Vancouver, BC October 29, 2015 – Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, a Vancouver-based charity committed to more sustainable companion animal protection in B.C. announces program to respond to the stray, homeless and abandoned pet crisis.

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SpayAid BC, modelled after SpayAid PEI, partners with veterinary hospitals across the province to eliminate pet over-population in British Columbia by providing a spay/neuter assistance program for low income earners. “Low cost spay and neuter programs are a critical part of a humane and non-lethal response to pet overpopulation” says Kathy Powelson, Executive Director of Paws for Hope Animal Foundation. “Through our other services for homeless and low income pet guardians, we also see the tremendous value pets bring to individuals who are often on the margins of society and identifying ways we can keep those relationships together in a safe and supportive manner remains a priority for us.

SpayAid BC is a cost sharing program split between Paws for Hope, the partner hospital and the pet guardian, each paying 1/3 of the cost. “Our goal is to build strong partnerships with veterinary professionals across the province with a common goal of improving the lives of pets and reducing the homeless cat and dog population” Powelson states, “The SpayAid PEI Program began in 2007, and since that time, the majority of hospitals on the island have partnered with the organization”.

Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital in Surrey has been a key partner to all of Paws for Hope’s veterinary health care initiatives, and Eagle Ridge Animal and Bird Hospital (Coquitlam) has signed on as a partner. It is anticipated at least one hospital in communities across the province will join over the coming weeks. “We know the program works”, adds Powelson, “Since the inception of SpayAid PEI, The PEI Humane Society has seen a significant drop in the number of unwanted and relinquished dogs on the island, and the number of cats in shelter year to year has dropped according to shelter statistics”.

We will also continue to work with other organizations to support and promote the work they are doing to reduce the overpopulation crisis”, Powelson notes, “the more we are all working together, the better situated we are to make meaningful and sustainable improvements in the lives of companion animals”.

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Kathy Powelson

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