During the month of February, our team at the Kennebec Valley Humane Society joins many other local and national partners in celebrating World Spay Day.

World Spay Day is an international movement that addresses pet overpopulation through providing low-cost spay-neuter programs to vulnerable animals. At KVHS, we join this movement with a multi-prong approach to meeting the needs of our communities.

In an attempt to solve the cat overpopulation problem in the communities we serve, we’ve named our campaign “Let’s Fix This” for 2015. To begin our campaign, on Sunday we’ll hold a low-cost spay-neuter event called Spay Day at the Winthrop Veterinary Hospital in Winthrop. This spring, we’ll hold another Spay Day at At Home Veterinary Care in West Gardiner.

In addition, we have vouchers available for low-cost spay-neuter surgeries through our office at KVHS that we provide to our most at-risks and vulnerable residents for their cats. These services are provided through a combination of support from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation and Belvedere Animal Welfare Fund. Veterinarians donate their time, volunteers staff events and transport cats to surgeries, and our team works to identify the most at-need cats. Together, we believe we can change the landscape of this problem.

Our goal through the “Let’s Fix This” campaign is to increase awareness while decreasing the number of cats and kittens that are brought into our shelter every year. Our campaign targets cats that are at risk to become pregnant or to impregnate other cats as well as feral cats, or free roaming and stray cats, being fed by individuals. The cats we sterilize through this program also are tested for diseases and receive a rabies vaccination, all for the low cost of $10. It’s a valuable and life-changing service for the cats we aim to help.

Many times I hear people say, “I’ll just let my cat have one litter of kittens.” I cringe at their well-intended sentiment, because the reality is that just one litter is one too many. In the summer months our shelter, as well as shelters across the country, becomes inundated with unwanted or abandoned litters of kittens that create enormous strains on shelter resources. Through spay-neuter programs, these litters can be prevented, and cats will lead healthier lives.

I urge residents of Kennebec County to join us in our campaign. KVHS is looking for donations to help support this program and advocacy for the great importance of having animals spayed and neutered. As our community joins with us and embraces spay and neuter programs, we will save and improve the lives of animals.

Hillary Roberts is the executive director of the Kennebec Valley Humane Society, Pet Haven Lane, Augusta.


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