50 Shades of Spay

All information provided by SpayArkansas.Org 

            The point of this article is to break your heart & then attempt to put it back together again with hope and inspiration to make a change. I feel there is no other way to make the impact needed without doing it this way. Let me break down the statistics for you. Each day in the United States it is estimated that more than 70,000 animals are born. That means roughly 25.5 million animals are born in the United States per year and an approximate 11 MILLION of them are euthanized. 11 MILLION. Over half of the dogs that enter the shelter (61%) are killed. Sorry, I hate to say it so bluntly like that but it’s the truth, they are KILLED. For all you cat lovers out there – 75% of cats that enter shelters are killed. Heart breaking? Let me go ahead and completely shatter it for you. Every 1.5 seconds a shelter animal is killed… These aren’t just animals that enter the shelter as strays or abuse cases. There are plenty of people who don’t base their entire life (living situations, vacations, etc.) around their pets like we do or simply can no longer afford to take care of their pets. People are constantly doing what is termed an “owner surrender” where people give their dogs to the shelter for whatever reason. Of those dogs that have been abandoned by their owners, over half (55%) are put down. Each year taxpayers are spending TWO BILLION dollars on what all is involved in putting a shelter pet down. I know if you’re taking the time out of your busy day to read my blog, this is not how you want your tax dollars spent!

Looking at the statistics for Arkansas (see chart below) was especially heart breaking when I looked at our numbers. 2013 Statistics

The Springdale Arkansas shelter, where Mulligan is from, put down over 300 dogs in 2013. Second only to Washington County, which includes contracts with small towns. There is hope however, thanks to one amazing Arkansas organization that is dedicated to lowering these rates in Arkansas, while at the same time making the luxury of having a pet both affordable and manageable for all social classes. This company is Spay Arkansas.

Spay Arkansas is right here in Northwest Arkansas and trying to lower these statistics for our state.   Since they opened in 2007, it has been their goal to work toward a better Arkansas that consist of less heart break by offering proactive ways to lower our local pet population – thus lowering our euthanization rates. Their services include, but are not limited to, low cost spay/neuter clinics, hosting public vaccine & micro chipping events and education for citizens on pet health. They have affected the lives of over 16,000 animals, averaging out to around 38 operations each clinic day!


Their name obviously shows what they are best known for; Spay / Neutering services!  On their website (SpayArkansas.Org) you can find a list of different agencies in different counties that offer low cost and discounted spay / neutering services! Making these procedures affordable and working with those who financially need the assistance to get these services done! Their website also addresses many of the myths & statistics that surround these procedures educating people on the truths and risk of NOT having it done. To put the risk of not having it done into perspective for you I have added a graph from a website that shows how many does ONE unneutored male and ONE unspayed female can produce! I feel a visual aid is always crucial to any important discussion! By lowering these numbers we can lower euthanization rates!  This isn’t their only order of operation though – there is so much more behind Spay Arkansas!

Once a month Spay Arkansas host a walk-in clinic for low cost vaccinations and microchipping! The best part is there are no income restrictions or residency requirements to obtain these services!  This allows for lower income families, or broke college kids such as myself, to still provide the vaccines needed to insure good health for their pet as well as microchipping which as you know is essentially a permanent collar so that agencies can locate a dogs owner!  Where micro chipping has not only the owner in mind, but the dogs safety & security, the vaccine services allow for a healthier pet population without the strain of vet bills or pressure some feel are involved with vet visits.  There is no judgement or guilt trips involved here – Spay Arkansas is just happy to see these animals being loved and cared for! Often time vet bills can get expensive and people worry that the vets office will judge them for their lack of “upkeep” on their pet without taking into consideration their financial issues! The amount you spend on your dog doesn’t always determine the love you have for it!

Spay Arkansas also helps feed our animal population by offering free dog food!  Even though it is first come first serve, it allows those who may be having a low financial month to still be able to feed their furry friend – instead of just dropping it off at the shelter and saying you can “no longer take care of it”.  These free services are so powerful because not only do they help dog owners in need, they can also lower “owner surrenders” at the shelter by offering alternatives to those who still want to love their pet and are just currently having financial issues! AMAZING!

Prada Pitbull Program is a special service that was created in 2012! This should be no surprise to you when you consider the amount of pit bull or pit bull mixes that arrive at the shelter.  Most of them, due to stereotypes and misconceptions, won’t make it out.  With this program, Pitbulls less than 50 pounds are only $10 to neuter & $20 if over 50 pounds! You can even get micro chipping for $10 if done the same day!


For those of you that are cat lovers, Spay Arkansas has a very special program for ferrel cats.  Even the homeless need someone to look out for them! With your help, Spay Arkansas is the company willing to make a change for the NWA ever growing cat population!  Like previously mentioned, 3/4 of the cats brought into the shelter are killed. We are all aware of how quickly stray cats can multiply! Spay Arkansas offers a service called TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) that is dedicated to helping ferrel cats. You can bring in your local ferrel cat yourself OR they even have traps that can be borrowed from the clinic.  From there they offer a $35 service to spay / neuter & rabies vaccinate the cat.  This fee can even be lowered depending on the circumstances! If you see a cat with the tip of their ear slightly cropped – this is a sign they have had these services done!

How can you help? Glad you were wondering! If you weren’t you should have been SO I will continue my train of thought! For those of you who are wanting to donate the website has a list of things that are needed that you can always drop off! Word of mouth is also huge and a form of empowerment that should never be underestimated! We can all share the word about what Spay Arkansas has to offer! Through this, more Arkansans can learn about the services they provide and use them! You may just tell someone in casual conversation who actually needs this service, or knows someone that does, and make a difference! The numbers speak for themselves and show Arkansas moving in the right direction.  Every year we are seeing a decrease in euthanization rates! For those of you who are visual learners I have made a graph just for you!

