The Walker County Humane Society (WCHS) animal rescue organization is deeming their recent spay and neuter clinic a success.On Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22, a total of 42 dogs were spayed …
The Walker County Humane Society (WCHS) animal rescue organization is deeming their recent spay and neuter clinic a success.
On Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22, a total of 42 dogs were spayed and neutered free of charge to pet owners, who were only required to pay $15 for their dog to receive a rabies vaccine, in addition to the free surgery.
The surgeries were performed at Farmstead Veterinary Clinic by doctors David Cain and Mark Barker.
When WCHS announced they would hold the spay and neuter clinic, the response was overwhelming.
"The slots filled in 20 minutes," WCHS Board Director Susie Vann told the Daily Mountain Eagle in late December.
The surgeries were made possible through an anonymous donation to the WCHS, and the cost to alter all of the dogs was valued at $5,600. WCHS also provided a distemper shot for each dog, in light of the recent distemper outbreak at both animal shelters in Walker County.
Last September, WCHS held a large spay and neuter event for cats, where 228 were altered. Vann says they have found small-scale spay and neuter clinics are much more manageable.
"We learned a lesson. It's hard on the staff, and it's hard on the animals to do that quantity that quickly," she said. "This has been smooth. It's been wonderful, and we hope to offer this on a very regular basis."
One of the organization's biggest efforts has been their partnership with Pet Depot in Jasper, where cats that WCHS has rescued are adopted out at the store. As of Dec. 31, over 600 cats had been adopted, and all were spayed and neutered if older than 12 weeks.
In total, WCHS has provided funding for nearly 900 spay and neuter surgeries this year, thanks to community donations.
Vann said there has been a "cat explosion" this year, and the rescue has been working on TNR (trap, neuter, return) efforts on feral cat colonies in Jasper.
With both the City of Jasper Animal Shelter and Walker County Humane and Adoption Center on an intake and adoption freeze for the past two months due to a distemper outbreak, Vann said the number of stray dogs and cats has put a strain on all local animal rescues.
"It's unbelievable," Vann said. "We get phone calls constantly, and the three rescue groups in Walker County — RUFF, Forgotten Tails and Sasha's Hope — they are at max capacity."
Both animal shelters are expected to be back in operation this month, and Vann said spaying and neutering the thousands of un-altered dogs and cats in Walker County will continue to be a top priority.
WCHS plans to have more spay and neuter clinics this year to help pet owners manage the financial strain of surgery costs.
"To be able to continue to do this for the citizens, we rely on public funding and donations," she said.
Monetary donations can be made to the Walker County Humane Society by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (205) 302-6911. Donations can also be mailed to Walker County Humane Society, P.O. Box 1407, Jasper, AL 35502.
All donations are tax-deductible.
Vann said people are also welcome to drop off cat supplies at Pet Depot on Highway 78 to help with their adoption center that is housed at the store.