Pet owners know to take Bob Barker's advice and get their pets spayed or neutered, but Bob never mentions that it can run upward of $300 to do that, does he?
When the economy started tanking, the low-cost spay and neuter clinics in the Tampa Bay area started seeing a spike in demand. Pinellas County Animal Services is booked through October right now, so it sends calls to SPOT, Stop Pet Overpopulation Together, a nonprofit clinic in Pinellas Park that has given more than 16,000 pets a more platonic way of making friends.
The costs range from $30 to $150, depending on the size and sex of the animal at organizations like Pet Pal or the Animal Coalition of Tampa or the Humane Society. Note that most of the rescue organizations include spaying or neutering in their adoption fee.
A great clearing house for all of these organization is found on the SPCA's Web site, spcatampabay.org. Click on "Services" to find information on spay and neuter low-income assistance and phone numbers of all the low-cost clinics in the Tampa Bay area.
Pamela Borres, 46, founder of SPOT, says she has noticed people putting off the kindest cut because of the cost, but notes that, "Any pet owner that loves their animal should do this because it prevents deadly cancers of reproductive system and they can live on average six years longer."
Not to mention it eliminates unwanted behaviors like marking territory, escaping to find a mate, biting, messy heat cycles and cats that get very vocal.