No Unwanted Litters Launches Public Effort To Curtail Pet Overpopulation

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The St. Louis PetLover Coalition publicly launched its No Unwanted Litters initiative today to raise awareness about the problem of pet overpopulation in St. Louis City and County, and to promote solutions through low-cost spaying and neutering for low-income pet owners.

The St. Louis PetLover Coalition publicly launched its No Unwanted Litters initiative today to raise awareness about the problem of pet overpopulation in St. Louis City and County, and to promote solutions through low-cost spaying and neutering for low-income pet owners.

An estimated 50,000 dogs and cats arrive each year at area animal shelters and rescue groups. Just over half of them are returned to their owners, transferred to another rescue group, or adopted. The remaining 23,000 are euthanized. No Unwanted Litters has set a goal to reduce the euthanasia of homeless dogs and cats in our region by 50 percent by 2014.

The St. Louis PetLover Coalition has been working together for two years, laying the groundwork for the launch of this initiative. “Our alliance of rescue, spay/neuter clinics, shelters, businesses, and concerned citizens recognizes that we can’t meet our goal through adoption alone,” said Betsy Cohen, St. Louis PetLover Coalition leader and vice-president at Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. “We invite the public to join us in raising awareness and funding for low-cost services to make a dramatic reduction in the numbers of unwanted pets.”

No Unwanted Litters already is celebrating a significant milestone at today’s launch event:
    -Brook Dubman, owner of Carol House Furniture, announced today the purchase of a building at 1218 Jefferson that will be adapted to become the home of the new St. Louis Metropolitan Spay Neuter Clinic, a low-cost provider of these vital services. Carol House has generously offered to rent the building free of charge to the St. Louis Metropolitan Spay Neuter Clinic, for as many years as the building is needed and viable.    
    -Christine and Richard Camp (longtime St. Louis pet philanthropists and founders of the clinic) have pledged to contribute $50,000 toward the operational expenses of the clinic once it is up and running. (An additional $100,000 will need to be raised for the building retrofit.)

Other donations announced:
    -As part of its commitment to helping domestic pets, the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is donating a total of $40,000. $10,000 is being donated to each of the following organizations: BARC St. Louis, Humane Society of Missouri SNIP, Operation SPOT, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Spay Neuter Clinic.
    -Local strategic communications firm, Standing Partnership, donated a total of $5,000 to these groups, in memory of Amber Morris, who was a vice president with the firm and strong supporter of the St. Louis PetLover Coalition and the No Unwanted Litters effort.
    -Pet Airways, the first pet-only airline in the country, which will debut in St. Louis later this year, provided travel certificates valued at a total of $2,000 to the spay/neuter groups to assist in their fundraising efforts.
    -UPS also announced a $1,000 donation at the launch event.
    -In March, founding sponsor Nestlé Purina kicked-off the No Unwanted Litters Campaign with a $60,000 contribution to six St. Louis-area animal welfare organizations for spay and neuter services and education.

The launch also comes in conjunction with the national conference of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), which is bringing 8,000 veterinarians and others from across the country to St. Louis this weekend. The philanthropic arm of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), is supporting the No Unwanted Litters message by funding the artwork for a coloring book featuring original drawings by Vidhya Nagarajan, a 2010 graduate of Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design. The coloring book will be made available free to the public through the support of Nestlé Purina and local partners who will serve as distribution points (see below).

“We’re excited about our role in supporting this St. Louis effort through the coloring book,” said
Michael Cathey, executive director of the AVMF. “We hope it will inspire our members to consider similar initiatives in their hometowns. It’s an effort everyone can get behind.”

Area residents can get involved at by:
    -Making a promise to personally commit to no unwanted litters.
    -Spreading the word by sharing a link to within their social networks.
    -Making a donation directly to one of four No Unwanted Litters non-profit low-cost spay/neuter partner providers, including:
­         -BARC St. Louis (Benefitting Animals through Responsibility & Compassion);
­         -Humane Society of Missouri SNIP program;
­         -Operation SPOT (OpSPOT); and
­         -Saint Louis Metropolitan Spay Neuter Wellness Clinic.
    -Communicating the importance of spaying and neutering pets as a No Unwanted Litters ambassador.

For every $100 donated through the website, approximately three pets can be spayed or neutered. Donors direct their contributions to any of four low-cost spay/neuter providers.

The St. Louis PetLover Coalition was formed in the spring of 2009 when public and private, large and small, city and county animal service providers came together to discuss improving the lives of dogs and cats in our community. Nestlé Purina PetCare Company helped convene the original group to share ideas, begin committee work to achieve goals that no one group can achieve alone, and to develop a communitywide pet welfare plan. The St. Louis PetLover Coalition fosters collaborative efforts of local animal welfare groups and the community to promote responsible pet ownership and to increase the save rate of pets in our community.

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Distribution Partners for the No Unwanted Litters Coloring Book
FREE coloring books will be available at the following locations
Beginning July 16 while supplies last.

Animal House
Animal Protective Association of Missouri
All St. Louis Build-A-Bear Workshop Locations
(Galleria Mall, West County Center, Saint Louis Science Center and Saint Louis Zoo)
Contemporary Art Museum
Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club
Humane Society of Missouri
International Institute
Magic House
Saint Louis Science Center
St. Louis County Animal Control
Stray Rescue

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Kristin Gumper
Standing Partnership
(314) 469-3500
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