FoA says spay and neuter to keep pets off the streets in new ad campaign

To help avert the perils of pet homelessness and draw attention to the financial commitments of rescuing an animal, Friends of Animals has launched a billboard and print ad campaign to link cat and dog adoptions with its affordable spay-neuter program.  Unfortunately, homelessness isn’t solved entirely by publicizing adoptions through animal shelters. “We know we have to educate people that spay-neuter is a big part of the solution that protects dogs and cats from harm,” said Priscilla Feral, president, FoA. “Sometimes animals who make it into a home face people ill-equipped or incapable of assuming costs and responsibilities of lifetime care.” With the help of more than 600 participating veterinarians nationwide, FoA is the non-profit leader for affordable spay-neuter efforts. Through the talents of the Atlanta-based Breensmith Advertising, thought-provoking outdoor billboards are appearing in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Georgia (with more states to follow) starting this week, to educate people that spay-neuter can prevent dogs and cats from suffering a life and eventual death on the streets. Approximately 35,000 animals are sterilized through FoA’s affordable spay-neuter program each year. Over the long run, FoA has successfully altered more than 2.6 million cats and dogs through its certificate program.

“Adopting an animal is not a harmless impulse buy like purchasing a new pair of shoes or uploading a new song from iTunes,”added Feral. “A dog or cat is not something you can be fascinated with temporarily and then abandoned when they become inconvenient. People have all kinds of excuses — allergies, relocating, a baby on the way, a boyfriend doesn’t like animals, — but our ad campaign is meant to educate them that when bringing an animal into your family, you have to be committed for life. And spaying and neutering is part of the responsibility of owning a cat or a dog.” Although the number has fallen, animals killed annually in U.S. animal shelters and pounds is still close to three million.

In particular FoA’s ad campaign is targeting young people just graduating from college who may be adopting for the first time. “Young people especially can be ill-equipped or incapable of assuming veterinary costs and responsibilities of lifetime care,” Feral said. “They often give no thought to pet food costs, vet care, spay-neuter or even walking the dog.”

According to the 2013-14 American Pet Product Association’s National Pet Owner Survey, the basic annual expenses for dog owners is $1,629; $1,272 for cats.  But people of all ages are guilty of not being fit for taking care of an animal. Earlier this month, a mother, 53, and her daughter, 28, from Trumbull, Conn., were each charged with nine counts of animal cruelty for abandoning a female dog and her eight puppies at a home they moved out of. FoA hopes to wipe out such ignorance with its new ad campaign.

To find out a more about FoA’s spay and neuter program, visit this page.

The Fairfield County billboards are located at 1575 Railroad Ave., 824 South Ave., 141 Stratford Ave. and 667 Housatonic Ave., all in Bridgeport, and on Route 7, just north of Larson Road, in New Milford. The other three are located in Hartford County: along Rt 190 near Stafford Springs, — just south of exit 34 on I-91, and next to the well-known historic Colt Building.