The City of Palmdale announced a new program that covers most of the costs related to spaying or neutering of pets.  Costs for the standard spay/neuter procedure are covered by the program; costs for pain medication, cones or anything beyond the standard procedure are the owner’s expense. Proof of residency and pet ownership is required, and you must be a City of Palmdale resident to sign up for the program.

The program, approved at the April 6 Palmdale City Council meeting, is funded through Measure AV, and is being administered by nonprofit Karma Rescue.  Palmdale residents are invited to take advantage of the program, which has already resulted in the spaying/neutering of 22 dogs, five domestic cats, and five feral cats in June.

“Today is a really exciting day,” said District 1 Councilmember Austin Bishop at a press conference held in the City Council Chamber last week. “We have given our community members a way to help us solve the problem and we hope that with this spay and neuter program we’re going to see lower numbers as far as euthanasia and shelter intake, but particularly euthanasia. If we can keep unwanted litters from happening, we can reduce the number of unwanted and unadoptable animals.”

“We look forward to this wonderful plan and amazing collaboration that sets a high standard for other communities and cities to follow,” said Monica Wylie, Karma Rescue executive director.  “Proactive funding for programs like this is a new thing and will lead to a better, stronger and healthier community for all.”

“We were already doing this work in Palmdale and the surrounding areas,” said Shannon Montoya, spay/neuter director for Karma, who was accompanied by her rescue dog Phoebe.  “Now we look forward to serving 100 families and their pets this July and reaching the program goal of 2,000 animals spayed/neutered.”

Karma Rescue is currently working with the Animal Medical Center of the Antelope Valley to complete the procedures, and Dr. David Lahijaniha and his staff were present for the press conference.

The program will also assist with altering feral or “community” cats. “Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only way to stabilize cat populations,” said Nadia Dickinson, community cat volunteer. “It is the humane, effective approach to community cats and is sound public policy. It’s wonderful to have this support.”

In July alone, 20 cats have gone through TNR and are back in the community. So far this month, 14 dogs and two domestic cats have also benefited from the program.

For complete details and to make an appointment, visit www.karmarescue.org/palmdale or call (310) 512-RUFF (7833). You may also contact the Public Safety Office at (661) 267-5170 for additional details.

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