Local group offers help sterilizing cats

PARKERSBURG – Pet parents in need of aid to have their cats or kittens sterilized are encouraged to apply for the Save A Kitty Feral Cat Program’s upcoming surgery mobile unit, an organizer said.

“This is the first time we have offered this program for pet cats rather than community cats,” said Kandi Habeb, founder of Save A Kitty Feral Cat Program in Parkersburg.

The program will be held May 25 at a Belpre location with approximately 45 spaces available for sterilization of cats and kittens at no cost to the owners.

A deposit of $10 is required to hold the space and will be refunded when the cat shows up for the appointment. This deposit is nonrefundable if you are a no-show or do not cancel at least three days prior to the surgery date.

The surgeries will be performed by a licensed veterinarian with The Rascal Unit from Dublin, Ohio, with funding from The Two Mauds Foundation based out of Missouri, Habeb said.

While the cats and kittens will receive their spay or neuter surgery free of charge, rabies vaccines will be available for a $7 fee.

The program is open to any cat or kitten weighing at least two-and-a-half pounds or eight weeks old. The veterinarian will not spay or neuter cats or kittens that appear to be sick or underweight.

Cat owners are responsible for dropping off and picking up their pets.

All cats and kittens must be in their own separate carrier that is safe and secure.

“The cats must be tame or we will not take them,” Habeb said.

Cats will be taken on a first come, first serve basis. The first 45 cats or kittens to have their $10 deposit paid will be taken.

To schedule an appointment, contact Judy Deem at 304-488-4679 to fill out the paperwork and pay the deposit. The location of the surgery mobile unit and instructions will be given to cat owners upon delivery of the deposit.

Save A Kitty is a local organization formed to educate people on the success of TNR in reducing the number of feral cats. The organization also hopes to remind citizens of anti-cruelty laws that protect all cats from harm.

The organization has used the Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) method to spay and neuter more than 2,000 feral and free-roaming cats, averaging 250 a year, since its inception in July 2004, Habeb said.

The TNR method is a full management plan in which stray and feral cats are humanely trapped and taken to veterinarians for medical evaluation, vaccinations and sterilization. By spaying or neutering feral and un-socialized cats, their populations are downsized without having to euthanize a single feline, Habeb said.

Habeb said the TNR method eventually stops the cycle of life by keeping more kittens from being born.