Man hugging his dog in their car parked outside in nature

Each June we celebrate the strong, caring figures in our lives — those who’ve taught us responsibility, compassion, and the unconditional love that so many enjoy from family. This June, why not extend the Father’s Day celebrations to include the furry, four-legged members of our families and consider how we, as pet lovers, dog lovers, and animal lovers, can influence the future of pet care in Georgia.

At Fix Georgia Pets, we are dedicated to ending the senseless euthanasia of healthy companion animals in our state. Here’s how you can help make a difference.

Understanding the Crisis

Georgia faces a significant challenge with pet overpopulation, which leads to high rates of euthanasia. Hundreds of thousands of healthy animals are put down annually nationwide, simply because there are more pets than available homes. 

In 2023, nearly 20,000 companion animals were euthanized in Georgia, a heartbreaking consequence of rampant overpopulation. As pet lovers, we cannot stand by while these animals lose their chances at life. Ending this crisis starts with understanding.

The Power of Spay/Neuter Programs

One of the most effective tools in combating overpopulation is proactive spay/neuter programs. By preventing unwanted litter, these programs significantly reduce the number of animals entering shelters. For dog lovers and cat enthusiasts alike, supporting spay/neuter programs is a direct way to save lives. 

At Fix Georgia Pets, we strategically provide grants for spay neuter programs in areas with the highest need, ensuring that every dollar goes towards making the maximum impact. To do what we do, we need to raise funds for these grants and we would like to invite you to help us in our mission by donating to our strategic grant program to help us tackle this crisis across Georgia.

Responsible Pet Parenting: Health Benefits of Spaying/Neutering Your Pets

For dog lovers and animal lovers alike, the health and well-being of our pets is a top priority. Spaying and neutering, beyond being vital tools for controlling the pet population, also offer numerous health benefits that can lead to a longer, happier life for our pets. Here are some of the important health benefits of why you should fix a pet

For Female Pets

  • Reduced Risk of Cancer: Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
  • No Heat Cycles: Eliminating heat cycles means males won’t be drawn to your female cat, and she will exhibit calmer, more stable behavior.
  • Longer, Healthier Lives: Spayed pets typically live longer, healthier lives. The procedure eliminates the stress and complications that come with pregnancy and birth, which is important for animal lovers who want to avoid unnecessary health risks for their pets.

For Male Pets

  • Prevents Testicular Cancer and Prostatitis: Neutering your male pet eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and significantly reduces the risk of prostate disease, a common problem in older unneutered dogs.
  • Reduces Aggressive Behavior: Lower testosterone levels lead to decreased aggression and a reduced likelihood of dog bites.
  • Prevents Roaming and Escapes: Neutered males are less inclined to wander far from home, minimizing territorial marking and lowering their risk of engaging in fights or encountering accidents. Unneutered males can detect a female in heat from miles away, often prompting them to roam in search of her.
  • Reduces or Eliminates Risk of Spraying and Marking: You don’t want your home to become the toilet for your dog. Neutering your male dog or cat can drastically reduce or even eliminate marking behaviors that can otherwise destroy your home.

General Health Benefits

  • Better Overall Behavior: Neutered animals are often better behaved, more focused on their human families, and less likely to exhibit unwanted behaviors such as biting, roaming, or other aggressive tendencies.
  • Cost-Effective: Investing in spay/neuter procedures can save animal lovers considerable expense in the long run by avoiding costs associated with care for unexpected litters or treatment for diseases common in unaltered pets.

For all pet owners, understanding these benefits is essential. Spaying and neutering not only help reduce the number of homeless pets but also contribute to a healthier, more fulfilling life for the pets we love. This month, dog and cat lovers should consider spaying or neutering as a gift to their pets—a gift of health and happiness. And for the guys worried that neutering your male dog or cat will impact you—rest assured, it won’t. Besides, real men neuter their pets. It’s a smart move for both of you!

Engaging Communities: A Call to Animal Lovers

Community engagement is crucial. We rely on animal lovers across the state to spread the word and encourage responsible pet ownership.

