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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.
 
Vigil planned for homeless animals
By Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Arizona
8/17/2004 12:00:00 AM
Spay and Neuter Solutions is organizing a candlelight vigil Saturday to commemorate National Homeless Animals Day.

The purpose of the day, said organizer Katie Powers, is to raise awareness about the plight of homeless animals in the community; to encourage sterilization surgery and adoption; and to provide an outlet for people to honor their beloved animal companions.

"I am hoping it will be a kind of an eye-opener for people . . . who are not aware we have an overpopulation of animals in the community," she said.

There will be a pet blessing, live music, poetry readings, a pet wedding ceremony and information tables from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Udall Park Amphitheater, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road, just east of Sabino Canyon Road.

Pets on leashes are welcome. Attendees can bring a photo or memento to be blessed, and they should bring lawn chairs, blankets, water, flashlights and candles.

Admission is free, but Powers is accepting pet food donations for the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen and $1 donations for links on the "Chain of Hope" - a commemorative paper chain - to benefit spay and neuter assistance programs.

For more information, you can go online to www.spayandneutersolutions.org or call Powers at 579-2691.

Vote will help shelter

Voters have through Friday to cast ballots for Pima Animal Care Center in a competition for a $10,000 grant from Purina-Friskies.

The center, at 4000 N. Silverbell Road, is one of 20 in the running for a grant to remodel its cat room. People can vote on the Friskies Web site, accessible at www.friskies.com. One vote per household or e-mail address per day is allowed. The top 10 shelters will win money.

Pima Animal Care is in the top 20 out of 600 shelters nationwide that entered the contest. Shelters were chosen by a team of judges based on the condition of their habitat, last renovation and annual budget. It is the only one chosen from Arizona.

According to Pima Animal Care's online entry, about 18,000 animals a year go to the shelter. When the Humane Society of Southern Arizona began charging intake fees last summer, Pima Animal Care became the area's only open-admission shelter. Its cat intake increased by 68 percent to 6,000 cats a year. The cat room has 63 metal cages that were bought in 1968, plus four dog crates added earlier this year.