Our goal is to stop pet overpopulation and end the euthanasia of any healthy pet. Our work is limited to the Long Beach/Signal Hill area where we hope to make an impact by preventing unwanted animals from being born. FOLBA works with several local City Departments for voucher distribution and, through education, is encouraging all residents to have a veterinarian spay and neuter their pets.
SUPPORT SNIP – MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY
Did you know that 2 unaltered cats can produce 420,000 descendents in just 7 years? Or, that 2 unaltered dogs can produce up to 67,000 descendents in just 6 years? This is called the “multiplier” effect and is the leading cause of chronic pet overpopulation in our city. Unfortunately most city residents are virtually unaware of the magnitude and seriousness of this issue. The responsibility for pet overpopulation lies not with the Long Beach Bureau of Animal Control who vainly attempt to manage the problem but rather with all city residents and pet owners who care about their communities. The simple step of ensuring that a companion animal is spayed or neutered is an effective solution to pet overpopulation.
In 1998, Friends of Long Beach Animals recognized the need for a low cost spay/neuter and public awareness program and introduced our city’s only Spay Neuter Incentive Program (SNIP). Our program encourages participation by all city residents and offers low cost and/or free vouchers to local residents requiring financial assistance. We are extremely proud of our accomplishments to date, resulting in a total of 16,803 animals spayed/neutered at a program cost of $740,492.
Friends of Long Beach Animals has partnered with Long Beach Animal Control to distribute SNIP vouchers to city residents. Each animal control officer carries a supply of vouchers in the vehicle for easy distribution in situations when a city resident appears to be in need. In 2004, Long Beach Animal Control was recognized as the leading distributor of SNIP vouchers in the cities of Long Beach and Signal Hill and received a recognition award for its tireless efforts.
“SNIP, what a great program! Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA) has helped the community with this spay and neuter program for many years. It has given Animal Control Officers an additional tool to assist owners of animals to help reduce unwanted litters. Over the years I have seen many litters turned in where the owner is keeping the mother dog or cat and many times we would see this person again even though we educated them about the benefits of spaying and neutering the pet. With SNIP we see the number of unwanted litters turned in to Animal Control being reduced. I’m sure that this program will continue to be part of the solution reducing the countless number of unwanted litters.”
– Wesley Moore, Former Acting Manager Long Beach Animal Control
Vouchers are also distributed through several community outreach organizations including the Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) on Atlantic Avenue as well as the Neighborhood Watch program hosted by the community relations division of the Long Beach Police Department. In addition, Friends of Long Beach Animals members support the program through voluntary distribution of vouchers during community events such as the Martin Luther King Day parade.
In the words of Dr. Salah Saleh, previous owner of Mercy Animal Hospital, a long time SNIP supporter and participating veterinarian, “If everyone did his share, we would not have a problem. The SNIP program is wonderful – it helps animals, it helps people and it makes a difference by saving lives”. According to Dr. Saleh, an animal that has been spayed or neutered has a much better chance at a longer and healthier life. The occurrence of pyometra in older, unaltered female dogs as well as testicular cancer in older, unaltered male dogs is common and can result in a painful death for the animals.
In addition, low income pet owners who may never have the opportunity to take their pets to a veterinarian will receive the added benefit of understanding the importance of veterinary care as well as the ability to ask questions about their pets while using the SNIP vouchers. According to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs with minimal or no veterinary care are at greater risk of relinquishment than dogs with regular veterinary care.
The benefits of spay/neuter are significant and ensure that companion animals will live a longer and healthier life without contributing additional litters to the current number of homeless animals awaiting adoption or roaming the streets.
Unwanted animals are becoming a very real concern in many places. Stray animals can easily become a public nuisance, soiling parks and streets, ruining shrubbery, frightening children and elderly people, creating noise and other disturbances, causing automobile accidents, and sometimes even killing livestock or other pets.
– The American Veterinary Medical Association
The capture, impoundment and eventual destruction of unwanted animals cost taxpayers and private humanitarian agencies over a billion dollars each year. As a potential source of rabies and other less serious diseases, they can be a public health hazard.
– The American Veterinary Medical Association
All Long Beach and Signal Hill city residents are encouraged to participate by taking responsibility for the spaying/neutering of “just one pet.” Residents requiring financial assistance can obtain a SNIP voucher by calling 562-988-SNIP. All other residents can participate by taking the initiative to have their pets spayed/neutered or by sending a donation in support of the SNIP program.
Please show your support by joining responsible pet owners as well as our participating veterinary hospitals in breaking the cycle of pet overpopulation. Together we can make a difference!