World Spay Day 100 Military Pet Initiative

World Spay Day

Did you know World Spay Day, which aims to reduce stray pet populations by raising awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering programs, started as Spay Day USA and was founded by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995? The name was changed after the movement spread globally, and the annual event happens on the last Tuesday of February.

100 Military Pet Initiative

In its avid support of Word Spay Day, which also provides an opportunity for animal organizations to campaign for local pets to get altered for their protection, Dogs on Deployment is running the World Spay Day 100 Military Pet Initiative, which began on February 23. Its goal, to spay or neuter 100 military pets across the country in 30 days, was set in honor of Rich Setzer, a Navy veteran and longtime DoD volunteer who passed away from COVID-19-related complications in December. One of Rich’s biggest contributions to DoD was the promotion and building of the Pet Chit Financial Assistance Program, which has been renamed the Rich Setzer Memorial Grant Fund (RSMG).


Through the RSMG eligible pet owners can receive grants for spay or neuter. This includes for Evee, whose owners, a junior enlisted sailor from San Diego and his young wife, want to give her the best and healthiest life possible.

For Evee’s owners, getting assistance in having her spayed gives them peace of mind for her care and helps to alleviate a small financial stressor.

San Diego Spay & Neuter Action Project

Rich’s tireless work and dedication also led to DoD’s partnership with the San Diego Spay & Neuter Action Project (SNAP), in which we offer free spay and neuter surgery to dogs and cats belonging to active-duty and veterans in the San Diego area. His legacy was recognized and celebrated on March 6, when DoD teamed with SNAP to carry forth its spay and neuter mission, also a part of the WSD 100 Military Pet Initiative. Among the grateful attendees Spay Day drew were Hunter Henson, US Navy, and his dogs, Roxy and Rowdy. To watch the video click here.


So far, over 47 dogs, 17 cats, and 3 bunnies have signed up for spay and neuter through this program, totaling 67 military pets, and we’ll continue our efforts until we reach our goal and help more pets like Mako, who is owned by a Navy family that has received orders to conduct a military move to Japan. The family is saving and preparing financially for the heavy financial challenge of transporting Mako safely to their new overseas home.

Spaying Mako before she moves abroad with her Navy family is one less thing her owners will have to worry about.

Support the 100 Military Pet Initiative

If you would like to support the World Spay Day 100 Military Pet Initiative, please consider making a donation. A gift of $150 will spay or neuter a dog, and $100 will spay or neuter a cat that belongs to a service member or honorably discharged veteran. To contribute, or for more information on how you can participate, please go here.


“Thank you, Dogs on Deployment, for giving this opportunity to spay our pets.”—Hunter Henson, US Navy

Pet spay or neuter assistance

DoD has been providing financial assistance for spay and neuter since 2012. To date it has granted nearly $15,000 to assist in the alteration of approximately 150 military owned pets at little or no cost to the pet owner.

In addition to the San Diego Spay & Neuter Action Project, Dogs on Deployment has special spay and neuter initiatives in Ramona, CA, with High Valley Veterinary Hospital and in Houston, TX, with Eastex Veterinary Clinic. Learn more about how eligible military and veterans owners can get help here.

Thank you for joining in our efforts to keep pets healthy!