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Pet Overpopulation Program has several facets

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs Pet Overpopulation Program was awarded a $5,000 grant from The Jacob and Teresa Hershey Foundation. The funds will increase the monthly allocations for Pet Overpopulation Program .

The society offers several vouchers and discount coupons to the residents of Archuleta County to spay or neuter their dogs or cats. All vouchers are obtained in person at the Animal Shelter, 465 Cloman Blvd.

Fix-It-Free. The Humane Society is able to give out a limited number of free spay/neuter vouchers each month to qualifying residents of Archuleta County. The vouchers are given out on the first day of the month on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10 a.m. There is a limited amount of money for Fix-It-Free vouchers each month. Once the total dollar amount of the vouchers equals the monthly allocation, no more vouchers can be issued that month.

Spay Aid. This is a non-qualifying spay/neuter program. A limited number of discount coupons are given out on the first of each month on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10 a.m. This program helps the pet owner with the cost of spaying or neutering their pet, encouraging them to have their pet altered. The coupon is good for the amount noted on the voucher you receive (is dependent on type of animal and weight) and must be used within 30 days. You can take the voucher to any veterinarian in our area. It is up to you, the pet owner, to set up your appointment with the veterinarian of your choice. There is a limited amount of money for Spay-Aid vouchers each month. Once the total dollar amount of the coupons equals the monthly allocation, no more coupons can be issued that month.

Mother’s Aid. The Humane Society will provide a free spay voucher to any pet owner with a female dog or cat that has had a litter. The Humane Society will also accept the litter, have the offspring sterilized and find adoptive homes for them.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Pit Bull) or Staffordshire Bull Terrier mixes. The Humane Society will provide a free spay/neuter to any pet owner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Mix. To qualify, you must be a resident of Archuleta County and shelter staff must physically see the dog to identify its breed. Please call and set up an appointment before bringing your dog to the shelter.

The society is proud of the success of their Pet Overpopulation Program that was established in 1995. The animal shelter provides care for adoptable dogs and cats until they can be placed.

In 2006, more than 4 million dogs and cats were euthanized throughout the United States due to lack of space in animal shelters. However, at the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, no adoptable dogs or cats will be euthanized because of time, space or money.

In 2004, Colorado introduced a new law that stated that, if a Humane Society or any other animal group adopted out any dogs with a one-time bite?or aggression history, the organization would be financially liable if the dogs should bite or attack someone after it was adopted out. Since 1998, the organization has only euthanized animals with an aggression history or those that have failed the Behavioral Temperament test. All dogs are given a Behavioral Temperament test known as “Assess-a-Pet.” This is a nationally-recognized behavioral evaluation that is a gentle and humane — created by Sue Sternberg. People coming to an animal shelter are looking to adopt a safe, affectionate companion. Assess-a-Pet aims to keep shelter staff, adopters and their communities safer by matching families with safe pets and creating permanent, loving relationships.

Owners surrender their pets to animal shelters for many reasons, including behavioral issues: not house broken, running at-large, chewing and excess barking. Through temperament testing, shelter staff and volunteers can accommodate a dog’s training and behavioral needs while the dogs are in our care. This means more humane animal sheltering and also means the dogs have a better chance for adoption since they appear to the public (because they are) more relaxed, happy and calm while waiting for a chance to be adopted.

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs believes in helping match new pet owners with the right pet. A working border collie that came from a ranch might not be the best match for someone who lives in a condo and is away from the house for more than 10 hours a day, unless exercise can be provided during the day and after work.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Pet Overpopulation Program or would like to help train a dog, call 731-4771 or visit our Web site at