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Free spay and neuter for hundreds of pets this weekend

Have you been meaning to spay or neuter your pet but just haven't been able to pay for the surgery? This Friday and Saturday is your chance to get it done free of charge.

Starting Friday at 7:00 a.m., the Marathon Animal Spay/Neuter Hospital (MASH) clinic is kicking off its second annual event for free spay and neutering at Los Ranchitos Elementary School. Both dogs and cats will be able to receive surgery and vaccinations free of charge at the school, which is located at 2054 E. Glinter Road. Pet owners can sign up for available spots on the website.

According to Pat Hubbard, the Community Outreach Director for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, services will remain available for dogs and cats for Friday and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the school. On Sunday, the facilities will be rearranged to provide surgery exclusively for cats at the same times.

The subject of maintaining a sustainable cat and dog population throughout Pima County has reached a new level of public awareness after reports of overcrowding at the Pima Animal Care Center. Ensuring that animals receive safe and effective spay and neuter surgery is key to solving the animal overpopulation problem. This year, a minimum of 500 animals are expected to receive spay and neuter surgery.

Hubbard pointed out that in addition to the licensed veterinarians and technicians providing their services at the three-day event, a “small army” of volunteers would be needed to provide sufficient services to hundreds of animals.

“Last year, we needed at least 50 people a day for shifts, with about three shifts each day,” said Hubbard. She was one of the founders for the event last year, which provided services to over 800 cats and dogs. Volunteers are needed for checking in animals, assisting pet owners, cataloging the event’s progress, attending phone banks, washing surgical laundry and several other services. For those interested in volunteering, more information is available on this webpage.

“We’re going to need all the help we can get to meet the goals set by last year’s event,” said Hubbard.

Can't make it this weekend? There are more opportunities for inexpensive spay and neuter services listed on www.nokillpimacounty.org.

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