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Animal advocates team up to reduce pet overpopulation in New Orleans’ upper 9th Ward with one-day spay-neuter marathon

Written by  Supporters of the Intact Animal Permit Law
Villalobos Rescue Center (VRC) and Supporters of the Intact Animal Permit Law (SIAPL), in conjunction with Ark Animal Hospital and numerous animal advocates and supporters, will host a first-ever, one-day, MASH-style spay-neuter clinic on June 12, 2014. During the event, which VRC staff have humorously named “Balls Out,” Ark Animal Hospital veterinarians Dr. Rollie Norris and Dr. Zachary Carroll will spay or neuter 20 dogs at no cost to the owners.
 
All 20 of the participant dogs will be personally selected by Villalobos owner Tia Torres, and all will come from the 70117 zip code (specifically, the Upper 9th Ward area around VRC). The Upper 9th Ward, home to some of New Orleans’ most underserved and financially challenged citizens, is also one of the areas with the highest population of un-neutered and un-spayed (intact) dogs.
 
Intact dogs are the leading perpetrators of dog bites (by nearly three to one), their wandering causes more car wrecks and other accidents, and they are a major source of strays and unwanted animals in shelters. Both VRC and SIAPL consider reducing their numbers a priority for the safety of both citizens and the animals themselves.
 
The event is the brainchild of Lindsay Goldring, who with visiting guest Dr. Heather Carleton started Spay-Neuter Wyoming. Goldring conceived the idea from her desire to improve the lives of animals “in the ‘hood.” Goldring worked closely with Villalobos’ owner Tia Torres and Producer “Mikey D.” to formulate the plan. 
 
Mikey D. plans to film the activities for an upcoming episode of the hit Animal Planet show, “Pit Bulls and Parolees.” Pet owners interested in applying to have their dog spayed or neutered should contact Goldring directly at (773) 929-9990. Owners will be asked to fill out a survey regarding their feelings, thoughts and suggestions on how to best reach their neighbors about the importance of spay/neuter. 
 
The operating “theater,” at 4025 Jefferson Highway in Metairie, is located in an adjacent building to Ark Animal Hospital’s full-service clinic. The effort will be accomplished with help from qualified volunteers including Ark Office Manager and lead coordinator Angelique Murrow. Ark Animal Hospital will be in charge of medical follow up, and Tia's support staff, the dedicated parolees who help keep Villalobos running, will be trained in after-care support. 
 
Ark is also collecting donations to cover heartworm tests, annual vaccinations, microchips and registration for all the day’s canine patients. Contributions to the event, which will be used to offer more community spay/neuter vouchers, should be sent to Villalobos Rescue Center at PO Box 771127, New Orleans, LA 70117. 
 
The group hopes to schedule more of these MASH events in New Orleans and eventually take the campaign national to broaden awareness of the pet overpopulation problem and to change the outcome for some of the millions of animals killed in shelters every year.
 
About Tia Torres and Villalobos Rescue Center 
Tia Torres didn't hatch her business plan at an Ivy League business school. She is a winning combination of guts, passion and purpose.  Her selfless efforts are directed toward providing society’s “underdogs”―pit bulls and parolees―with second chances to lead productive, satisfying lives.  
 
Inspired by the aftermath of Katrina, with its massive destruction and energetic recovery efforts, Torres and Villalobos relocated from California to New Orleans. Here, she and Villalobos continue to have an enormous impact on the quality of life for stray animals in all of New Orleans―and especially the 70117 zip code. Leading by example, Torres’ influence is also changing the way other members of this community perceive and treat companion animals. For more information, visit www.vrcpitbull.net.
 
About Supporters of the Intact Animal Permit Law
Supporters of the Intact Animal Permit Law is a group of concerned citizens working to encourage adherence to and enforcement of New Orleans’ new Intact Animal Permit ordinance. The group works to reduce pet overpopulation, curtail the destructive activities of breeders and increase public awareness of this ordinance and the negative effect of unregulated breeding in the city of New Orleans. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/stopbackyardbreeders.
 
About ARK Animal Hospital
Ark Animal Hospital is a full-service clinic that provides a comprehensive range of pet care services. Experienced veterinarian help all pets go through spaying and neutering procedures, vaccinations and more. ARK has a spacious, climate-controlled boarding facility, state-of-the-art diagnostic and lab equipment and comprehensive dental care treatments to enhance pets quality of life. For more information, visit http://www.arkanimal.net/.
 
About Lindsay Goldring, Inner Pup and  Spay-Neuter Wyoming
Lindsay Goldring who recently returned home to New Orleans to run Inner Pup and take up animal advocacy here, formerly directed the Animal Adoption Center in Jackson, Wyoming for four years. She has also volunteered at animal sanctuaries all over SE Asia and India. With Dr. Heather Carleton, Goldring founded Spay-Neuter Wyoming―the only mobile, low-cost veterinary service in the state. For more information on the Inner Pup, visit www.theinnerpup.com. For more information on Spay-Neuter Wyoming, visit www.animaladoptioncenter.org
Last modified on Tuesday, 03 June 2014
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