The non-profit group, which came to East Toledo earlier this year to fix cats for $25 each, will, head to the East Toledo Family Center, the drop-off site for cat owners, through December. The group will then transport the felines to the clinic, 5333 Secor Rd, between W. Laskey and Alexis roads, for the surgical procedure.
Humane Ohio earlier this year fixed 400 cats in East Toledo, an area that has a high rate of stray cats, according to Jill Borkowski, marketing manager of Humane Ohio. The grant will allow the clinic to fix another 1,000 cats in the area, she said.
Humane Ohio will also fix stray cats for a small fee. Financial assistance is available for those who need it.
“Anyone in the 43605 zip code is eligible for this promotion and can get their cat fixed for $25,” said Borkowski. Proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, utility bill or any other bill that shows the person’s name and address, is required. There are no income restrictions.
More than one cat per household is allowed, she added, but the program is generally limited to three cats per person or household per day.
“We can sometimes make exceptions, but the reason we have this rule is because if someone schedules eight cats, then cancels at the last minute, we end up with a big hole in our schedule,” she said.
Humane traps are available for people who want to fix a stray cat.
“We’d like to direct people to call us at 419-266-5607 for an appointment,” said Borkowski. “When they call, we’ll give them the option of bringing the cat to our clinic themselves, or schedule it on a transport. We can give them the exact transport dates/times when they call.”
Aimee St. Arnaud, a board member of Humane Ohio, said the group is focusing grant money on the 43605 zip code because statistics from the Toledo Area Humane Society show that the greatest number of cats surrendered to the shelter come from that zip code.
“It’s likely that a number of cats being surrendered are stray cats,” said Arnaud. “The stray cat population can increase very quickly when people allow their unaltered cats to be outdoor cats, and when people who no longer want their pets turn them loose on the streets. Female cats can breed three times a year, and can breed as early as four months.”
Arnaud emphasized the need to spay and neuter cats to help stem the tide of overpopulation.
“We can help pet owners who want to do the right thing and have their beloved pet fixed, but who just need a little financial help to do so. And, we can help reduce the number of unwanted pets that are surrendered to area animal shelters, thereby reducing the stress and financial burden on these organizations,” she said.
Finances, transportation and myths about spay and neuter are among the reasons people choose not to get their pets fixed, said Borkowski, even though it’s the only way to control the overpopulation of cats and dogs.
“That’s why Humane Ohio exists. We always offer low cost spay and neuter prices, and right now, we’re in a position to offer special prices to residents in the 43605 zip code that are even less than our normal low cost prices. A lot of pet owners want to do the right thing and have their pet spayed/neutered, but they need a little financial help to do so. And by offering free transportation to and from our clinic, we can help cat owners who might not have transportation or time to visit our clinic themselves,” said Borkowski.
The free transports will also be scheduled in 2009.
In addition to reducing overpopulation, the procedure offers health benefits to cats and dogs, said Borkowski.
“Pets typically experience many behavior benefits after being spayed/neutered. A spayed female won’t go into heat which will prevent yowling, frequent urination and discharge. Neutered males are usually better behaved and will not feel the need to mark their territory. A neutered male won’t be as inclined to roam in search of a mate. Roaming animals can cause vehicular accidents and scare children. Plus, the cost to have your pet spayed or neutered at Humane Ohio’s low-cost clinic is a lot less than the cost to have and care for a litter. People who want their children to experience the `miracle of birth’ can foster a pregnant dog or cat from a local animal shelter or rescue group,” said Borkowski.
After making an appointment, cat owners can drop off their pets at the East Toledo Family Center. Humane Ohio’s transport van will pick up the cats and take them to the clinic to be fixed. The cats will then be returned to the East Toledo Family Center once they’ve recovered for the owners to pick up, said Borkowski.