City launches free spay and neuter program
City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Animal Care and Control is offering free spay and neuter services for the pets of eligible city residents in an effort to proactively reduce pet overpopulation. The program will be offered to residents on a first come, first served basis.
"It is estimated that over 20,000 homeless pets are euthanized in the Pittsburgh region each year," said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl "This new program will help to reduce pet overpopulation and decrease euthanasia numbers, saving taxpayer dollars in the process. I encourage residents to do their part to help address local pet overpopulation by having their pets spayed or neutered."
The city pays for all domestic animals impounded at the Animal Rescue League. The average cost to impound dogs and cats is more than $300,000 a year, and the spay and neuter program is a proactive way of saving city residents that cost.
This program will be helpful in reducing the amount of bites, the number of animals that are killed, and the cost to residents who have their personal property destroyed by roaming animals. Animals' health will benefit from this program as well.
The money for the program has been allocated over three years in past capital budgets, and it is predicted more than 3,000 animals can be altered from the $170,000.
To qualify and apply for the program, pet owners must send two documentations of city residency, a valid dog license and up-do-date vaccination records, along with a completed application, to the Bureau of Animal Care and Control for approval prior to scheduling the surgery. Once the Bureau determines the applicant's eligibility, it will forward the documents to a participating shelter to handle the scheduling.
Each resident is limited to five spay or neuter procedures, as City policy restricts residents from owning more than five animals. For more details about the program, procedure requirements and to download an application, visit pittsburghpa.gov/animalcontrol or call the Mayor's 3-1-1 hotline.
The City's spay and neuter program was first introduced by Council President Darlene Harris in February 2011. Currently, the list of participating shelters includes: Animal Rescue League, Animal Friends, and Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.