DJ Becker/The Madera Tribune
Carrie Tuttle, left, an FMAS board member and long time volunteer, writes a free pit bull spay/neuter voucher for Madera County residents at the Sunday swap meet. Also pictured assisting is new volunteer and translator Rene’ Garcia.The volunteers spoke with several hundred residents about the coming shot clinic this Saturday, the options for spaying and neutering, and other animal issues.
A recent grant from Pet Smart Charities has made free spay or neutering possible for any pit bull or pit bull mix dog for Madera county or Madera city residents, according to Carrie Tuttle, a long time Friends of Madera Animal Shelter (FMAS) volunteer and board member of the group. The offer is good until the funding runs out at the end of the year, Tuttle said. She encouraged everyone interested with a pit, or pit mix dog to get their vouchers as soon as possible.
“There are no income restrictions.” Tuttle said. “Anyone with a pit or pit mix (dog) with proof of their residence in Madera County, or within the city of Madera can obtain our free voucher to have their dog altered. We should be able to alter several hundred dogs. The voucher also includes a free rabies shot and a free microchip identification chip included for the dog.” she said.
Tuttle said pits can be great dogs but the large numbers of the pit bull dogs bred intentionally or accidentally in Madera has always lead to a huge unwanted surplus of the pits ending up homeless, or surrendered at the Madera County Animal Shelter.
Shelter authorities say the dogs are very difficult to adopt out, most rescue groups are reluctant to take them and state statistics show only one in 600 pit bull dogs ever finds a ‘forever’ home. If unaltered and not socialized the powerful, athletic dogs can escape, fight, bite or become be a problem in small backyards or if left unsupervised, they said.
The free pit bull or pit bull mix spay or neuter vouchers will be available at the FMAS shot clinic at the Madera District Fairgrounds this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, and also at the Madera County animal shelter at 14269 Road 28, during regular business hours. (Vouchers not available between noon and 1 p.m.)
Shelter authorities also encouraged residents to protect their pets, especially puppies and young dogs, against the deadly viral diseases of parvo and distemper with an annual booster vaccination.
The low cost shot clinic, held the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon, also will be providing their regular dog Rabies vaccinations for $10, and the Parvo/Distemper combination vaccinations for $15. Deworming and cat vaccinations also available. All dogs must be on leashes and cats in carriers. All shot clinic proceeds benefit homeless Madera shelter animals and help fund the other low cost spay or neuter programs operated by the Friends of Madera Animal Shelter volunteers.