By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A major milestone is being marked in Baltimore, and it centers on the area’s cats and dogs.

Ron Matz has more on the continuing effort to keep pets healthy and control the booming pet population.

Inside a stone building, it’s another busy day. At the Maryland SPCA’s spay and neuter clinic, dozens of pet owners bring their cats and dogs every week.

The paparazzi want a shot of Mr. Ed. He’s the 50,000th pet to be altered here.

“I’m so excited. They called me and I said ‘yes!’” said Stephanie Luedtke, cat owner. “He needs to be neutered. I have a female cat at home. I don’t want them to mate and have any kittens. It’s also good for his health as he gets older.”

This effort to control Baltimore’s booming pet population began here back in 2007.

“Spaying and neutering is really the best way to address overpopulation, which is a problem in our state. It’s also really good for an animal’s health and behavior, so an animal is less likely to get a certain type of cancer. It’s less likely to bite, so all around spaying and neutering is really great for dogs and cats,” said Aileen Gabbey, executive director of Maryland SPCA.

The SPCA fixes thousands of animals here each year.

“We still have many more to do. We’re best known as an adoption center, but we do more spaying and neutering than anything else. We fix 9,000 animals a year, which is the state’s leading service,” Gabbey said.

Mr. Ed will wear a special collar to mark a milestone.

“I’ve had him for about seven months. I found him at the Ice Cream Cottage. He was wandering around. My parents said there was a kitten wandering around. The next day I went and picked him up. He was as lovable as could be, and I took him home. He’s the best animal I’ve owned forever,” Luedtke said.

The Maryland SPCA also provides special rates for low-income pet owners in Baltimore City. For more information on the SPCA’s spay and neuter program, click here.

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