A panel studying which preventative health services should be free under the Affordable Care Act has recommended that health insurance plans be required to fully cover the cost of birth control for patients. Of course, these same patients could still be dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, if their companion animals aren’t spayed and neutered.
Fortunately, many veterinarians and sheltering agencies across the country have recognized the critical importance of low-cost services. PETA’s mobile SNIP clinics (Spay and Neuter Immediately, Please), which operate in and around our Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters, have spayed and neutered more than 74,000 animals, preventing the births and inevitable suffering of hundreds of thousands of unwanted animals.
Still, litter after litter of puppies and kittens is born into a world bursting at the seams with unwanted animals. Until healthcare plans start providing free birth control for animals, we’ll all have to do our part by offering to set up appointments and provide transportation for friends’ and neighbors’ animals and by encouraging local animal shelters to offer low-cost “snips” if they don’t already.
Written by Michelle Sherrow