Humane societies and animal shelters do everything possible to find homes for each and every animal in their care. However, there simply aren’t enough homes to go around. All over the United States, healthy, loving cats are humanely euthanized by the millions each year due to lack of homes. And countless others are neglected, abused, or abandoned — all victims of a tremendous overpopulation problem. One easy solution to this problem — spaying and neutering.

Consider these statistics on cats: According to the Humane Society of the United States, a single unspayed female cat, her mate, and their offspring are capable of producing a total of 420,000 kittens in just seven years! This results in the euthanasia of millions of homeless cats.

Aside from spaying or neutering your cat to help with the overpopulation crisis, spaying and neutering has both medical and behavioral benefits:

* Neutering male cats will make them less likely to fight with other males or mark their territory, and it virtually eliminates the risk of testicular tumors or prostate problems.

* Spaying female cats greatly reduces their chances of developing mammary, ovarian, or uterine cancers.

* Spayed and neutered cats are also less likely to try to get out of the yard to find mates. Each year, thousands of roaming animals in search of mates become lost or are hit by cars, resulting in needless suffering or death.

Luckily for the residents of Santa Barbara County, CARE4Paws has joined forces with Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP) and local pet clinics to launch a Spring Spayathon for cats in the South County. The plan is to fix 100 cats between April 10 and May 31, with the ultimate goal of preventing thousands of animals from ending up in shelters this year and in the years to come. The spaying and neutering is free to those who qualify.

As part of the spayathon, CARE4Paws—a nonprofit promoting responsible pet ownership and animal welfare–has organized several “Spay Days” for cat owners in financial need at veterinary clinics from Carpinteria to Santa Ynez. The kickoff is Sunday April 10, with a spay day at Vet’s Here, a brand-new mobile veterinary clinic in Santa Ynez. And on Wednesday, April 20, CARE Hospital in Santa Barbara has committed to altering almost half of the targeted 100 cats. “Being a 24-hour veterinary emergency and surgical center we see the effects of overpopulation on a daily basis,” said CARE co-owner Eric Wright. “Responsible spaying and neutering can help prevent the suffering of unwanted animals.” ALL appointments must be made through CARE4PAWS.

ASAP, a nonprofit organization that takes care of the cats and kittens at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter on Overpass Road, is providing part of the funding to make this important project a reality. “There are simply too many animals in shelters, foster homes, and on the streets,” said ASAP’s director Eliane Martin. “Typically, an unspayed female cat has two or three litters a year, until she dies at a young age, completely exhausted.” By fixing their cats, owners will prolong the cats’ lives and help reduce the numbers of kittens in shelters, or kittens at the mercy of the elements and predators, Martin added.

Cat owners experiencing financial difficulty who are interested in getting their cat(s) fixed during the Spring Spayathon should contact CARE4Paws at 968-CARE (2273) or To learn more about CARE4Paws and its programs and upcoming events, visit

To view a few cats up for adoption at ASAP, check out the following video: For all of ASAP’s cats up for adoption, go to:


Wayne Pacelle Book Signing! Sunday, April 10, 2011, from 3-5 p.m.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, will be at the Tecolote Bookstore at 1470 East Valley Road in Montecito to promote his spectacular new book, The Bond. The Bond is a fascinating exploration of humanity’s eternal bond with animals and an urgent call to answer the needs of millions of at-risk creatures. Both sobering and uplifting, the book argues that humans have an instinctive connection with animals—a connection Wayne Pacelle has felt acutely for as long as he can remember. The book looks at the origins of the human-animal connection, discusses the severing of that bond in the industrial era, and presents a workable vision of growing economies free from the harsh exploitation of animals. So many cruelties are inflicted on animals, but the good news is that we humans have the power to turn this situation around.

Tecolote Bookstore will donate 20 percent of The Bond book sales to the Humane Society of the United States.

Adoptable Pet of the Week


Kelley is a big, beautiful snowshoe boy with pale blue eyes, a Siamese mix. Because of his pink nose, he needs to live indoor only. Kelley is looking for a loving home where he can blossom. Since he’s a bit timid and unsure, if you offer your hand for him to sniff first, he’ll give it a good lick; then it’s your turn to return the affection with chin tickles. He would probably do well as the only feline in your life. When Kelley is able to relax and feel comfortable, he is very affectionate and gives lots of kitty kisses!

To learn more about Kelley, call the Santa Barbara Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP) at 683-3368 or visit the Web site at ASAP is located at the SB Animal Shelter, 5473 Overpass Road (just beyond the Humane Society). Regular business hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Lisa Acho Remorenko is executive director of Animal Adoption Solutions,


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