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Spay and Neuter Awareness Month, Helping To Control Animal Populations

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Shelter workers say just one small thing can make a big difference toward stopping animal hoarding. We saw it in monmouth just months ago. Over seven days staffers removed 94 cats from one home, bringing out cage after cage after cage.

Then just last month, in Clinton, 73 cats taken from one home and then another 27. Shelter workers say taking steps like spaying or neutering can help control the animal population and prevent problems in our communities.

February is global Spay and Neuter Awareness month and many shelters are offering discounts.

The Clinton Humane Society alone took in nearly 100 cats from the cat hoarding cases, limiting space in their shelter for other lost or abandoned animals.

"That's probably the hardest thing up here is dealing with all these animals that aren't spayed or neutered," said executive director of the Clinton Humane Society Sandi Bartels.

Had those cats been spayed or neutered, Bartels said situations like hoarding could be avoided all together.

But it's not just hoarding that's the problem, sometimes pet owners don't realize the responsibility and high cost of having a litter of kittens or puppies. Bartels said pets from these litters are often the cats or dogs waiting at shelters for families to take them home. 

"We do try to keep our costs as low as possible because that's what we're all about is spaying and neutering and trying to get to the point where we don't have as many animals as what we normally do," said Bartels.

She said spaying and neutering is also healthy for your pets. 

"For those people who have barn cats, the barn cats don't wander so much and I know that from experience," said Bartels. "We have a bunch out at our house and they're all spayed and neutered and they just don't tend to wander. They aren't getting hit on the highway. There's just so many good reasons."

It also cuts down on the number of unwanted litters of puppies and kittens, which would reduce the strain on our local shelters. Bartels said the shelter usually slows down during the winter months, but not this year. Many litters of puppies and kittens have still been coming in.

"We'd love to see it where we could maybe even go out of business because everybody was spaying and neutering, we weren't getting all of the repercussions of not spaying and neutering," said Bartels. "Leave the breeding to the people who know what they're doing."

She said caring for animals that aren't spayed or neutered is especially tough, they tend to be more aggressive and the shelter usually has to pay to get each one fixed. She encourages pet owners to take advantage of low cost spay and neuter clinics. At the Clinton Humane Society, they'll be on February 6th and 20th.

The Scott County Humane Society is also offering discounts $5 spaying and neutering for cats during the entire month of February. 

 

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