Humane Ohio has a grant that will allow it to spay/neuter 2,600 free-roaming cats in Toledo’s 43609 zip code for free. These cats must come from the 443609 zip code and cannot be owned.
Humane Ohio Clinic Director Lisa Hochradel says, “We are focusing our grant money on the 43609 zip code because statistics from local animal shelters and rescue groups show that the greatest number of cats surrendered to shelters come from that neighborhood. Free-roaming cats are city wide, but we believe we can make a bigger impact if we concentrate on one specific area at a time.”
The organization will work with people in the neighborhood who are already feeding stray cats. Humane Ohio will spay/neuter and vaccinate the cats against rabies for free. They also will give caregivers free cat food when available through the Humane Ohio Pet Food Bank, and will offer free training sessions to teach residents about Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and to provide helpful information and tips to caregivers.
Humane Ohio points out that cats are territorial animals and form strong bonds with the location they inhabit so they will be returned to where they were found after they recover from their spay/neuter surgery. The group says that relocating free-roaming cats – and convincing them to stay in their new territory – is a difficult, time consuming, and challenging undertaking. Trapping and killing does not solve the problem because new cats will move in and take over the food source.
The non-profit organization understands that not everyone enjoys living with cats in their yard and stresses the importance of spay/neuter and responsible pet ownership as the only way to humanely reduce the free-roaming cat population. Hochradel says, “All it takes is for a couple of people to decide they no longer want their pets and put them out on the street, or for a couple of people to let their unaltered cats be `outdoor’ cats, and those couple of cats breed. The free-roaming cat population increases very quickly from there, especially when you consider that each female cat can have up to three litters a year and get pregnant as young as four months old. Fact sheets on topics like “Keeping cats out of yards and gardens,” and “How to help neighbors and cats co-exist” are available at www.humaneohio.org (under Other Resources).
While this is a special limited time grant, Humane Ohio always offers low-cost spay/neuter to pet owners in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan and has a special, even lower rate for people on federal assistance and for people caring for free-roaming cats (Humane Ohio’s normal price to spay/neuter a free-roaming cat is $25. It’s currently free for 43609 residents only. People who are in need of low-cost spay/neuter for their owned dog or cat should call Humane Ohio at 419-266-5607 or visit www.humaneohio.org for more information on the 43609 free-roaming cat project, or to request flyers or a poster to help spread the word. People who would like to volunteer to help trap or distribute flyers are also welcome to contact Humane Ohio to lend their support to the project.
Humane Ohio operates a non-profit low-cost spay/neuter clinic and pet food bank. Their spay/neuter clinic serves all area pet owners, people caring for free-roaming cats, animal shelters and rescue groups. The non-profit organization can offer low-cost spay/neuter procedures. Humane Ohio believes that all animals should receive the highest quality veterinary care possible even if the services rendered are at a reduced cost. Their clinic uses state of the art instruments and equipment, all spay/neuter surgeries are performed by qualified, licensed vets (DVM) and every patient receives a brief physical exam and quality pain medication.
Humane Ohio will be in the 43609 zip code trapping free-roaming cats every Sunday evening through Mother’s Day.