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Monday, May 10, 2010
Free spay/neuter program

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Q: Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

A: Yes, older dogs are easier to train, due to their longer attention span, but often have bad behaviors due to bad habits.

-- Katie Marcinek, PetSmart pet care, manager

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Q: Does a pet ever sleep on your bed?

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Wally's Friends, the Humane Educational Society and PetSmart Charities are joining forces to help spay or neuter pets of animal owners who can't afford the surgery.

"The organization is spending a lot of money because it's a short-term solution to the overpopulation of cats and dogs," said Eileen Price, director at Wally's Friends.

PetSmart Charities awarded Wally's Friends a grant to target local neighborhoods that have a need for low-cost spay/neuter services, she said.

Ms. Price said Wally's Friends has about one year to spay at least 500 animals within specific zip codes in order to receive the grant money. The communities include North Chattanooga/downtown, St. Elmo and some areas of Hixson, she said.

"We figure there are approximately 2,000 animals in those areas that are still unaltered," she said. "PetSmart Charities wants us to target these areas and make as large an impact as possible. It is a huge task, but we will see results, especially if we get the unaltered females."

Volunteers will soon visit the qualifying neighborhoods to distribute brochures and fliers about the spay/neutering program. It will be free to families who qualify, she said.

Veterinarians at Wally's Friends can spay and neuter up to 65 animals per day, she said.


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