Low cost outdoor cat spay/neuter program now available through PEHS

alley_cat_allies_kitten_season1Do you have outdoor/barn cats that are unaltered?  If so keep reading for information on a new Prairie’s Edge Humane Society program to help reduce the number of outdoor cats through spay/neuter. 

This program will decrease the number of kittens coming into the world un-intentionally and increase the quality of life for the cats that live outside.  To qualify for the Outside Cat Spay/Neuter Program, you will need to meet the following requirements.

  • The cats you wish to have altered live outside only and are provided food, water and shelter by you on a regular basis.
  • You will pay $50.00 per cat (covers surgery and a rabies vaccination) you wish to have altered under this program. This is much less than you would pay at a veterinary clinic to alter your cats.
  • The feline distemper vaccination is optional and will be an additional $10.00 per cat. (Vaccinations for distemper are strongly suggested.)
  • You must meet the following household income requirement;  have a combined household income of $40,000 or less.

Surgeries will be done at the PEHS shelter through the Just Cause Four Paws Clinic program

To apply for the Just Cause Four Paws Clinic Outside Cat Spay/Neuter Program call the PEHS shelter at 507-334-7117, let them know that you are calling regarding the Outside Cat Spay/Neuter Program, leave your name and phone number. A volunteer will call you back regarding the requirements and scheduling for the program.  Space is limited, so you may be put on a waiting list.  We hope to increase the number of surgeries possible at future clinic days.

Some common concerns in regards to Spay/Neuter of outside cats:

At what age can the cats be altered? Kittens may be altered after they reach 2 pounds, which is usually after 8 –9 weeks.  Adult cats may be altered anytime.  Females may be spayed during early pregnancy. One unspayed female may be responsible for 100 more kittens in 18 months if not spayed.

Many of your cats may look the same or are too wild to handle, how do we alter those?  Ear-Tipping: This is a technique of removing the top corner of the cat’s left ear.  This is done while the cat is under anesthesia for its spay/neuter, so there is no pain.  The “tipped” ear is the universal symbol showing a cat has been through a spay/neuter program. This makes it possible for caretakers to differentiate between cats that have already been sterilized and ones that have not been sterilized.  Ear tipping also ensures that a cat will not undergo unnecessary repeat surgery.  For the not so tame cats, we can provide you with live trap/carriers.  Cats can then be brought into the clinic in the trap/carrier.  They will be sent home in the trap/carrier, which will allow you to open the door and let them out. There will be a $50 deposit per trap/carrier.   This will be returned to you when the trap/carrier is returned to the shelter.

What about stitches?  Stitches (sutures) are only used on the females, and are absorbable, so there will be no need to remove them later.

8 thoughts on “Low cost outdoor cat spay/neuter program now available through PEHS”

  1. Sandy, you might consider rephrasing this title to “Low-cost spay/neuter program for outdoor cats now available through PEHS.” Not accustomed to the term “outdoor cats,” it suggested a rather unconventional spay/neuter program…

    1. Sean, thank you for your suggestion. Rest assured our veterinarian is not doing the spay and neuter surgeries outdoors, if that is where the title took your mind. We have a wonderful surgery room at the shelter which was made possible by donations from the Natalie Perry Smead family. The post does explain the program but in case anyone else was confused by the title, the program is a low-cost spay/neuter surgery, done in the Natalie Perry Smead Surgery Suite, thru the Just Cause Four Paws Clinic and Prairie’s Edge Humane Society and is for cats who live strickly outdoors or barn cats living on farms. Thank you and remember….spay and neuter saves lives!

    1. Thank you Jane. Anyone who adopts a cat from Prairie’s Edge Humane Society is required to sign a contract that the cat is not allowed outdoors. We do promote that the family pet not be let outdoors, not only for the health of the local wildlife but for the health of the cat. No matter how much you believe your house cat “loves to be outdoors” it is dangerous for the cat. We receive in cats EVERY DAY who are obviously someone’s house cat who has become lost, been picked up by animal control, contracted a disease, or become injured. Unless these animals are microchipped or the owner makes an assertive effort to look for the cat, the cat becomes one of the over 80 cats PEHS currently has to house, feed and provide medical care. There are “barn cats” which live on farms who do provide a “service” so to speak to those farmers by keeping mice away in barns, etc., however we promote that even these cats must be spayed and neutered as well. We realize more than anyone else what the “outdoor” cat problem has become. Unfortunately, humans have created this problem by not spay and neutering. If more people were responsible enough to spay and neuter these animals the outdoor cat population would eventully be less. These animals are a problem, unfortunately the battle is so large and we can only do what our limited resources allow us to do. The best way to control the cat overpopulation problem is to spay and neuter. We provide live traps to catch these animals and we provide a low cost solution. Until humans begin to realize how important spay and neuter programs are, the problem will just continue to grow at a very fast pace. Come to the shelter and see the reality of the cat population problem. Thank you Jane for bringing up this issue and pointing out to everyone what else is affected by the cat over population. It’s not just a problem of finding homes for cats, the over population affects many other things around us as well.

