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Tuesday, Feb. 23, marks the 16th Spay Day, an annual campaign by The HSUS designed to highlight the importance of saving animal lives by spaying or neutering.

Find an event near you.

More than 600 Spay Day events are scheduled to take place in the U.S. this year. They are hosted by a wide variety of groups: animal rescue groups, veterinarians, city- and county-run animal service agencies, private humane societies, and humanitarian-focused organizations.

Internationally, more than 80 events in 43 countries are planned, providing life-saving spay/neuter services to more than 40,000 animals around the globe.

There are too many amazing efforts surrounding Spay Day to cover them all here, but we couldnt pass up the opportunity to spotlight some of them below.

Doris Day, champion for animals

Doris Day founded Spay Day to shine a national spotlight on spay/neuter as a humane and effective means of ending the tragedy of pet overpopulation. Now that Spay Day is a program of The HSUS, the Doris Day Animal Foundation has generously awarded a special Spay Day 2010 grant to be used to spay or neuter pets whose families could not otherwise afford it.

The HSUS is distributing these funds to 11 statewide spay/neuter organizations: Spay Alabama, Arizona’s Spay/Neuter Hotline, Spay Florida, Spay Georgia, Spay Iowa, Indiana Spay/Neuter Alliance, Spay Michigan, Mississippi SPAN, Spay Montana, Spay Ohio, and Spay Virginia.

In our backyard

In honor of Spay Day 2010 and to further its mission to reduce pet overpopulation in Montgomery County, Maryland, the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County is distributing 100 certificates for free spays and neuters to resident cat owners. The HSUSwhich maintains an office in Montgomery Countyis proud to be a sponsor of this event.

Say you want a resolution

Spay Day Resolutions are being issued in communities and states across the country this year. California, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin, in addition to the cities of Rancho Cordova (California), Fairfield (Illinois), Union Springs (Alabama), San Marcos (Texas), and others will all be celebrating Spay Day with official resolutions recognizing the tragedy of pet homelessness and endorsing spay/neuter as a humane and effective means of reducing it.

Spay/neuter in the Bayou

The Animal Angels Spay Neuter Alliance Project is opening a new spay/neuter facility that will offer much-needed low-cost services to the Lake Charles, La., community. They will join the ranks of animal welfare groups across Louisiana and Mississippi that have taken a proactive approach to pet overpopulation by opening high-volume, low-cost clinics: Southern Pines Animal Shelter (Miss.), Mississippi SPAN, and many others. These clinics will perform tens of thousands of surgeries each year, saving countless lives and providing desperately needed services to their communities.

What’s up with the docs

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association is bringing the veterinary community closer to Spay Day. HSVMA offers free scrub tops, certificates of appreciation, and HSVMA membership to veterinarians and veterinary technicians who participate in Spay Day.

They are also offering a drawing for a free trip for two to Animal Care Expo, and helped to produce a new Spay Day PSA. HSVMA veterinarians will donate two days’ worth of cat and dog surgeries for pet owners facing financial hardship in Salinas and Monterey County, Calif.

Click here for your Spay Day Action Kit.

[SOURCE: HSUS. PHOTO: CSRA Humane Society]