Save-A-Pet Clinics for Privately Owned Cats
For the past several years, Save-A-Pet’s volunteers have organized several spay/neuter clinics every month which offer low-cost spay/neuter services to local privately-owned or feral cats. We have carriers to loan, Have-A-Heart Traps for feral cats, and financial aid if needed. To see if your pet might qualify, call our main number at 716-559-3020, ext 3 or call Jane at 716-778-7767 for eastern Niagara County or Celia at 716-298-8024 for Niagara Falls. .
In 2013 Save-A-Pet received a generous grant from the ASPCA for the spay/neutering of privately-owned of income-eligible Niagara County residents. Working with local vet clinics and Operation Pets, we spayed or neutered 175 cats and 42 dogs. In addition, Save-A-Pet's volunteers facilitated low-cost owner-funded spay/neuter procedures for 522 cats. In addition in Dec. 2013, we began a new Save-A-Pet-funded cat s/n clinic program with the Niagara SPCA with 15 cats fit in at the end of the year to start us off.
In 2014 Save-A-Pet's spay/neuter programs are going full-speed-ahead. We continue to facilitate one or two monthly owner-funded spay/neuter clinics for cats. In addition, by the middle of 2014, over 360 cats owned by low-income owners have been spay/neutered through Save-A-Pet-funded cat spay/neuter clinics at the Niagara SPCA. So far this year over 40 dogs have been spay/neutered in our Save-A-Pet funded clinics at local veterinary hospitals.
We believe community spay/neutering programs are the key to the future of animal rescue groups. We hope you'll support our efforts.
Reprinted with permission from the website of www.operationpets.com.
Q. WHAT IS SPAY/NEUTER? The word "spay" refers to the sterilization of female pets. The term "neuter" is more commonly used to refer to the castration of male pets. In female dogs and cats, the uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision in the abdominal wall. In male dogs and cats, the scrotum is not removed, only the testicles.
Q. WHY SHOULD I SPAY OR NEUTER MY PET? Spay/neuter packs a powerful punch in the fight against pet overpopulation. Millions of cats and dogs are euthanized annually or suffer as strays. This is the tragic result of unwanted, unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
- Your spayed female won't go into heat.
- Unneutered cats mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine.
- Your male dog won't need to roam away from home.
- Your pet will live a longer, healthier life.
- Spaying a female helps prevent pyometra (pus-filled uterus).
- Spaying a female helps prevent breast cancer, which is often fatal.
- Neutering a male prevents testicular cancer and prostate diseases.
- Your pet will be much better behaved.
Q. IS SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY PAINFUL? CAN IT HARM MY DOG OR CAT? During spay or neuter surgery, cats and dogs are fully anesthetized, so they feel no pain. Afterwards, most animals seem to experience some discomfort, but signs of discomfort disappear within a few days, and with pain management medication, pain may not be experienced at all. Serious harm as a result of spay/neuter surgery is extremely rare.
Q. WILL MY PET?S BEHAVIOR CHANGE AFTER SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY? Spay/neuter will not alter your pet's basic personality. It can result in some behavior changes ? for the better! Pets may be less aggressive, more relaxed, and more focused on you. Freed from the urge to mate, cats and dogs tend to be calmer and more content after spaying or neutering. Spayed or neutered pets are more, not less, likely to show affection toward their human companions. A neutered dog protects his home and family just as well as an unneutered dog.
Q. WILL MY PET BECOME FAT AFTER SPAY/NEUTER? Just like people, pets become overweight when they eat too much and/or exercise too little. An appropriate diet and sufficient activity will keep your pet slender and healthy.
Q. WILL NEUTERING PREVENT MY CAT FROM SPRAYING? Urine marking is most common in unneutered males. Unneutered males usually start spraying or "marking their territory" when they reach sexual maturity (about 6 months). Male cats in multi-cat households or in close proximity to other cats may spray at a younger age. It's best to neuter males before they reach sexual maturity and before they start spraying. If a cat has started spraying neutering may help. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the hormones to subside after the neutering so you may not notice an immediate difference.
Q. HOW OLD DOES MY PET HAVE TO BE FOR SPAY/NEUTER SURGERY? Cats must be at least 12 weeks old and weigh three pounds. Dogs must be at least 12 weeks old. We do not provide sterilization services for animals over five years old.
Q. SHOULD FEMALE ANIMALS BE SPAYED PRIOR TO THEIR FIRST HEAT CYCLE? Yes, to greatly reduce the chance for mammary cancer.
Q. WHEN DO ANIMALS FIRST GO INTO HEAT? Cats normally go into heat around six months of age but it can be as early as five months of age. It varies for dogs. Small breed dogs can be 6 months. Larger breed dogs are usually later, on average between 6-12 months of age.
Q. WHAT ARE THE SIGNS MY CAT/DOG IS IN HEAT? Your cat will be more affectionate. When you?re petting her, she may raise her hind end in the air, get low to the ground, and purr like crazy. She will begin calling. This yowling can go on around the clock. She will lift her tail and sprays urine on vertical objects, like walls, doors and furniture rather than on the floor or carpet. For dogs, the vulva swells and there is a bloody vaginal discharge.
Q. HOW LONG DO HEAT CYCLES LAST? Cats - Usually about 7 days; Dogs - Usually about 9 days.
Q. HOW OFTEN DO ANIMALS GO INTO HEAT? Cats can be as often as every 2-3 weeks. Dogs usually twice a year - every 6-8 months.
Q. CAN ANIMAL BE SPAYED DURING HEAT CYCLE? Yes, but there may be an extra charge.
Q. IS IT HEALTHIER FOR MY PET TO HAVE ONE LITTER BEFORE BEING SPAYED? No, females spayed prior to their first heat cycle are at less risk for breast tumors.
Q. SHOULD I LET MY PET HAVE A LITTER SO MY CHILDREN CAN WITNESS THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH? No, absolutely not. Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping teaches your children irresponsibility. Anyone who has seen an animal euthanized in a shelter for lack of a home knows the truth behind this dangerous myth.
Q. CAN ANIMAL BE SPAYED IF IT IS PREGNANT? Yes. The sooner you can bring them in, the better. There may be an extra charge.
Q. CAN ANIMALS BECOME PREGNANT DURING THEIR HEAT CYCLE? Yes.
Q. CAN ANIMALS BECOME PREGNANT BY THEIR SIBLINGS? Yes, they can create their own litters. You don?t want that to happen.
Q. HOW LONG DOES PREGNANCY LAST? Cats usually 64 days; Dogs usually 65 days.
Q. HOW LONG AFTER DELIVERING KITTENS/PUPPIES CAN AN ANIMAL BE SPAYED? Ten weeks. Puppies and kittens should be 8 weeks of age and must be eating and drinking on their own prior to their mother's surgery. Be sure that lactating animals do not nurse for at least two weeks before the day of their surgery.