spay

$10,000 Gifted In Honor of 10,000th Surgery

We have a HUGE announcement and accomplishment to share! Last month, the Planned PEThood surgery team helped talented veterinarian, Dr. Murphy, perform her 10,000th surgery at Planned PEThood of Georgia. In honor of the incredible accomplishment, Fix Georgia Pets and Georgia Pet Foundation generously donated $10,000 to help our spay/neuter efforts as we continue our mission to help Georgia’s pets. 

Planned PEThood’s surgery team makes an incredible, positive impact on the pet overpopulation crisis. Across Georgia, thousands of dogs and cats end up in animal shelters each year and are killed for lack of space and existing homes. This puts an immense burden on animal shelters, who work tirelessly to provide care for way too many unwanted animals. Pet overpopulation is not just a shelter problem, it’s a community problem, typically caused by uncontrolled breeding. Fortunately, there is a simple solution – please make sure that all of your pets and those of family and friends are spayed or neutered. Planned PEThood offers affordable, accessible spay/neuter services to help make it happen.

In addition to our extensive spay/neuter efforts for pet owners, Planned PEThood continues to make a tremendous impact on animals in rural shelters and communities across Georgia. Our unique Go Fix Georgia program is dedicated to improving spay/neuter access to rural animal shelters and underserved communities across Georgia. Each week, animals from various rural animal shelters travel to Planned PEThood’s Duluth clinic, where our veterinary team performs spay/neuter surgeries and, on occasion, emergency procedures, before safely transporting these animals to their shelters where they await their forever homes. While these rural counties do not have access to affordable veterinary care options, Planned PEThood of Georgia is here to help. 

The generous gift from Fix Georgia Pets and Georgia Pet Foundation will help Planned PEThood continue to provide low-cost, affordable spay/neuter services to pet owners and these rural shelters. Fix Georgia Pets strives to provide strategic grants and solutions for spay/neuter programs to help end pet overpopulation and stop the euthanasia of healthy animals in Georgia. Georgia Pet Foundation is committed to making Georgia a no-kill state. To accomplish this goal, we must end pet overpopulation. The most effective means of doing so is providing widespread low-cost, statewide spay/neuter programs. Georgia Pet Foundation is the sponsor organization for the Spay Neuter license plate and uses these funds for spay/neuter grants. By purchasing a Georgia Pet Foundation License plate, you help fund free and low-cost spay and neuter programs across the state. Learn how to purchase a Georgia Pet Foundation License Plate and help save lives today.

Learn more about Fix Georgia Pets and Georgia Pet Foundation.

We want to give a huge THANK YOU to Fix Georgia Pets and Georgia Pet Foundation for their amazing gift. Their generous donation will help save lives and keep pets with their families.

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Benefits of Spay and Neuter

February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month! A whole month dedicated to encouraging people to save animals’ lives by spaying and neutering pets and community cats. Here at Planned PEThood of Georgia, we love to encourage spaying and neutering every day!

There are dozens of benefits of spaying and neutering your pets, but they can be divided into three main categories: health, behavior, and population control.

  1. Eliminate unwanted behaviors.Spaying and neutering can have a big impact on your pet’s behavior. Spayed and neutered animals are less prone to spraying and marking and may even stop it altogether. Spaying/neutering also reduces the urge to roam, especially when females are in heat. Less roaming will make your pet less likely to be injured in fights or auto accidents and decrease the risk of contracting diseases. Spay/neuter also reduces aggressive behavior, including biting.
  2. Help your pet’s health. The chances are greatly reduced that your pet will get several serious, life-threatening, and expensive health problems. Spaying/neutering reduces or eliminates the risk of certain cancers, such as uterine, breast, or testicular cancer. It can also eliminate pyometra, a very severe infection of the uterus, andeliminate prostate problems in male dogs. Spaying and neutering your pets will increase his/her chances of a longer and healthier life. Altering your pet will increase their lifespan by an average of 1-3 years for dogs and 3-5 years for felines. The life expectancy of spayed/neutered pets is up to 26% longer than that of intact pets, according to the University of Georgia.
  1. Help prevent pet overpopulation.Spaying/neutering is the only way to reduce the number of unwanted litters. In the greater Atlanta area, thousands of dogs and cats end up in animal shelters each year and are killed for lack of space and lack of existing homes. Unwanted litters place a tremendous burden on shelters. Many times we tend to blame the animal shelters, but pet overpopulation is a community problem. There is a simple solution – be a responsible pet guardian and make sure that all of your pets and those of family and friends are spayed or neutered.

