Best Friends of Pets strives to reduce pet overpopulation and keep pets in their homes by providing affordable spaying, neutering and pet ID tags. Our goals are to reduce the number of cats and dogs that enter local animal shelters, reduce the number of pets euthanized at animal shelters because of a lack of adopting homes, and increase the number of lost pets reunited with their families.
Best Friends of Pets was formed under a similar name in 1994 to increase pet adoptions and improve conditions for pets at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter. Through June 2006, we provided invaluable support for the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division and helped more than double the number of pets adopted each year. We ended our direct relationship with the AWD in 2006.
In 2005, we started our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program, the first year-round community spay/neuter program of its kind in the Oklahoma City area. By providing affordable spaying and neutering to low-income pet parents in central Oklahoma, we reduce the number of cats and dogs that enter local animal shelters and are euthanized at considerable expense to taxpayers. Spaying and neutering also reduces the number of stray animals that cause car accidents and safety issues for residents, reduces the number of dog attacks and bites, prevents certain cancers, and reduces or eliminates many behaviors that cause pet owners to surrender their cats and dogs.
Central Oklahoma has a pet overpopulation problem – there are too many pets and not enough homes. Each year, local animal shelters take in more than 28,000 cats and dogs, and more than 14,000 pets are euthanized. More than 70% of the pets euthanized are adoptable and more than one-third are puppies and kittens. Best Friends of Pets seeks to reduce this needless loss of lives and works toward the day every pet has a loving home.
Best Friends of Pets spayed and neutered 1,373 dogs and cats last year, which greatly reduced their chances of becoming homeless. Male cats and dogs are no longer inclined to search for female cats and dogs in heat. Dogs are less likely to roam the streets and possibly cause traffic hazards. Neutered dogs are less likely to bite or fight. And other behavior or medical problems that often result in pet owners surrendering their pets are eliminated or significantly reduced.
1,331, or 94%, of the pets spayed or neutered belonged to low-income pet parents receiving Medicaid, OKDHS or Supplemental Security Income benefits or having gross household income at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. Cost is one of the primary reasons why pets of low-income pet owners are not spayed or neutered. Low-income residents cannot afford regular veterinary fees of $100 to neuter a male cat to more than $400 to spay a female dog. Often, they cannot even afford the reduced fees at local nonprofit spay/neuter clinics. By working with 32 veterinary and nonprofit clinics in central Oklahoma, we reduce the distances pet owners must travel for our spay/neuter services.
The 1,373 spays and neuters prevented the unplanned births of more than 4,900 puppies and kittens. Many of these young pets would have been surrendered to animal shelters, and more than one-third of them would not have been rescued or adopted.
Best Friends of Pets engraved 543 identification tags for pets throughout central Oklahoma. Tags were distributed at community events and pet owners requested tags through our website. Less than 10% of the stray pets that enter local animal shelters are reunited with their families. Animal shelters hold untagged pets as few as three days, so time is of the essence when looking for a lost pet. Tagged pets are usually held a few days longer. A pet wearing a personal identification tag has the best chance of being quickly reunited with its family.
Best Friends of Pets’ most pressing need is financial support. In order to make spaying and neutering affordable for low-income pet owners, their co-pays are $10 for cats and $20 for dogs. Rabies vaccinations are required by state law, so pet owners pay $5 if their pets need rabies vaccinations. We fund the remaining costs to participating clinics, and many have discounted their prices by 50% or more. $35 neuters a male cat, $60 spays a female cat, $70 neuters a male dog, $90 spays a female dog, and $5 provides a rabies vaccination. $25 provides 25 pet ID tags to be engraved at community events and for our spay/neuter clients. We attempt to provide free tags because most pet owners respond to free tags instead of paying for them. No contributions are too small, and all donations are greatly appreciated.
Volunteers are needed to help with our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program. Volunteers check our voicemail for request for spay/neuter packets and send out the packets. All supplies are provided. Volunteers rotate weeks and volunteer 5-10 hours during their week.
Volunteers are also needed for community tagging and information tabling events.
I know you have many worthwhile choices when making charitable gifts and truly appreciate your considering a gift to Best Friends of Pets. Your donation to our endowment fund shows your investment in our future of helping pets. Your gift directly to Best Friends immediately provides a life-saving spay, neuter or tag for pets.
After receiving many calls over the years for help with the cost of getting pets spayed or neutered, we formed our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program to provide affordable spaying and neutering to low-income pet owners. We focus on spaying and neutering because that is the best way to reduce the number of cats and dogs entering animal shelters and being euthanized.
We recently witnessed the need for our services at a community event where hundreds of low-income residents visited many nonprofit groups to find out about the services available to them. OK Humane Place Spay + Neuter Clinic was at the table next to ours and was the first table people visited about getting their pets spayed or neutered. Many people could not afford to have the pets spayed or neutered at OK Humane, and their staff referred them to us. These low-income pet parents are able to afford our spay/neuter prices then get their pets spayed or neutered at OK Humane. It’s a win-win for all of us involved in getting these pets spayed or neutered.
It is so heartwarming knowing our donors and supporters are helping low-income pet parents enjoy the companionship and unconditional love of pets. Will you help pets in your community with a contribution to Best Friends of Pets?
We primarily serve low-income pet parents in Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, McClain and Pottawatomie counties.
Our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) offers low-income pet parents an opportunity to spay or neuter cats and dogs at a price they can afford. Rabies vaccinations are also available at a low cost since they are required by state law for the health of animals and residents. SNAP targets low-income pet parents who receive Medicaid, OKDHS or SSI benefits or meet our low income guidelines. SNAP also provides limited assistance to other pet parents based on income. SNAP works with more than 30 veterinary and nonprofit clinics in central Oklahoma to reduce the distances pet parents must travel for our services.
Studies from east and west coast cities as well as certain states show that spaying and neutering is the most effective way to reduce the number of pets that enter and are euthanized at animal shelters. Pets living in low-income households are much less likely to be spayed or neutered than those living in higher-income households. Cost is one of the primary reasons that pets belonging to low-income pet owners are not spayed or neutered. Offering spaying and neutering that is affordable to low-income pet owners not only reduces the number of puppies and kittens that enter shelters, the risk of adult cats and dogs becoming homeless is also reduced.
More than 11,700 cats and dogs have been spayed or neutered since our Spay/Neuter Assistance Program began in 2005. These spays and neuters greatly reduced the chances of these pets becoming homeless and prevented the unplanned births of nearly 42,000 kittens and puppies. We know from pet owners’ comments that many of these pets had litters that were surrendered to animal shelters before they found an affordable way to have their pets spayed.
Best Friends of Pets provides pet ID tags so lost pets may be quickly reunited with their families. Local animal shelters hold pets as few as three days and tagged pets are usually held longer.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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1000 N. Broadway Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73102