"The over-population issue obviously directly affects the animal control call volume," says Corporal Nancy Mellott of Winchester Police Department's Animal Control. "Because, there are more strays that are out there that need to be picked up and brought into a shelter situation,' she adds.
To combat over-population, animal shelters across the country are offering discounts for pets to be spayed or neutered.
"The spay/neuter program is really important in the city because you have a large number of animals and not everybody can afford to get their animals fixed," says Margo Bach, Assistant Director at the Shenandoah Valley Spay/Neuter Clinic. "This gives them a low-cost option to work with," she adds.
Bach says the pet population at the SPCA has increased every year. Last year, they received more than 1,100 stray cats and more than 600 stray dogs. Shelter managers say countless animals have to be euthanized every year because of over-crowding. It's another reason they're encouraging spaying and neutering.
"No one likes to see an animal put down, but unfortunately almost half of the ones that do come into shelters are eventually euthanized," says Mellott.
"The shelters wouldn't be full and shelters wouldn't have to euthanize animals if they were all spayed or neutered," Bach says. "It would reduce the numbers greatly," she adds.
The SPCA says they hope more people will take advantage of program, to keep animals off the streets and save more lives.
They offer discounted services bi-weekly. Pet owners can drop their pets off at the SPCA at to be transported to
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