT’s FOGO: Fix One Get One Fixed Free promotion. Sponsor the fix of an animal in a multi-animal household on GetYourFix.org, and we’ll sponsor the fix of a second animal.
Happy Adopt a Shelter Cat month! All over the country there are special promotions to get homeless cats adopted to their forever homes. Why June? Well, around this time of year the shelters are flooded with incoming litters of kittens – kitten season is upon us!
As part of my job, I get to speak to people all over the country representing all varieties of charities for animals that are trying to find homes for these homeless cats. One thing is certain; kitten season is brutal this year. This year’s mild winter has resulted in an early and fruitful reproductive season. This is bad news for those of us trying to reduce the euthanasia rate, as females will likely have another chance to breed before the summer is complete. Well, that is unless we get to them first.
For the remainder of June, FiXiT is running a special fundraising campaign for spaying cats during the prime of kitten season. Our goal is to spay 50 female cats this month! Let’s not let mama’s breed again or let the young ones make next year’s kitten season even worse.
Please support this campaign by giving to the cause. Every little bit counts – even $10 can help us take a step toward No More Homeless Kittens!
50 new cats need help every week on GetYourFix. Here are just a few of the animals on GetYourFix that could benefit from your contribution.
There are some people, particularly men, that have an aversion to the idea of neutering their dogs. They personify their own cringe-inducing reflex associated with the loss of their testicles onto their trusted companions. This has resulted in one of the spay/neuter myths: “I don’t want my male dog (or cat) to feel like less of a male.”
In a previous blog, I discussed the health benefits of neutering – reduction in testicular cancer, prostate enlargement, and prostatitis. What are the behavioral consequences of neutering? Will the dog behave less like a male?
To understand the answer to this question, we must first consider that males are introduced to the effects of testosterone before they are even born. There is a pre-natal surge of the hormone, which will result in masculine structural changes that will later affect sex-typical behaviors. This is why male dogs (and other mammals) act like males before they reach sexual maturity or if they are neutered prior to maturation. Testosterone levels rise again as males get closer to sexual maturity – peaking at about 10 months of age in dogs. These levels fall to the adult standard by 18 months.
So now we know that a male is a male with or without testicles, but what is the actual impact of the loss of testosterone? Problematic sex-specific behaviors, such as urine marking, mounting, and roaming, are reduced. In one study, the decrease in these specific behaviors was striking:
• 90% decrease of these behaviors in 40% of the study dogs
• 50% decrease of the remaining 60% of the study dogs
This change in behaviors was found to be independent of the age when the dog was neutered.
Interestingly, in the same study, only 10-15% of neutered dogs showed a decrease of 50-90% level of improvement in aggression toward unfamiliar dogs and territorial intruders, which makes a good case for getting your dog fixed even if you want a protective companion. Though is does fair slightly better when eliminating aggression toward canine and human family members: 25% of the study dogs improving by more than 50%.
What about the importance of looking (or physically feeling) like a male? If contributing to the overpopulation crisis is out of the question, but you really want to keep your dog’s jewels in the vault, you are now in luck! In April 2012, a process called zeutering was FDA approved. Zeutering is a procedure in which a Zinc-based solution is injected directly into the testicles, resulting in the loss of sperm production. The testicles remain intact and testosterone production uninterrupted. If you’ve got the … nerve to watch, see the whole process below. The drug has been used to quickly and inexpensively fix dogs all over the world under the moniker Esterisol. It is a simple, safe process that can be administered without full anesthesia, but overcome some cultural barriers that previously made neutering unappealing. And it is coming to an animal organization or spay/neuter clinic near you.
Of course, if you are only interested in the look of an unaltered dog, there is always the option of neuticles. Yes, these anatomically correct silicone implants can be inserted at the time of neutering. Your dog and your neighbors will never know!
With all of these options to both behave and physically feel like a male, I don’t think there can be any question that this myth is BUSTED.