Humane society: Numbers swell past comfortable placementPublished 7:00pm Saturday, August 3, 2013
By Carey Sharp, Mower County Humane Society
“We are full.” It’s a small sentence with a big meaning. The Mower County Humane Society is set up to comfortably house about 80 cats and 18 dogs.
The numbers have swelled recently to an average of about 125 cats and 25 dogs. Numerous requests come in daily to take more animals. The waiting list seems endless.
Our new facility will not house more animals. It will provide more space to better care for the animals that we do have. With more rooms to house them, it will be less crowded. There will also be isolation rooms for animals that are recovering from surgeries or illnesses.
The vet bills for the MCHS now average about $60,000 a year. Every animal that enters the shelter is vet checked, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. Routine blood tests are also done on all the animals.
Cats are tested for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia before they even enter the MCHS. These illnesses are extremely contagious and have no cure.
They attack and suppress a cat’s immune system, resulting in infections of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, and the skin and urinary tract.
FIV can also make cats more prone to cancers. There is a vaccine to prevent Feline Leukemia. These illnesses can be avoided by keeping cats indoors.
Cats and kittens at the MCHS are vaccinated against distemper and the major feline respiratory illnesses.
Kittens are very susceptible to distemper. Many don’t survive the illness. Those that do may have permanent side effects such as lack of motor coordination. The MCHS has seen many kittens recently with distemper and infections that are preventable.
Vaccinations and keeping cats inside are the best preventatives.
Dogs at the MCHS are given a blood test for heartworm disease and tick-borne illnesses. Heartworm disease is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.
As the worms mature, they invade the heart and its vessels. If left untreated, it is fatal. It is preventable by keeping a dog on a monthly dose of heartworm preventative, prescribed by a vet. The cost of the preventative is small.
Heartworm treatment can cost hundreds of dollars. The MCHS is currently treating two dogs for heartworm.
Get your pet spayed and neutered
The MCHS will be hosting the Minnesota Spay/Neuter Assistance Program on Sept. 19. It provides low cost spay and neuter surgeries to income eligible residents. Low cost vaccinations and microchipping are also available if a surgery is done.
Please go to mnsnap.org or call 612-720-8236 for appointment information and eligibility requirements.
The annual “Walk for Animals” will be held on Sept. 8 at the Mill Pond in Austin.
Pledge forms are available at the library, Double K Specialty, Austin Vet Clinic, and the MCHS.
The MCHS is thankful for donations received in memory of Naomi Larsen, Richard Chaffee, Gilbert Ferguson, Harlan Wellnitz, Steve Duren, Laura Judd, Joyce Wendt, Patricia Dale, “Buddy” Jenkins, Frank Graves, “Bear” Carlson, George Moline, “Burt”, Margaret Bjork, Consuelo Abad, and Lowell Haug.