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There's a new driving force in the battle against pet overpopulation: Arizona's new "pet-friendly" license plates are now available.
 
Dogs, cats sterilized with help from local nonprofit group
By Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Arizona
7/6/2004 12:00:00 AM
Spay and Neuter Solutions Inc., a Tucson-based nonprofit group, paid for the sterilizations of 43 dogs and cats last month in an effort to encourage rescue groups to work together to end animal overpopulation.

Katie Powers, president of Spay and Neuter Solutions, made the offer to the 10 animal organizations that are members of the Animal Welfare Alliance of Southern Arizona. Four alliance members and two non-member groups took Powers up on her offer.

"I would like to encourage them to work together, and I thought if I started, maybe they would get the clue that we should all pull together and work together," Powers said. Right now, "they don't work on a level that I think would be beneficial for animals and community - working closely together and discussing things."

In the past, Powers has raised money to offer free spay and neuter surgeries for pets of low-income owners.

The June 21 event at Animal Birth Control of Tucson Inc., 4 W. Grant Road, was sponsored by Tucsonan Reid Cerutti. It was in memory of his beloved German shepherd-husky mix, Nike, and in honor of Tucsonan Coral Horton, 93, a founding member of the Foundation for Animals in Risk.

"Most people don't realize the rescue groups put a lot more money into the animals than they ever get back through adoption fees," said FAIR President Salette Latas.

On average, FAIR spends $175 on each animal, Latas said. Adoption fees are $79 for cats and $89 for dogs, though purebred, puppy and kitten fees are slightly higher.

FAIR had about 20 animals sterilized. Other groups benefiting were the Pima Animal Care Center, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Caring Animal Rescue and Education, Animals' Crusaders and Belle Animal Rescue in Green Valley.

"I really want everyone to work together," Powers said. "I do hope it was a kind of good example to start something and help each other where we can."

To donate money to Spay and Neuter Solutions to fund future free sterilization days, go to www.spayandneutersolutions.org, write to Spay and Neuter Solutions, Attention: Donation Collections, P.O. Box 762, Cortaro, AZ 85652, or call 247-6469.