The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 7, 2013

Animal lovers seek help to count litters

We all know there’s a pet overpopulation problem in Vermilion County. But how serious is it?

“Are there 500 new litters or 3,000 new litters in a year’s time?” Ron Gore of Covington, Ind., asked. “Without the count, we don’t have any idea what we’re up against.”

Gore is spearheading a project to count how many dogs and cats are born in the county.

He and a couple of his friends, Vince Koers and Lynn McLinden, are seeking volunteers to be part of the study. A volunteer would periodically keep an eye open for posters and advertisements listing puppies and kittens in his or her community, and then find out the size and type of the litters. If the volunteer doesn't want to make the call, Gore and his friends will do that.

He added, “This will require very little time or effort on the part of volunteers, but can yield big benefits.”

No personal information will be taken from the litter’s owners and further contact will not be made.

“This is strictly a numbers survey by interested citizens,” Gore said.

Gore had an idea years ago to try to “capture” all litters in Vermilion County and make sure that they were spay or neutered — particularly “free” puppies and kittens — before they went to a new home.

His initial idea was to ask people to bring the litters to the shelter, and then give them $25 if they agreed to spay the mother.

CARA (Citizens for Animal Rescue and Adoption), for example, will not take a litter unless the owner agrees to spay the mother using the organization’s discounted price, Gore said. He also learned that the Lafayette, Ind., shelter has a similar plan whenever space allows.

“So, this is not a completely crazy notion,” he said.

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