Pet Friendly Services of Indiana recently launched Pit Mix Fix, a pilot program for owners of large dogs in Jackson, Marion and Lawrence counties in an effort to reduce the number of large dogs entering local shelters.
The program allows income-qualified pet owners to purchase a spay/neuter voucher for pit mix and large dogs for just $10, according to a news release from Pet Friendly Services of Indiana.
In 2022, a donor contacted the organization, concerned with the number of pit mix dogs they were seeing in need of rescue at Indianapolis Animal Care Services. Like many other municipal shelters across the state, it is currently above capacity.
“We’ve come across people that adore their dogs and love them unconditionally,” said Katie Trennepohl, deputy director of Indianapolis Animal Care Services. “Unfortunately, the cost of a spay/neuter can be out of reach for some families, and accidental litters occur. This adds to an already overburdened shelter system and more adoptable pets being euthanized. Spay/neuter is the only humane way to prevent this from happening.”
Due to their size and strength and need for larger yards and indoor spaces, large dogs are more difficult to place in forever homes. According to Pet Friendly Services, pit mixes and other large dogs are at the greatest risk of euthanasia upon entering a shelter.
Compounding the problem is pit mix dogs can have very large litters, often having more than 10 puppies at a time.
Cheri Storms, executive director of Pet Friendly Services, said with the combination of other key programs, they were able to fund more than 12,000 spay/neuter surgeries per year and prevent thousands of animals from entering the shelter system.
The program is currently limited to three counties; however, Pet Friendly Services is planning to expand the program as budgeting allows.
Individuals or companies interested in sponsoring the program may contact Rhi Johns at [email protected] for information.