Bar Graph

As a state, we should continue to strive for lower euthanization rates in shelters! We are on the right path thanks to wonderful organizations such as Spay Arkansas!  This means less destroyed animals, less psychological damage done on those who work & volunteer for shelters, less heartbreak for animal advocates, and a better Arkansas!  Together we can continue this trend by spreading positive awareness about the risk of not spaying / neutering our pets, and the different options pet owners have financially to insure their pets are taken care of for a price that doesn’t hurt them!

Spay Arkansas Phone Number: (479) 756-1100

Website: http://spayarkansas.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpayArkansas

Sending Love To Those In Need

I am so excited about this upcoming Valentine’s Day! Not because of the main stream hype society has created around the holiday as they usually do for profit, but because it gave me a reason to give back! Taylor & I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day like everyone else with an expensive dinner, gifts, and the usual. We firmly believe the spirit of Valentine’s Day is everyday if you’re with the person you love.  However, I still love the fun, sweet, and often quirky Valentine’s Day cards that get passed out! You all remember those days – in grade school when you had your big Valentine’s Day party and everyone passed out the cards they had picked out! OR if you were really lucky you got ones that were hand made, those were the best! Something about those small cards seemed to always put a smile on everyone’s face!

I wanted to do something to put a smile on someone’s face – the old fashion, young way!  I started thinking…

I started thinking about Mulligan who was snuggled up on my lap and is always an inspiration of mine.  He LOVES kids.  He will give them free hugs, kisses, and snuggles all day long, which went perfect with my card idea because that’s who they bring the most joy to, kids!

So I started thinking which kids need a little joy the most? That was easy, I quickly thought about all of the kids currently located at Children’s Hospital in Little Rock (my home town) and St. Jude in Memphis (not too far away). I cannot think of children more deserving of a smile than the children who are currently fighting for their lives in these hospitals.

For those of you not familiar with Children’s Hospital, it is a pediatric hospital & a level one trauma center located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is the sixth largest in the United States and treats children from birth to early twenties for any and everything! It’s THE BEST!

St. Jude is a Children’s hospital located in Memphis, Tennessee treating kids with life-threatening diseases and fighting cancer.  The research and work they do there is incredible.

One of the many great things about Mulligan is he gives me the opportunity to do fun things like this – the chance to touch others lives in different ways! My idea came to me!  I didn’t want to be the person who picked random cards off the shelf, nor would I be able to hand make hundreds of cards, so I decided to do best of both worlds! I would use some of my favorite pictures of Mulligan & turn them into custom Valentine’s Day cards for kids! Kids love dogs, right?! I quickly started picking out some of my favorite pictures and thinking of fun quirky sayings that were both appropriate for children and cute for the holiday! This was no easy challenge! I wanted pictures that showed off Mulligan’s personality and made the kids smile.  That was the easy part! The hard part was thinking of different things to say.  I gave it my best haha! The different women I spoke with at the hospitals to make sure it was ok probably saw my crazy dog side the second I started to explain.  “Uh, hi, I’m a dog blogger and I was wondering if maybe it was ok for me to send the kids Valentine’s cards with my dog’s face on it and quotes”. They were super sweet and told me that would be just fine and the guidelines to follow.  So I started – this is what I came up with …If I were a leaf...

This was card one!  I loved this picture because I thought his goofy facial expression might put a smile on someone’s face – after all that was my entire goal!  With the leaves on his head, I felt the saying was short, sweet, and understandable for different ages! Plus who doesn’t love a cheesy pick up line? Card 1 complete!

Baseball Vday Card

When I started planning my second card, I wanted it to be one that was targeted more toward the boys! Something sporty! So I picked Mulligan’s picture from his World Series Post! I felt this picture both targeted boys and at the same time young girls who weren’t as girly girl!  I’m not sure the hospital will take the time to consider these things, but just in case I wanted them to have the option!

Twoof you vday cardime for card three.  This one was easy and simple! I found a close up of this big juicy smile & stamped an “I Woof You” to the card! Simple. Cute. To the point!  I was hoping this one would remind some of the kids with dogs at home of the pure joy their life brings to their pets! A simple way of trying to bringing a dog’s love into the hospital! After all, dog is man’s best friend! Maybe if I’m lucky, one of the kids will talk their parents into adopting a shelter dog when they get to go home!

blow tie Vday Card

My mom wanted me to do a card that showed off his “Ladies’ Man” personality to try to charm some of the beautiful, brave, & powerful girls inside the hospital. I give all the credit of this card to Mama Souls! I sure hope there is a little girl who loves dogs as much as I do that will smile at this one!

lips vday cardFinally I ended with this picture! This card again was short and simple but the big red lips fit the holiday perfectly! Pucker up!

I realize this isn’t much when you consider what all these kids are going through.  I believe that it’s the little things in life that count though, and I hope that as these cards are passed out this Valentine’s Day to the children that just one of them gets a smile on their face! If just one of those kids smiles it was all worth it! They may not be sitting in a class room passing out cards with their fellow classmates and friends but I hope that they know how much they are loved and all of those who are thinking about them.  Wishing each & everyone of them a blessed and happy Valentine’s Day filled with love and giggles! After all, in this world children are one of the rare forms of magic we have – Children, love, and pets, of course!!