Turlock Animal Services will soon be offering cat spay and neuter coupons to city residents thanks to a donation from the American Legion Rex Ish Post 88. The group gave a $1,500 donation to the Turlock Animal Shelter to spay and neuter cats in the Turlock area.
“There are way too many animals being taken to the shelter. But at the same time lots of people can’t afford to fix their animals. This is our way of helping,” said Bob Russell, a member of Post 88.
Officer Glena Jackson of Turlock Animal Services said the donation will be used to spay or neuter pet cats from the Turlock area. The money will cover a free microchip for each participating cat and a $30 discount off spay or neuter vouchers good at any of several participating veterinarians in the area. Jackson said the voucher will probably not cover the full cost of a spay or neuter and that participating residents will have to pay the difference, but the voucher could bring the cost down as low as $10.
“Any decrease in the number of kittens and cats that comes into the shelter is a god send,” Jackson said.
Turlock Animal Shelter takes in cats and kittens that are surrendered by families or trapped by residents. Many of the cats are feral, meaning they were raised without human contact and are not suitable for adoption because of aggressive behavior. Many feral cats are the offspring of abandoned or stray cats that are not spayed.
Russell has firsthand experience with the problem of stray and feral cats. He trapped 12 cats on his property in Turlock and turned them over to Turlock Animal Services.
“There is a cat problem in this town. There are a lot of stray cats,” Russell said.
Animal Services does not have the resources to catch stray cats, but they do rent humane cat traps for a small deposit fee. Through the trapping process Russell met Officer Jackson, who told him that spaying and neutering cats is the only real way to stop the stray cat overpopulation.
“If we spay 50 cats now, in the long run we are preventing something like 2,500 kittens from ever coming into the shelter,” Jackson said.
Russell and Rex Ish Post 88 Commander Wardee Bruce brought a donation check to the Turlock Animal Shelter in person. Jackson said the free microchip and spay voucher program has not started yet, but when it does it will only be available for Turlock residents. Jackson said she plans to release further details on the program start date on the Turlock Animal Shelter Facebook page. For more information about the upcoming spay/neuter voucher program, call the shelter at 656-3140.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.