      1. I should also add that PEHS does work with several very responsible “barn cat” owners in the area who understand the importance of spay and neuter programs. By these people taking the responsibility to spay and neuter these animals and by providing shelter, food and water on a regular basis to them, hopefully the urge to roam and be destructive to wildlife is minimal or not at all. The reality is that if these people were not providing “homes” for these “barn cats” more cats would unfortunately be euthanized.

      2. Sandy…Our cat is neutered. We ‘provide shelter, food and water on a regular basis’ so hopefully his ‘urge to roam and be destructive to wildlife is minimal.’ (Excepting mice, since he also provides this ‘service’.) We adopted him from a shelter as an adult cat and he may very well have been euthanized if we did not provide him a home. How is his situation different than a barn cat?

        Whether because of his past history or just his disposition, he becomes unhappy and neurotic if not allowed outside. He, in fact, ‘loves being outdoors’. He has been going out for three years and always comes back, (although not always when called). He even goes out in the middle of winter, although not for long…he just needs to get out and try it and then he’s fine. I’ll wager that there are many, many cats just like him in this country.

        If we had knowingly signed a contract to keep him inside, we would have had to bring him back to the shelter since it would have been impossible to live with him as an unhappy, neurotic cat. And then what would have been his fate?

      3. Hi William – Thank you for choosing to adopt a shelter cat, I see that your cat was actually adopted from PEHS in 2008 so your cat would have already been neutered when you adopted it. The reality however is that there are many people unfortunately who do not spay or neuter their cats for various reasons, unless they have adopted from a shelter, like PEHS, who requires the animal be spayed or neutered prior to leaving the shelter. At the time you adopted your cat from PEHS you would have signed paperwork saying that the cat would be kept strictly indoors as all cat adopters from PEHS have to sign. As you point out, we cannot control what the owner chooses to do once the animal leaves the shelter. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to do so. We hope that people follow what we have requested but unfortunately that is not the reality. The difference between your “house” cat and a barn cat is that your cat returns (hopefully) to a comfortable house to live and probably does spend the majority of his time inside your house. Your cat probably could not survive several days outdoors. It knows it has a comfortable home to return to. A barn cat lives in a barn or similar structure (not in a suburban area). They are not lap cats or the family pet. Hunting mice in a barn is a service to farmers as mice can be very destructive in a barn. When we talk about barn cats, these are cats that are not socialized to live inside someone’s home. There may be some who are probably tame enough to pick up and possibly hold but normally these barn cats are not like your family pet. And yes, as you have pointed out, if these cats were not allowed to live outside, on a farm, the reality is that they probably would be euthanized. Not because we prefer people do not let their house cat outdoors in town, but because the cat population is out of control. While I am happy that your cat does return each time, the reality is that many do not and as you stated there are many cats just like him in this country. We receive in cats every day that have become lost, have wandered into a neighborhood that does not know the cat so animal control has picked them up, they have been hit by a car, injured by a dog, trapped in someone else’s garage by accident, wondered into the person’s yard who does not appreciate them chasing birds out of the feeder so they have “live trapped” them and brought them to the shelter and the list goes on and on as to why these cats end up at the PEHS shelter. We do not promote house cats be allowed to roam outdoors in a suburban area. We work with area farmers and other rural hobby farms to spay/neuter their outdoor cat population. The cat population is an ever increasing problem; as of today, Wednesday, June 15th, the PEHS shelter is in possession of 91 cats. Many of whom at some point were probably someone’s pets or the offspring of someone’s pet who was not spayed or neutered. Thank you for keeping the conversation going. All discussion is good and keeps the issue of cat overpopulation in people’s minds.

  2. Please read my comments under the cat a palooza story. I intended them to refer to our clinic for outdoor cats. Again, what Sandy Vesledahl said is right on target. Thanks to everyone for bringing attention to the importance of spay/neuter.

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