FiXiT was first conceived as a methodology. The idea was to bring spay/neuter to everyone by 1) removing any cost restrictions and 2) by motivating pet owners with incentive-based promotions. This past week represented a huge milestone in FiXiT’s history: not only was it our second anniversary, but we also launched a promotion giving spay/neuter for free to St. Croix as part of our Final Fix Project.
Plenty of programs out there offer free spay/neuter, including our own GetYourFix.org, so why is our promotion so special? With our methodology, we are beginning to quantify how demand changes with varying promotions over time. Understanding the response to different media, messages and incentives provides us a unique insight into the behaviors of pet owners who continue to allow unwanted kittens and puppies to be born. With this program, we can respond to and produce a lasting impact on the overpopulation crisis.
In the first week, we have seen a huge turnaround in the demand for surgeries on St. Croix. In those few days, pet owners called to get 70 animals fixed for free. If all of these animals were fixed, this would mean a huge increase in demand – nearly 10 times what we have seen in the past. The population of St. Croix is 53,000; our goal of approximately 75 animals per week, would allow us to see a long-term shift in population growth. It will be interesting to see if the demand can be maintained through the upcoming months, and where it will go when we launch our final incentive level – free with an incentive.
In the meantime, we must thank all of the vets on the island and their staff for being supportive of our program. Every vet on island is participating in our free offer, despite a potentially burdensome increase in workload (with minimal reward). We truly appreciate that are working with us to test our methodology –one that we believe can end the crisis of companion animal overpopulation.