Educating the public about the benefits of spay/neuter and adopting from shelters rather than purchasing pets can shift the paradigm towards a more sustainable future for our animals. 

A great way to spread awareness and contribute to the cause is to purchase the Georgia Pet Foundation’s specialty license plate, designed by local Georgia street/folk artist Kyle Brooks. The proceeds from this plate go directly to help fund the Fix Georgia Pets strategic spay/neuter grant program. Plus, it’s art for your car, offering a distinctive way to promote the cause and save lives while you drive!

Father’s Day Activities to Promote Pet Love

Dad, daughter and dog outside at park looking happy

This June, as we honor all fathers, please consider these activities to strengthen your bond with both your family and your pets, and to advocate for their well-being:

  • Volunteer Together: Spend quality time with your family by volunteering at a local shelter. It’s a meaningful way to show how much you love your pet and love giving back to the community.
  • Adoption Days: Many shelters have special adoption fees and events around Father’s Day. Encourage pet lovers to consider giving a forever home to a pet in need. It definitely saves a life.
  • Golf for a Cause: This Father’s Day, get your dad tickets to the Fix Georgia Pets 8th Annual Golf Tournament, held in October at Druid Hills Golf Club. This fundraising golf tournament is a great way to support our crucial mission and have fun doing it!
  • Visit a Pet-Loving Georgia Winery: For those dads who love wine, visit a local Georgia winery that supports the Fix Georgia Pets spay and neuter grant program. Animal lovers can even bring their pets to the pet-friendly Stonewall Creek Vineyards, a Fix Georgia Pets donor partner. Enjoy a day in the sunshine tasting local wine with your family and furry friends too!
  • Educational Workshops: Participate in or organize workshops that discuss pet care, the importance of spay/neuter, and how to get involved with local animal welfare initiatives. Fix Georgia Pets is part of the 25th Annual APAW (Animal Protection And Wellness) Expo held on October 18th and 19th, 2024. Here you can learn all about the items listed above. You don’t want to miss it!
  • Fundraising Events: Host a barbecue, car wash, or another Father’s Day event to raise funds for spay/neuter programs. Invite other families, friends, and their pets to attend! It’s a fun way to engage dog lovers and support a vital cause.

Advocacy and Legislation

Pet lovers can also advocate for stronger animal welfare laws and support legislation that promotes spay/neuter programs. Contacting local representatives such as Georgia Pet Coalition and voicing support for animal-friendly policies can lead to substantial changes at the legislative level. If you’d like more information about how to get involved, contact us at Fix Georgia Pets.

Stories of Hope and Love

At Fix Georgia Pets, we’ve witnessed countless stories of pet lovers making a real difference. From families who adopt and nurture shelter pets, to dog lovers who tirelessly volunteer at shelters and spay/neuter events, and to our grant partners who facilitate life-saving services with affordable spay/neuter programs, these stories inspire and propel our mission forward. 

They remind us of the powerful bond between pets and people—a bond that enhances and often extends the lives of pets across Georgia. Check out powerful testimonials from some of the beneficiaries of our grants for spay and neuter programs who are on the front lines of this crucial mission. 

A Sustainable Future for Our Pets

For animal lovers, every day is an opportunity to make a difference. During the month of June (and all year), let’s celebrate Father’s Day, by taking action to ensure a future where no healthy pet in Georgia is euthanized for lack of a home. Whether you’re a seasoned dog lover or new to having a pet, your actions can contribute to a larger movement of pet love, care, and responsibility.

We at Fix Georgia Pets invite all pet lovers, dog lovers, and animal lovers to join us in this crucial mission. Together, with love and dedication, we can end senseless euthanasia in Georgia. This Father’s Day, let’s pledge to love our pets like family and protect those in need. Your involvement can transform lives and bring us closer to a future where every pet receives the love and care they deserve.

Through understanding, action, and advocacy, pet lovers across Georgia can help create a sustainable, loving environment for all pets. This Father’s Day, embrace the role of being not just a pet owner, but a pet hero. Spread the pet love and join the fight against senseless euthanasia. Let’s work together to ensure that our furry friends have the bright futures they deserve.