Dogs are jumping fences or digging out of yards to runs the streets in search of a mate. Some will be hit by cars and some will be picked up by Animal Control. Male cats swarm and spray the places where in-heat female cats live, fighting with other males and frustrating residents.
Merced County Animal Shelter euthanized 2,170 dogs, puppies, cats and kittens in 2012. Just 303 animals were adopted from the shelter, and 2,026 animals were rescued by local and distant agencies. Just 320 were returned to their owners. Merced has an overpopulation of unwanted pets, with Chihuahuas and pit bulls topping the list.
Spaying and neutering is the only proven method to control our pet populations. If you think this doesn't apply to you because you own a male, puppies and kittens don't happen without them.
Merced Dog Owners Group will hold a day of fun and information at Merced's dog park on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Low-cost spay and neuter information for dogs and cats will be handed out. See www.mdogs.org for more information. Be a responsible pet owner -- spay and neuter your pets!
MARILYNNE MANFREDI Merced