Best Friends issues grant to FiXiT Foundation

It's a great match for people with pets in need: Best Friends Animal Society has given the FiXiT Foundation a $10,000 grant to help get pit-bull-type dogs spayed or neutered in targeted areas through GetYourFix.org.

FiXiT Foundation spay and neuter

Since 2009, the FiXiT Foundation has been dedicated to reducing shelter deaths by helping get pets spayed or neutered by providing a platform to connect people in need with sponsors who want to help. People who can't afford the surgery for their pets post a bio of their animal online and then anyone can be a sponsor to help cover the expense. Sponsors have the opportunity to communicate directly with the recipients or go through the foundation.

"Our objective is to get every animal spayed or neutered, and by using marketing methodology, we have created a way for the pet-loving public to become part of the solution for their communities," says Dr. Kellie Heckman, co-founder of the FiXiT Foundation. "When we looked at how to help the harder-to-reach animals, we realized that cost can be a real issue for a multi-pet household, and of course, those are the animals that need to be fixed the most."

GetYourFix.org is also one-stop shopping for everything spay/neuter. There's even a database of low-cost clinics, where individuals and rescue groups can find the resources they need.

Pit bull terriers are a priority

Through its pit bull terrier initiatives, Best Friends is committed to reducing the number of shelter deaths for pit-bull-type dogs through education, legislation and various grants. The GetYourFix.org endeavor is a unique way to address the problem at its root.

"Eleven percent of the animals profiled on GetYourFix.org are pit bulls, and 25 percent of the dogs profiled are pit bulls, so getting a grant to help pit bulls specifically is quite impactful," shares Kellie. "People have this myth that pit bull owners want their dogs intact so they can 'breed.' What many people don't realize is that a large female dog can cost in the hundreds of dollars to get spayed, and many times these are rescued dogs in a multi-dog family. The expense can be prohibitive, so while a guardian may want to have their dogs fixed, they just can't afford it."

The Best Friends grant will go towards pit bull terriers in targeted states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Texas and Utah. These states represent some of the highest ranking of pet profiles on GetYourFix.org, with the most people looking to get their pets spay/neuter resources.

"This is a great opportunity to help keep dogs out of the shelter system and promote the importance of spay/neuter in the states that need it most," says Laura Handzel, legislative lawyer and programming and policy analyst at Best Friends.

FiXiT Foundation is also committed to helping pit bull terriers with another program they are currently running - the Half the Pits Half the Price, sponsored by Petco Foundation. While funds last, sponsors can pledge half the money for the cost of a pit bull terrier's spay or neuter surgery, and GetYourFix.org will subsidize the rest.

"When it's estimated that over 80 percent of the dogs killed in the shelter system are designated as pit-bull-type dogs, we know we need to ramp up our efforts, and thanks to Best Friends and other like-minded organizations, we're doing just that," says Kellie.

For more information on helping pit-bull-type dogs, check out the pit bull initiatives from Best Friends.

Photo by Best Friends staff