By MELINDA WILLIAMS
A grant Pulaski County Humane Society received from PetSmart Charities Inc. will help reduce the local stray cat population by funding the Society’s Trap-Neuter-Release (T-N-R) program.
Candice Simmons, Humane Society executive director, said free roaming cats can contract diseases, get killed by vehicle or end up at Pulaski County Animal Shelter, where they face a daily threat of euthanasia due to limited space.
“The problem gets exacerbated when these cats reproduce,” she said. “One cat can have as many as 60 kittens in one year. Few are lucky enough to find homes.”
The T-N-R program helps alleviate the problem by spaying and neutering stray or free-roaming cats so that they cannot continue to reproduce. Under the program, participants trap the cats and bring them to the shelter to be spayed or neutered during designated clinics. The animals also are vaccinated for rabies and given Revolution to prevent fleas, ticks, and worms.
Simmons said veterinarians, Dr. Jennifer Freeman and Dr. Laura Nelson, will spay or neuter approximately 240 cats over the next 12 months for a fee of only $5 per cat.
Participants, who must book an appointment in advance, are required to deliver their cat or cats in a humane trap the morning of their scheduled surgery and pick them up the same afternoon. The Humane Society has a limited number of traps it can lend out. A $10 deposit is required, but it is refundable upon return of the trap.
The T-N-R program “ultimately decreases the need to euthanize cats and cuts down on tax dollars spent on Animal Control programs,” said Dr. Jared Morgan, owner of Tipton Ridge Veterinary Medical Center and Humane Society Board member. Since the cats also receive a rabies vaccine, he added, the program is good for the overall health of both animals and people by keeping the deadly disease at bay.
“We are very pleased with this grant and hope both citizens and businesses will take advantage of it. We would like to thank PetSmart Charities very much,” said Simmons.
A program to train participants how to trap cats is also being planned. Details will be announced later.
Pulaski County Humane Society is a nonprofit organization that relies on grant funding and donations to offer low-cost sterilization services for pet owners in the community. For more information, call HYPERLINK “tel:540-674-0089″ \t “_blank” 674-0089 or email HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” \t “_blank” firstname.lastname@example.org.
PetSmart Charities is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets. More than 40,000 dogs and cats find homes each year through its adoption program in PetSmart stores and sponsored adoption events.