One of my biggest passions in life is animals. My animal portfolio has included dogs, cats, parakeets, chickens (yes, pet chickens), and hamsters. There’s never been a time I’ve been without a pet companion.

Recently, my husband and I welcomed an abandoned dog into our home (in addition to our two cats). The dog — a brown and tan mini dachshund we named Pronto Pup in honor of a Kansas State Fair food favorite — had been living on the streets in a friend’s neighborhood.

We don’t know Pronto’s story, but too often animals are dumped on the streets. Perhaps financial troubles arise or the owners face other challenges that cause pet ownership responsibility to become a lower priority. Or, a litter of puppies or kittens are cute, but after the newness wears off, there are the immunizations, sterilization and other continual care needs. When homes are not found for all the animals, they’re sometimes abandoned, left to fend for themselves.

Lack of sterilization of these homeless animals means a tragic cycle of pet overpopulation and euthanasia. Pet overpopulation has been a huge problem nationally, and even more so here in Sedgwick County. In fact, the euthanasia rate in Sedgwick County is almost three times the national average. The numbers break your heart.

Stopping the Problem Where It Starts

To help reduce the number of senseless animal deaths, a grassroots organization — Spay & Neuter Kansas — launched in Wichita last summer. It provides low-cost spay and neuter services. Greteman Group has had the privilege of working with the Spay & Neuter Kansas team, providing branding, marketing materials and a website.

As Spay & Neuter Kansas reflects on all the animals they’ve provided low-cost spay and neuter services for over the past year, we applaud this organization’s veterinarians, donors, volunteers and all the individuals who make it happen. Their passion is making a difference.

To donate or to find out more information about Spay & Neuter Kansas services, be sure to check out their new website.