At Planned PEThood, we offer low-cost spay/neuter options to help keep pet ownership affordable and to keep pets with their families. Learn more about our services and book an appointment today!

If your pets are already spayed/neutered, spread the word and put your support behind this important cause. The more people that know about the importance of spay and neuter, the better!

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Get to Know Dr. Murphy, Our Superstar Vet

Dr. Murphy had always dreamt of becoming a veterinarian since her childhood. Her family fondly referred to her as Ellie May, after a character from an old TV show, due to her immense love for animals. This nickname from her childhood foreshadowed her future career path as a skilled and devoted veterinarian. 

She recalls one of her most memorable experiences working with animals during her time at the University of Tennessee. She worked in the rehab department during clinics where she encountered a yellow lab named Max. Max was suffering from disc disease that eventually caused hind limb paralysis. Though he had undergone surgery and an intensive two-month rehabilitation, he couldn’t regain control over his hind legs or bladder.

Dr. Murphy formed a deep bond with Max during his stay. Recognizing the importance of providing him with proper care, she decided to adopt Max and became his devoted caretaker for the final four years of his life.

Fostering animals also holds a special place in the heart of Dr. Murphy. Her favorite part is observing the transformation of the animals as they regain their health and confidence in the comfort of her home. She says that the happiness she feels when her fosters find their forever homes is both heartwarming and bittersweet. Dr. Murphy has fostered 43 animals since joining the Planned PEThood team.

Dr. Murphy’s journey is a story of compassion and dedication. Since joining the team in June of 2022, Dr. Murphy performed 9,598 surgeries, some of those including leg amputations, prolapse repairs, and several other emergency surgeries. 

At Planned PEThood, her expertise and love for helping animals shine as she contributes to making a huge impact! Please join us in thanking Dr. Murphy for her incredible efforts to help animals in Georgia!

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Sometimes Surgeries Aren’t Always What They Seem

Last week, we had an incredible shelter day!

Our Go Fix Georgia Program helped 60 shelter cats and dogs with spay/neuter surgeries, vaccines, and even a couple of special surgeries. 

We wanted to highlight a very sweet, special pup we saw, Strawberry! Strawberry arrived at Planned PEThood early Thursday morning from one of our partner shelters. She was on our schedule for a straightforward spay surgery. However, upon sedation, we found a huge stick, embedded in the roof of her mouth. Ouch! Can you imagine how much pain she must have been in prior to surgery?

Our veterinary team quickly managed to remove the large stick and move forward with Strawberry’s spay surgery. We have no doubt she felt so much relief upon waking up! Now, Strawberry has headed back to Hall County Animal Shelter pain-free, ready to find her forever home! This lovable pup is available for adoption through Hall County.

This is just one of many unique cases that our vet team encounters on shelter days. This team not only provides expert medical care but also a loving touch for the dogs and cats that come to our facility. Spay/neuter, medical care, and life-saving surgeries for shelter animals are at the heart of our Go Fix Georgia Program.

Just a friendly reminder, NEVER let your dog chew on bones (chicken, steak, etc.) or sticks as they can splinter, become lodged like this, or be swallowed and puncture through the digestive tract. Let’s keep our fur babies safe!

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Feral Cat Day

In honor of Feral Cat Day, a local cat advocate made a generous contribution that enabled us to offer FREE services for feral cats! During our two-day event, 77 community cats were spayed, neutered, and rabies vaccinated.��

One unfixed female cat can produce up to 5 litters a year, starting at just 4 months of age, making spaying and neutering a critical need. Trap, Neuter, and Return (T.N.R.) is the only humane solution to reduce the suffering caused by the overpopulation of cats. Once cats are fixed, they return to where they were trapped to continue living their life!��

People who are involved in T.N.R. usually spend their own time, money, and resources to help cats in their communities- so this event was SO appreciated. Our anonymous donor expressed that witnessing this event was “one of the best days of her life.” It was heartwarming all around.

