In honor of World Spay Day last month, Best Friends Animal Society-Utah pulled out all the stops to help spay or neuter as many cats as possible. While the Best Friends Spay/Neuter Clinic in Orem offers low-cost spay and neuter services for both cats and dogs, statistics show that cats enter the shelter system at a disproportionately higher rate than dogs. To help this situation, Best Friends also offers a low-cost spay/neuter voucher program (available throughout the year) that enables people to take cats to their local participating veterinarian. And for community cats, spaying or neutering is free.
Proactive for pets
A major pillar in supporting the goals of NKUT is spaying or neutering both pet cats and community (ownerless, free-roaming) cats. No-Kill Utah (NKUT) is an initiative led by Best Friends Animal Society that brings together passionate individuals, city shelters and a coalition of animal welfare organizations to end the killing of dogs and cats in shelters throughout the state.
Ashley Farmer, spay/neuter services manager for Best Friends–Utah, helped kick World Spay Day 2015 into higher gear. “The staff at the clinic thought it would be a good opportunity to get a jump on the oncoming kitten season and educate the public about ‘beating the heat.’ So we decided to offer free spay/neuter surgeries for cats, and only did cats surgeries for the day,” says Ashley.
As one of the largest high-volume spay/neuter clinics in the state, it was important to Best Friends that the Orem clinic take the lead in promoting the day. “We were in a great position having our clinic and our voucher program to promote this special day,” says Ashley. “We provide a service that can truly make a difference for our community by reducing shelter intake and reducing the number of cats killed. We want people to take advantage of these services. It's so easy to find low-cost services to get your pets fixed in Utah. There’s no reason people shouldn’t get their pets fixed.”
Many NKUT partners also offer similar low-cost or no-cost services. Salt Lake Spay/Neuter, the Humane Society of Utah and Heartsong Spay/Neuter in northern Utah are all onboard to provide services that help reduce the number of cats entering shelters.
Highlighting the issues
Every year Best Friends celebrates World Spay Day with a promotion targeting at-risk pets. In the past, there have been free or discounted surgeries offered for dogs of all types. This year’s promotion focusing on cats was extra important in helping Utah reach no-kill status “We've had an abnormally warm winter, and therefore, cats are going into heat a lot earlier. So we wanted to promote the importance of spaying or neutering cats in an effort to ‘beat the heat,’” says Ashley. (Another way Best Friends promotes spay-neuter all year long is through the Fix at Four initiative, which communicates the important fact that puppies and kittens should be fixed at four months old.)
As part of the event, clients who brought their cats in for spaying or neutering were treated to bagels and doughnuts.
“It was great to see how many cat owners and community cat caregivers showed up to get their cats fixed,” says Ashley. “Our expert medical staff really outdid themselves this year.”
Thanks to the strong public response, along with the Orem clinic staff going into overdrive, 76 cats were spayed or neutered — all part of a key day dedicated to proactively saving them all.
Learn more about Best Friends Animal Society-Utah spay and neuter resources.