PUPPY DOG eyes, wagging tails, cuddles, nuzzles and purrs. It’s hard to think about all those pets less fortunate than our own, living out the prime of their lives without a family to call their own. What if one simple act of kindness could help many this festive season? One of the most effective ways to make a difference is as simple as paying for a spay. “Spaying and neutering is a relatively quick surgical procedure, with a long-lasting impact on animal welfare and overpopulation,” says Bianca Bresler, General Manager at TEARS Animal Rescue. In their research, TEARS has found that spaying one cat can prevent up to 370 000 cats from being born in seven years and one dog sterilisation prevents the birth of up to 67 000 dogs in six years. “The extreme need associated with animal welfare is often overwhelming, but by securing sponsorship for even one sterilisation, at a cost of just R350, we’re able to make an immediate impact and alleviate the negative effects of pet overpopulation,” said TEARS Animal Rescue Chief Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Patti Foster. It’s supporters like Hill’s Pet Nutrition who make campaigns like these possible, adds Bresler. Through their biggest donation to date, over R1 million to TEARS, Hill’s is encouraging businesses and pet parents nationwide to get into the spirit of giving this holiday season and help “Pay-For-A-Spay” at local animal shelters. “We’re incredibly proud to be keeping tummies full and bodies in tip top shape at TEARS Animal Rescue. Our recent donation equates to 82 000 meals and frees up funds to sterilise close to 2 500 pets,” says Carla Bath, Hill’s Marketing Manager. “The biggest challenge to sustaining the medical support we provide, and free sterilisation services, remains funding,” says TEARS Co-Founder and Director Marilyn Hoole. Share in the gift of giving this festive season. Donate to the “Pay-For-A-Spay” campaign and assist the work that TEARS is doing. Just R350 will cover the cost of a sterilisation and bring the end of pet overpopulation a step closer.