This summer, the Animal Care Veterinary Clinic will conduct 100 free spay surgeries for cats that belong to low-income families in Thurston County. The Four Day Cat Spay program began in June.
“There are tons and tons of feral cats in the area, and there are a lot of people that can’t afford to have their pets spayed or neutered,” said Ginger Brown, a veterinary assistant at the clinic.
The Animal Care Veterinary Clinic is partnered with Concern for Animals, a non-profit animal welfare service that supports Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties. According to Sarah Hinman, executive assistant at Concern for Animals, the organization makes the decision if a family is qualified for low-income and then provides partial reimbursement to the veterinary clinic for the surgeries.
“We get reimbursed a certain percentage, but at a very reduced rate,” Brown said.
The Four Day Cat Spay program was made possible through a grant from the Thurston County Humane Society in order to ease the financial burden of pet owners while simultaneously controlling the feline population in the area. Brown said that these spays are essential for Thurston County, where the population of feral cats is growing.
“They can get pregnant as early as 4 to 5 months of age, that population expands incredibly fast,” Brown said.
Concern for Animals hopes to tackle this rapid expansion through further funding and programs to help families get their cats spayed, according to Hinman.
“It’s something that we want to work towards making a difference in, hopefully the small amount of funding we have so far along with continued funding will help us so we can begin to tackle that issue,” Hinman said.
The spay days are scheduled for one Wednesday a month throughout the summer; the next free spay day will be on Aug. 13 and the last one is Sept. 10. To be assessed for low-income qualification and to make an appointment, cat owners can contact the Concern for Animals office, at 360-456-8176.