Spay & Neuter Works!

Spay & Neuter Works!

Animal Shelter workers normally dread September.  It is typically the high point of our animal population, with kittens filling every cage and foster home and back to school activities decreasing the number of adoptions.  One fall day a few years ago someone asked me how many kittens we had and I took the time to do an actual head count.  In our shelter that day were 96 kittens and another 54 were out in foster homes!  By September the initial rush of excitement at seeing cute, young kittens is over and all those people who waited through the winter to adopt a kitten have already made their selection.

The saddest part was watching the tiny babies that came in during the summer continue to grow up in the shelter.  Predictably the smallest kitten (no matter the temperament) would be the first to be adopted out of the adoption room.  So as new, young kittens continue to come in, the biggest kittens were by-passed and just got bigger.  Also predictable was the fact that any kitten of color would be adopted before a black one.  By October our adoption room would be filled with teenage black cats – just in time for a Halloween special!

This year we witnessed a miracle!  A truly unique phenomenon for a municipal, open-admission shelter.  A couple of weeks ago we adopted out the last pair of kittens in our adoption room.  Let me say that again, our shelter ran out of adoption kittens.  We’re so proud and happy about that we were doing our happy dance down the hallway!  Not that I’m saying we were totally out of the little fur-balls – there were still some young ones and some shy ones in foster care.  But that Saturday night our adoption kitten room was completely empty.  And it was only the middle of September!

I know shelters all around us are still full of kittens.  As soon as I posted our good news on our Facebook page, the requests for help started coming in.  Sad stories of shelters buried in the influx of young kittens.  Stories that we all know only too well. Sadly too the fire started in Lake County and all media and shelter attention was diverted to helping those victims.  We are glad to be able to offer assistance to other shelters whenever we can and have brought in several litters of kittens from other places.

What do we attribute this miracle to?  An aggressive spay/neuter program.  We are the only shelter in the area that offers our citizens free cat surgeries, and have been doing that since 2008.  So actually the more surprising thing is that we’ve gotten in any unwanted litters at all!  Seven years of paying for everyone to have their cats fixed is making a difference!  We are continuing this program so here’s another plug for it.  If you know anyone living in Rohnert Park or the City limits of Cotati that has an intact cat please let them know that we offer this program!  They just need to call 588-3531 to make an appointment.

We love being able to offer our help to other crowded shelters – not to mention bragging about our success!  Maybe next year we can empty our shelter by August.  We’re making that our new goal.  With your help and support, we can do it!

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