At right, Sharon Palmer, who coordinated a spay/neuter clinic for Peninsula Friends of Animals, helps a couple with their four dogs gets services at Sequim Animal Hospital on Sept. 30. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Through pandemic, spay-nueter clinics continue

Thanks to a donation to the Peninsula Friends of Animals, owners of 11 pets were able to take advantage of a spay/neuter clinic on Sept. 30.

PFOA sponsored the free clinic for low income pet guardians who have been waiting on Spay To Save’s List.

Spay To Save, whose mission is “to end homelessness, suffering and killing of dogs and cats by providing high quality, accessible and affordable, spay and neuter resources to the Olympic Peninsula,” is unable to use the organization’s mobile unit because of COVID-19 triggered physical distancing restrictions.

The group has a large backlog of clients waiting for this service who couldn’t afford it otherwise, PFOA executive director Danette Grady noted.

Nancy Fuller of Spay to Save said the organization is hoping to be able to use the mobile unit — a veterinary hospital van that was originally used to offer services during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — when Clallam County moves into Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan.

“We’ll (still) have to cut the number of people in the van and the number of spays and neuters,” Fuller said.

Since 2009 Spay to Save has sought to provide low-cost mobile spay/neuter services. According to the organizations’ website, shelter intake of puppies and kittens in Clallam County dropped 53 percent between 2012-2017. In that same time frame, Spay to Save performed 4,658 procedures.

In an average year, Spay to Save mobile unit staff are able to perform 1,000 spays and neuters, Fuller said.

On Sept. 30, 11 pets — five male and five female dogs, along with a male cat — received spay/neuter services and shots at Sequim Animal Hospital.

“This was one of our best,” PFOA clinic coordinator Sharon Palmer said Sept. 30.

For more about Spay to Save, visit, call 360-818-9599 or email to nancy@spayto

For more information about PFOA, see

Spay/neuter benefits

According to the Kanab, Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society, more than half of the 70,000 puppies and kittens born each day in the United States are accidents,and more than four million homeless pets are killed in shelters annually

The organization urges spaying and neutering pets at 4 months of age. Cats can get pregnant as early as four months and dogs at six months. Young animals tend to recover quicker than those spayed or neutered later in life organization representatives say.

There are other health benefits to spaying/neutering pets, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life,” the ASPCA notes on its website. “Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.

“Neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.”


Desi Johansen, Frankie

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