Spay, neuter event big success

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 3/23/16

Nearly 200 feral/stray cats were spayed or neutered in Walker County on Saturday.

The Animal Hospital of Walker County hosted the county’s first Snip ‘N Tip Feral/Stray Cat Spay and Neuter Day over the weekend, in an effort to combat the …

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Spay, neuter event big success

Posted

Nearly 200 feral/stray cats were spayed or neutered in Walker County on Saturday.

The Animal Hospital of Walker County hosted the county’s first Snip ‘N Tip Feral/Stray Cat Spay and Neuter Day over the weekend, in an effort to combat the county’s growing cat population.

People began dropping off stray and feral cats at the animal hospital, that they could capture, at 8 a.m. Saturday. Animal Hospital owner Dr. David Kimbrell and veterinarians Dr. Sonny Springer and Dr. Martin Roberts began surgeries promptly, with the last cat being altered over 12 hours later at 9:30 p.m. All cats went back with the people who dropped them off to be released in their familiar environments.

Marsha Miller, the animal hospital’s office manager and co-founder of Walker County pet rescue R.U.F.F., said 299 cats were signed up to be spayed or neutered, but some cats couldn’t be trapped to have surgery; however, Miller says having 197 cats altered will make a significant impact to the county’s cat population.

According to statistics, one female cat can reproduce two to three times each year, having as many as 8 kittens per litter. With 100 female cats being spayed on Saturday, the surgeries will have prevented roughly 1600-2400 kittens from being born feral or stray in only one year — and female cats can become pregnant as young as 5 months old.

“I can’t even begin to guess a number that this has impacted,” Miller said. “It’s definitely got to put a dent in the cat population.”

The trap, neuter, return (TNR) program was made possible through a $5,000 grant from the Walker Area Community Foundation and an anonymous donation of $1,000.

R.U.F.F. sponsored the program and also raised $600 in donations on Saturday.

Miller said she hopes to host another TNR day for cats next spring, and the rescue will be writing grants to possibly have a spay/neuter day for dogs.

She says county residents were appreciative of the service being provided for area cats, and many people brought it multiple felines they were able to capture.

“One thing that stood out, there was an elderly couple that came up. Everybody had to catch these cats, and this sweet little old lady had put on two sets of oven mitts and a long sleeve shirt to be able to catch some cats,” Miller said. “We had one man bring in nine cats. They just get dumped at his house, and they keep multiplying. He was very thankful.”

Because of the $6,000 provided for the surgeries, all cats were altered free of charge to the good samaritans who transported them to the animal hospital. Vet techs, R.U.F.F. foster parents and other volunteers assisted with the spay/neuter day.

“I was absolutely amazed at the goodwill that came across the counter to us for doing this,” Miller said.