A message from St. Louis PetLover Coalition
In an ideal pet-loving community, all pets would have homes, and all homes would be forever. In St. Louis, and many other regions across the nation, pet overpopulation is a huge barrier to creating a community where all dogs and cats are wanted and all enjoy the basic necessities of food, water, and love in the comforts of a welcoming home. The reality is that more than 23,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in St. Louis City and County every year due to too many pets and not enough homes. Approximately every two out of four animals entering the area’s public and private shelters are euthanized, which is a staggering statistic that the St. Louis PetLover Coalition hopes to positively impact through its new “No Unwanted Litters” campaign. Dedicated to reducing the number of pets that enter the shelter system, the No Unwanted Litters Campaign seeks to reduce the number of pets that enter the shelter system in the first place by increasing funding and region-wide awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering. The movement consists of three parts: charitable grants, grassroots community outreach, and online resources and involvement opportunities.
This year, Nestlé Purina Community Affairs has offered up grants to Coalition members to help fund incremental spay and neuter procedures as well as to support educational programs designed to make St. Louisians a part of the solution, and not part of the problem. By 2012, the grant process will open to more groups in the local area allowing even more pet owners to have access to low-cost services.
Efforts on the street will be led by the St. Louis PetLover Professionals group, who will go through voluntary training to be community ambassadors for responsible pet ownership. Local employers, health clinics, community festivals, schools, neighborhood meetings or Aldermanic sessions can then request one of the Professionals to speak to their respective groups about the current lack of adoptive homes, opportunities for low-cost spay/neuter procedures, and easy ways that each person can make a difference. The simplest way to acknowledge commitment right now is through the No Unwanted Litters Pledge at www.NoUnwantedLitters.org where the goal is to get 1000 pet lovers to step up and pledge their support of the movement and their assurance that they won’t allow their pets to have unwanted puppies and kittens.
Not only is the site home to the pledge, but pet lovers can also access a wealth of resources from adoption brochures to listings of help lines in case they see an animal being abused or neglected. Site visitors can take their experience and commitment even further by making a direct donation to several low-cost spay and neuter programs or organizations at www.NoUnwantedLitters.org including BARC, SNIP program from HSMO, Operation SPOT and the St. Louis Metropolitan Spay Neuter Wellness Clinic.
The No Unwanted Litters campaign targets the source of the problem of pet overpopulation, and is a multiyear effort that will hopefully cut the St. Louis region’s euthanasia in half by 2014. Be a part of the movement and a part of history as St. Louis sets the example for other communities that are hoping to provide better lives for their dogs and cats, and the people who love them.