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People Power: Stemming the Tide of Pet Overpopulation in Alabama

Former ACO Donald Kendrick is a one-man band, spreading the word about spay/neuter and connecting pet owners to low-cost options in their area

The day that Donald Kendrick had to euthanize 52 healthy cats and kittens to ease overcrowding at the Blount County Animal Shelter in Cleveland, Ala., the animal control officer decided that there had to be something better to do with himself.

That “something better,” he decided, was to retire from animal control and spend his time combating pet overpopulation at its source by setting up Spay Alabama, a clearinghouse of low-cost spay/neuter resources throughout the state. In a single phone call to the toll-free line, pet owners can get contact numbers for low-cost options in their areas.

With funding from Spay USA and Maddie’s Fund, the clearinghouse opened in October 2007 with one person—Kendrick—fielding calls. The phone has been ringing off the hook ever since; by the end of 2008, more than 2,000 calls had come in. The 2009 numbers will be even greater.

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