OCEANSIDE — Have you spayed or neutered your pets this year?
That’s what Monique Martin, the reigning Ms. Greater California, also known as “Krazy Kiara Dillon,” wants to know.
Both Martin and the city of Oceanside are urging pet owners to spay or neuter their pets or to sponsor a pet in need of one in observance of World Spay Day.
World Spay Day is observed on the last Tuesday in February each year, which means it takes place this year on Feb. 26.
Mayor Peter Weiss issued a proclamation during the Feb. 6 City Council meeting recognizing the day in Oceanside.
As Ms. Greater California, Martin said her main platform is animal rescue with a focus on raising awareness for spaying, neutering and adopting pets from animal shelters.
Martin volunteers for the San Diego Humane Society at its Oceanside campus and with Project Wildlife, a wildlife rehabilitation program.
“When I’m not saving animals, I am a professional wrestler,” Martin told The Coast News. “Yes the stuff you see on TV.”
“Krazy Kiara Dillon” is Martin’s wrestling character, known as the “The Evil Queen” of the ring. That character is very different from who Martin really is, she said.
Martin said promoting spaying and neutering pets is something “very dear” to her.
“I am very passionate about this because it’s still estimated that about 1.5 million animals are being euthanized in shelters in the United States,” she said at the council meeting. “Spaying and neutering helps bring those numbers down and prevents over-population.”
Spaying and neutering also helps to prevent certain types of cancers and behavioral issues in pets, according to Martin.
Martin also discussed the San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition’s “Getting to Zero” campaign, which set a goal to reach zero euthanasia of healthy or treatable animals in San Diego County.
The campaign has been in the works since 2012, and on July 1, 2015, the coalition’s shelters reached their goal of zero and have since stayed at that number, according to the San Diego Humane Society’s website.
“Any animal that is treatable or healthy animal brought into the San Diego Humane Society will be safe,” Martin said. “Other counties can’t say that, so we really want to focus on spaying and neutering and keeping that number down to zero here.”
The San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition’s shelters include:
- San Diego Humane Society (campuses in San Diego, Escondido and Oceanside)
- Chula Vista Animal Care Facility
- Coronado Animal Care Facility
- El Cajon Animal Shelter
- Friends of Cats
- Rancho Coastal Humane Society
- County of San Diego Department of Animal Services
Samantha Nelson covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son