Community

Grants support Kitsap Humane Society’s spay-neuter programs

By KELLY MICHAELS | For the Independent

SILVERDALE — Kitsap Humane Society (KHS) announced recently that it has received three grants in support of its spay-neuter programs.

The Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island awarded KHS $6,987.75 for the purchase of 15 spay-neuter packs.

The Handsel Foundation, a private family foundation, awarded KHS $10,000 and the Bainbridge Community Foundation awarded KHS $5,000 for its spay-neuter programs.

“Kitsap Humane Society veterinarians completed a record 3,700 spay/neuter surgeries in 2012 and are working to increase that number by 10 percent in 2013,” said KHS Executive Director Eric Stevens. “So far they have performed almost 1,900 surgeries. These grants will enable us to make continued progress in the prevention of unwanted litters that invariably end up at the shelter in great numbers, especially kittens.“

The Bainbridge Rotary grant specifically provides for 15 large and small spay-neuter packs that include specialized forceps, needle holders, surgical towels and other equipment that must be individually sterilized and wrapped for each surgery.

“We are able to complete each spay/neuter surgery within a few minutes depending on the type of animal and size, but when all the spay/neuter packs are used up, we have to wait while the used ones are being re-sterilized and wrapped, which is the time-intensive part of the process,” said  Dr. Jennifer Stonequist, KHS’ director of shelter medicine. “Having more of these packs will allow us to complete significantly more surgeries.”

More surgeries are what KHS aims to accomplish.

“When you consider that an unaltered female cat and her offspring have the potential to produce 17 cats in two years, 55 in three years, 175 in four years until the number reaches over 5,000 at seven years, it becomes clear why thereis a crisis in the overpopulation of companion animals in the United States,” said Stonequist.

KHS spay/neuter programs include partnerships with other rescue organizations such as PAWS Bainbridge/North Kitsap and PAWS Bremerton.  KHS also offers ongoing, low-cost spayneuter services to pets of low-income residents of Kitsap and Mason counties, including Cat Fix Days every second and last Tuesday of the month.  “Low-income” is defined as $51,750 or less in a 3-member household and $57,500 or less in a 4-member household.

For pet owners whose pet has had a litter, the owner may bring in the offspring and KHS will spay or neuter them when they are of appropriate age (at least 2 months old) and find them forever homes.

KHS will also spay/neuter and return the parent(s) free of charge.

In addition, KHS offers a no-cost spay/neuter service for low-income owners of pit bulls or pit bull mixes.  KHS offers this service because pit bulls are currently the most common breed or mixed breed surrendered in the nation’s shelters. More and more pit bulls are bred each year adding to the already staggering population numbers.

Also, a Community Cats Program funded by PetSmart Charities is underway this year at Kitsap Humane Society.  The program’s goal is to trap, spay/neuter and release 600 feral cats in Bremerton.

Four months into the program, KHS has altered 167 feral cats.  For more information, visit kitsaphumane.org/community-cats.

For more information on all of Kitsap Humane Society’s spay/neuter programs, visit kitsap-humane.org/low-cost-spay-neuter-program-0 or call 360-692-6977.

 

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