With the city now offering a free spay and neuter program, Calgarians no longer have an excuse not to fix their pet, according to the director of animal and bylaw services.

Yesterday the city officially launched its no-cost cat and dog spay and neuter program, which will assist low-income pet owners.

“We know that pet overpopulation is a problem in North America in general and the best way to cure that is really spay and neuter,” said Bill Bruce. “(The goal is) to see every animal in Calgary spayed and neutered, that nobody would have a barrier that prevents them from doing that, that would be the goal.”

Jim Degenstien, owner of seven-month-old Jack Russell Terrier Jewel, was the first to apply to the program and said it’s “unbelievable.”

“If they didn’t have this program, I wouldn’t have been able to get her fixed. It would have made me more stressed and (put) more burden on my shoulders to try and come up with some money,” he said. “Get your pet spayed or neutered because it saves lives.”