Clinic helps community
It was wonderful to see a free spay and neuter clinic in Caribou a few weeks ago. Dr. Beth Sperry from Portland, with four experienced helpers, arrived to do a four-day cat clinic. This was sponsored by Halfway Home Pet Rescue and financed by the generous grant by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation and the Maine Community Foundation Aroostook County Fund.
The latest update was that 180 cats were altered in four days. I hope that many cat owners took advantage of this amazing opportunity.
When you think of 180 cats and the thousands of unwanted kittens that they may have produced, the reality is staggering. Here at the Central Aroostook Humane Society, we have had a revolving “spay/neuter fund” for over 10 years. The fund originally started with a very generous grant. As we pay for pets to be altered, funds continue to be added with a percentage from each pet adopted. This has allowed a very large portion of our animals to be fixed before they find their forever home.
We have definitely seen a drop in the number of kittens and cats coming into the shelter over the past five years, so spaying and neutering certainly works.
There are numerous benefits to having your pet fixed. Spay or neutering your pet will help to prevent uterine infections, male testicular cancer, having your female go into heat every few weeks and spraying all over your home, or seeing your male dog playing Houdini to escape from your home or yard, possibly ending up being injured in traffic or in fights with other males.
Altering your pet will not make it fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
Instead of your children needing to see “the miracle of birth” that produces offspring that you have no intention of keeping, perhaps the better lessons are books and videos available that teach children about birth in a more responsible way.
Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families, and studies show that pets will live a longer, healthier life. At the end of the day, our wishes are to have a happy, long, loving relationship with our furry family member.
Check out the Central Aroostook Humane Society for pets that are available for adoption. Please remember to be responsible: spay and neuter.
Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the board of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.