Photo by Martin Hernandez

Sparkle is my name and free spirit is my game! I’m 3-year-old female Calico who is no delicate flower. I’m not shy about demanding only the highest quality of affection and playtime, and I expect articulate fawning from humans. I’m known to investigate unfamiliar corners to embark on my next big adventure. And, I’m always in hot pursuit of a towering spot to enjoy a good nap. With all my charm, I favor my boundaries, so all of my handling must be on my terms. Come meet me and I just might qualify you to adopt me! Sparkle, ID#A060076, is available for adoption at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter located at 1640 9th Street, Santa Monica CA, 90404. The shelter is closed to the public and adoptions are by appointment only by calling the shelter at (310) 458-8595.


While most pets are spayed or neutered upon adoption, due to private adoption and pets found stray, many dogs and cats remain intact. This contributes to many issues for pets including illness, overpopulation, and overcrowded animal shelters. There are a variety of positive and life-saving reasons to spay and neuter dogs and cats!

Spaying and neutering can prevent major health issues! Spaying reduces uterine issues and cancers in 50% of female dogs, and 90% of female cats. Neutering male dogs and cats reduces testicular cancers and prostate gland issues.

Spaying and neutering promotes better behavior! Spayed female dogs and cats will not go into heat, preventing unplanned litters. This includes spotting, roaming, and howling in female dogs, and excessive urination from female cats. Because neutering stabilizes testosterone in male dogs and cats, it reduces the desire to mark and mount, escape the home in pursuit of females, and aggressions towards other males due to competition for females.

Spaying and neutering saves lives! Unplanned litters contribute to the overpopulation of pets. Female dogs go into heat up to twice a year and may produce up to seven puppies per litter. Female cats go into heat every three to four weeks during mating season and can produce three to four litters a year. The demands of having a litter are costly and overwhelming resulting in many offspring becoming stray and/or being relinquished to animal shelters. Since many shelters are overcrowded, to control the pet population, many dogs of cats of all ages, breeds, and genders are euthanized.

Spaying and neutering increase the chances that dogs and cats stay healthy and well adjusted, ultimately enriching and prolonging their lives. All of which create more opportunity for more homeless pets to find loving homes.

Pet of the Week is provided by Carmen Molinari, a long-time volunteer at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter and founder and CEO of Love At First Sit, a pet care and dog training company in Santa Monica. Learn about her, pet tips, and Love At First Sit services at