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Injured Dog Loses Eye, But Gains Loving Home

Katie and Bella Donna

A few months ago, this sweetheart 4-month-old pup, Bella Donna, arrived from Habersham County Animal Shelter through our Go Fix Georgia program. Sadly, she had been surrendered to the shelter with the most horrendous eye injury. Trust us, you really don’t want to see the image. However, Habersham knew our Go Fix Georgia program at Planned PEThood would be able to help!

Bella Donna headed to Planned PEThood on our Thursday shelter day to get her eye removed and her spay surgery, ready to start a healthier, happier life! With as much pain as she had to be in, she was begging for cuddles and belly rubs from staff both before and after surgery. 

One of our amazing vet techs, Katie, couldn’t stand the thought of her recovering alone in a kennel, so she took her home for the evening for one-on-one care. Just for a few days, of course. The plan was to return her to Habersham the next morning so Bella Donna could find her forever home. But love wins and sweet Bella Donna won the lottery!

Congrats to Katie and her new puppy! We love watching happily ever after happen to our Planned PEThood family and shelter pets!

Go Fix Georgia is a program dedicated to improving spay/neuter access to rural animal shelters and their communities throughout Georgia. Starting with Newton County Animal Control in 2019, this program ensures that more animals leave these shelters sterilized, and vaccinated. There is one rule we require when working with a shelter- every animal that enters the Go Fix Georgia program is guaranteed safety! That means these animals will either be adopted or placed with a rescue group. In the four years since beginning our program, we have expanded to five county shelters and helped to provide spay and neuter surgeries for over 5,000 lucky dogs and cats in Georgia.

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Lost Pet Prevention Month: How You Can Help Your Pet

Pets are a part of the family. The last thing you want is for something to separate them from you – a door is left open, your dog slips out of its collar, or your cat takes an unapproved field trip without you. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 pets will become lost at some point in their lifetime. Tragically, many of these pets may not ever find their way back home. Losing a pet is like losing a loved one. It’s an experience no one should ever have to go through. National Lost Pet Prevention Month serves as the perfect reminder to make sure your pet stays safe and doesn’t get lost. 

Here are 6 helpful tips to make sure you don’t lose your pet: 

1. Microchip your pets. Microchipping is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to increase the chances that your pet will return home if lost. A microchip is a tiny electronic chip, about the size of a grain of rice, that is injected under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. When scanned by a microchip scanner, the microchip transmits an identification number. Animal shelters and veterinary clinics scan a pet’s microchip to get this identification number, then contact the registry in order to find contact information for the owners. The unique identification number doesn’t do any good unless you register it with a National Pet Recovering Database with your up-to-date contact information. Not sure which company to call? Type in your pet’s chip number at https://old.petmicrochiplookup.org/. Can’t find your pet’s chip number? Come by our clinic or any clinic and just ask them to check it for you. Planned PEThood offers microchips through our Spay/Neuter Clinic and our Wellness Clinic for only $25 and that includes registration. 

2. Get a secure collar with ID tags. While your pet may never travel farther than your backyard or may never go outside at all, all pets should wear a collar with an ID. The ID should have their owner’s current contact information, including your pet’s name, your name, address, and phone number. You never know when your furry friend might make a mad dash out the door to investigate something. It’s important to check your dog’s collar routinely to make sure it’s still in proper shape. Collars can become loose and fall off or become torn. Tags are available at most pet stores and even many Walmart locations. 

3. Use leashes and carriers when outside the house. It’s important to use leashes or carriers when visiting the vet or when venturing outside. When you have your pets outside and not confined by a fenced yard, keep them on a leash. This will ensure they don’t run off to chase a squirrel and end up getting lost. This is especially important when you’re away from home in unfamiliar territory.

4. Secure your yard and home. One of the most common ways pets get lost is when they escape their yard. Make sure to routinely check the fencing around your yard to ensure they can’t wiggle through it or dig their way out. From fallen limbs to flash floods, many things can cause fences to become insecure, making it easier to escape. 

