Christine Stuart photo

More than 50 people, mostly dog lovers, gathered at Northwest Park in Windsor Saturday to remind the public to spay and neuter their pets.

Enid Breakstone, of the Queenie Foundation, said the solution to the tragedy of animal overpopulation is simple: “spay or neuter your companion animals.” She said while the solution may sound like common sense, there are still 6 to 7 million dogs and cats killed in shelters every year, which means the message isn’t reaching everyone.

“Dog and cat overpopulation is so easily resolved and spay and neuter is still the best solution,” she said. “If you don’t know where to go to get your pet fixed then get on the Internet and find out.”

Christine Stuart photo

Breakstone isn’t the only one passionate about this issue, Julie Lewin, the author of “Get Political For Animals and Win the Laws They Need,” was also there Saturday to help educate animal rights groups and dog rescue organizations about how to get more political for their cause.

“No other issue group attempts to impact laws through charities,” Lewin said. “In order to pursue a political agenda you have to be able to endorse candidates.”

For example, the sportsmen and hunters may represent 1.5 percent of the population in the state, but they’re successful at getting laws passed because they lobby through a political organization, Lewin said.

While legislators may know the sportsmen represent a tiny number of constituents, they’re still scared of them, she said. She said many legislators want to vote in favor of legislation animal rights organizations support, but “we aren’t organized.” She said if animal rights groups were organized and able to politically endorse candidates then they would be able to protect lawmakers when it comes time for re-election.

Saturday’s event also included a blessing of each of the pets by Rev. Michael Ader of West Hartford and a candlelight vigil for homeless pets.