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Hooters pushing neuters

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Hooters waitress Natalie Wanner plays with Chopper, a 5-month-old pit bull, at the Big Fix Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic at Hooters in Midvale.

Hooters waitress Natalie Wanner plays with Chopper, a 5-month-old pit bull, at the Big Fix Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic at Hooters in Midvale.

Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning News

MIDVALE — There are too many homeless pets around — dangerous dogs, feral felines and overcrowded animal shelters, resulting in deaths of thousands of healthy pets each year. Sounds like a job for . . . the Hooters girls?

The Big Fix Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic, run by the No More Homeless Pets in Utah program, has partnered with the ladies at Hooters Restaurant to target men who think it isn't "macho" to have their pets neutered in their latest promotion called Hooters for Neuters.

Temma Martin, spokeswoman for No More Homeless Pets, admits that the whole campaign is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. But, she said, men seem to be the most reluctant to get their pets fixed.

"They are saying, 'I wouldn't want it to happen to me so I won't do it to them,' " said Martin. "What they forget is that fixed animals don't suffer any stigma from other animals and having an unfixed pet doesn't make its owner any more manly."

To draw male pet owners, the Big Fix has called for support from a business that is known for attracting men. And with Hooters' help, they will hold a two-day clinic that concludes today where men and women can bring their pets to get fixed at an "extreme" discount. Pet owners will get free Hooters wings and chances to win prizes such as Utah Grizzly prize packs and signed Hooters calendars and T-shirts.

The prizes aren't the only advantages to getting pets neutered, Martin said. Behavior such as roaming and aggression is often markedly improved and the risk of certain health problems is reduced. No More Homeless Pets is making an active effort to reduce Utah's pet overpopulation, which results in euthanization of thousands of healthy dogs and cats each year.

"We hope that this lighthearted approach to a serious issue will encourage pet owners to get their animals fixed at a very low cost in a safe environment," said Martin. "This is a chance for pet parents to do their pets a tremendous service."

The clinic will operate on a first-come-first-served basis, and intake will begin at 8 a.m. at the Midvale Hooters Restaurant, 7157 S. State, with volunteers along with Hooters staffers on hand to register clients and hand out coffee and donuts. Cost is $25 for a female cat; $15 for male cats; $40 for a female dog; and $30 for a male dog. Pregnant animals and dogs over 80 pounds are $10 more. Family plans are available for female pets and their litters.

Pets must be between 8 weeks and 6 years old and have a carrier labeled with identification. For more information, call 1-866-PETS FIX or go online to www.utahpets.org.

E-mail: terickson@desnews.com