5. Make sure to spay/neuter your pets. Sterilizing your cat/dog reduces his/her urge to roam and get lost. When male pets aren’t neutered, they have a higher tendency to seek out females. This means that an unneutered pet is more likely to wander off from home and get lost trying to seek out female dogs. Female dogs also benefit from spaying surgery. Aggressive males can cause females to bolt. Male pets that haven’t been neutered also experience behavioral issues that make them less likely to recall or listen to commands. 

6. Pay attention to your pet. Paying attention to your pet is an easy way to prevent your pet from getting lost. No matter where you take your pet, you should pay attention to them and their surroundings, especially in unfamiliar locations. Your pet should always be in eyesight of you. Whether they’re in your backyard, at a dog park, or visiting friends or family, supervising your pets will prevent them from escaping. 

Keeping your pets safe, happy, and healthy is the most important thing you can do. Even if you believe you are the safest pet parent in the world, it’s a good idea to review these tips. While you’re at it, give them a big hug!

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Sometimes Love Means Letting Go

The idea of giving up a pet is unimaginable for most of us. However, there are individuals who find themselves in dire circumstances where this becomes their only option.

In early May, we received a heart-wrenching call from a woman who had been living in her car with her six cats, Tigger, Fluffer, Linus, Lucas, Major, and Cutie Pie. Despite her best efforts to care for them, she knew that their current living situation was unsustainable. She made the agonizing decision to surrender her cats with the hopes of us finding them new families, an act out of pure love.

Although it was an incredibly difficult decision, we are grateful that she placed her trust in us. Our hope is that by having her kitties under our care, she can find peace knowing they will be okay. 

Now, just a few weeks later, Tigger, Fluffer, and Linus have been adopted and moved into their forever homes. While leaving their mom must have been hard for them, they are going to be well cared for and loved – which is all their mom wanted for them. We know it won’t take long for the others to find their forever homes. We have called the woman to check on her situation as well and look forward to helping her in whatever ways we can.

Fluffer and his new mom

Tigger goes home

Linus and his new dad!

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Grinch Helps Habersham

On a cold and rainy day in December, 220 pets received much-needed assistance in Habersham County. Planned PEThood’s outreach team, Go Fix Georgia, teamed up with Habersham County Animal Care and Control to provide free vet care and supplies to pet owners in need. In total, 133 dogs and 87 cats received assistance and 150 pets received free spay/neuter vouchers. 

The need for outreach events like this is obvious. Hundreds of people lined up early in the cold morning, some arriving hours before the event started. For hours, staff and volunteers helped a continuous line of animals whose owners drove through the pop-up event. Habersham county residents do not have easy access to low-cost veterinary services, and as a result many pets in the community are unable to see a veterinarian and get basic care.

There were so many amazing organizations and volunteers that came together to help make this event successful – including the Grinch. His heart really did grow three sizes!

Without their support, this would never have been possible! THANK YOU!

Event Sponsored in part by: BISSELL Pet Foundation, Atlanta Humane Society, Petco Love, GA Department of Agriculture, Fi Nano Microchips

You can read more about the event in the local newspaper article.

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Keep the Mama, Not the Drama!

Earlier this year, a family reached out to Planned PEThood for help. They needed assistance with their kitties, Pumpkin and Reesee. Reesee had an accidental pregnancy and the family did not know what to do. They loved their animals so they wanted to do whatever they could to keep their kitties healthy and safe, but finances were tight. 

Thanks to our Keep the Mama, Not the Drama Program, sponsored by Orphan Kitten Club, we were able to get both pets fixed and take their two baby kittens, Jamie and Claire, into our rescue program.

The goal of this program is to help struggling pet owners with accidental litters keep their cats while we spay, vet them, and find homes for their babies. This ends the cycle, saves lives, and prevents future unwanted litters.

Their family is so grateful that we were able to find loving, forever homes for the kittens, plus they do not have to worry about their pet’s health anymore! No more babies! Yay!

Jamie and Claire found their forever homes quickly. Just look at their faces, how could they not! Sweet Claire was adopted at one of our Pet Supermarket adoption events and Jamie was adopted at one of our Petco adoption events.

If you or someone you know needs help from this program learn more or apply here. 

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