LESLIE CRISS: Fun day in the park with pets

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
– Immanual Kant
“All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.”
– Samuel Butler

I spent some time last week perusing the website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). I chose ASPCA because it’s the oldest organization of its kind. Here’s just a smattering of what I learned:
– Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.
– Only 10 percent of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. About 75 percent of owned pets are neutered.
– The cost of spaying and neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for one year.
I also visited by phone with Ruth Shelton one day last week. I didn’t have to tell her all these animal facts; she is well aware of the statistics. And she’s worked tirelessly for years to educate folks on the importance of spaying and neutering pets.
Spay Inc. born in ’99
More than a decade ago – in August 1999 – Ruth and her husband, Billy, started Spay Inc., in a bus in east Tupelo. Later, they moved into a building.
Today folks get in touch with Spay Inc., and Ruth hooks them up with Dr. Don Rowan and Dr. Lisa Fleming in Baldwyn.
Through the years the mission of Spay Inc. has remained constant.
“Our goal is to reduce the overpopulation of animals by helping folks get their pets spayed and neutered,” Ruth Shelton said.
Spay Inc. offers low-cost spaying/neutering surgeries. In addition to family pets, Spay Inc. will spay/neuter feral cats and stray animals.
The ultimate goal, according to Ruth, a passionate pet lover, is to decrease the number of animals euthanized because of overpopulation.
As you would imagine, in order to continue offering the low-cost surgeries, Spay Inc. has to find ways to raise money to keep it going.
Want to help?
That’s where you come in. Yes, you can help. And have fun in the process.
On Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in Ballard Park, there will be a wide array of activities for you – and your pets.
Get to the park between 11 a.m. and noon to register for the pet show. You may register your pet in as many of five categories as you like at $2 per category, like Best of Show, Cutest, Smallest, Ugliest and Largest. The pet show – complete with judges, trophies, prizes and ribbons – begins at 1 p.m.
From 11:30 until noon, there will be games for pets and their owners. A patient photographer will be on hand to shoot pets and owners for a $5 fee.
At noon, there’ll be live gospel music by Still Blessed; and from 2 until 2:30 p.m., an auction is planned.
If that’s not enough, there will be food, face painting, balloons and more.
And all proceeds will help Spay Inc. with the overpopulation of pets through spaying and neutering.
A fun day for a fine cause.
Contact Leslie Criss at leslie.criss@djournal.com or (662) 678-1584.

Leslie Criss