Springtime brings more abandoned animals

Published 1:01 pm Sunday, April 3, 2016

By Carey Sharp

Mower County Humane Society

Spring is slowly making an appearance in the area. However, this is not always a happy time for shelters, including the Mower County Humane Society.

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Springtime weather brings a dramatic increase in the number of pregnant cats, leading to unwanted, homeless cats and kittens of all ages. The MCHS cat side is consistently filled over capacity. Volunteers know all too well that their phone will soon explode with calls regarding unwanted felines.

It is true, of course, that spaying and neutering is the only certain way to prevent overpopulation of cats and dogs. For many people, however, the cost of the surgery deters them from getting it done. Yes, it can be expensive. Luckily, there are programs out there that can help.

For several years, the MCHS has been working closely with the MN Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (MNSNAP). In fact, this organization is at the shelter every other month.

MNSNAP is a mobile veterinary unit that provides low cost spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and microchips. Dogs can be spayed or neutered for $60. A cat neuter is $40 and a cat spay is $50. Vaccinations are $10 and microchips are $20, but only if a surgery is performed.

The MCHS has hosted MNSNAP twice since 2016 started and close to 80 animals have already been spayed and neutered. The service that they provide is extremely valuable and MCHS volunteers are grateful that this organization exists. The shelter will be hosting MNSNAP again on May 26 and July 7. For details and appointment information, please check out www.mnsnap.org. Even one litter of kittens or puppies is too much.

In an effort to control the local cat population, the MCHS recently sponsored a feline spay and neuter program with Austin Veterinary Clinic (AVC). This yearly event was once again held during the month of March. It was an incredibly busy time for AVC, but thanks to their hard work, almost 200 cats were spayed and neutered. This results in roughly 1,000 less kittens for Mower County. Thank you so much to the staff at AVC and to the responsible cat owners who participated.

Vaccinations are also an important part of responsible pet ownership. The regular cost of basic vaccinations can cause a lot of people to take chances with their pet’s health. Don’t risk it.

Austin Veterinary Clinic will be holding its annual vaccination clinic on Saturday April 30th, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. No appointment is necessary for this clinic and it’s usually very busy.

Rabies and distemper vaccinations will be offered at a reduced cost, as will heartworm testing. Other vaccinations can be done at the regular price. It’s also a great chance to stock up on flea, tick, and heartworm preventative, at the regular price. MCHS volunteers will be on hand to help the dedicated AVC staff.