The patient was a kitten from the Putnam County Humane Shelter.
"For every 10,000 humans born, more than 90,000 puppies and kittens are born every day. There is not and never will be enough homes for all of them," said Shannon Crigger, RVT. "Every surgery we complete at S.P.O.T. is one step closer to the goal of ending pet overpopulation."
Over $2 billion is spent each year in the U.S. to collect, house and euthanize domestic animals. Shelters around the state are often overflowing with pets needing homes.
"If we are pro-active with spay/neuter we can all make a positive impact on our financial future. Spay and neuter just makes sense economically," noted Crigger.
The biggest issue veterinarian Nancy Ferguson and Crigger see now is an exploding cat population. They hope to encourage more cat owners to fix their cats and maybe some of the feral cats roaming the county's neighborhoods.
"To celebrate our milestone, SPOT will offer $25 cat surgeries until Sept. 11. We're calling the program the 'Cat Catch-up.' We also have information about many other voucher programs that can help with the cost of surgery for dogs and cats," said Crigger.
"Each and every time a litter is born, it adds to the number of animals potentially wandering the streets and creating a burden for the community and other responsible owners," added Crigger. "If you want to add a new pet to your family, S.P.O. T. works with many shelters and rescue groups and will be happy to give people contact information."
The health benefits to animals that have been altered are also positive. Animals don't wander as much and behaviors can improve.
"Not a day goes by at the clinic when we don't encounter a health or behavior issue that could have been prevented by early spay/neuter," said Crigger.
"The risk of mammary cancer is greatly reduced if you spay your dog before age one. Also, cancers of the reproductive organs are eliminated," said Crigger. "If you postpone this surgery until later in life, it doesn't provide this benefit. Early spaying also helps prevent the development of several reproductive tract diseases."
There are other benefits as well. Behavioral problems such as aggressiveness toward same sex dogs, marking or spraying in the house and roaming to find a mate are also eliminated or reduced.
As male dogs roam in search of females in heat, they are vulnerable to being hit by a car or attacked by other dogs, explained Crigger.
"Even people with strong backyard fences or those who keep a male cat indoors cannot stop their urge to roam. That urge can turn an intact male into an escape artist," she said.
"And, if you allow an intact male cat outside, it often has violent fights with other males. Wounds from these fights can be serious and require veterinary treatment. Neutering and spaying your household pets is a sound investment in their health and companionship. You are also doing your part to help control the pet population," said Crigger.
Dogs and cats can be sterilized as young as eight weeks and two pounds. SPOT is open Monday through Thursday for surgeries by appointment.
S.P.O.T. is a non-profit spay/neuter clinic offering high quality, low cost sterilization. The cost to sterilize a dog (male or female) is $55. Female cats cost $40 and male cats are $35. Feral cat sterilization costs $40 and includes rabies and ear tip. Vaccinations are $10 each.
They hold a vaccination clinic every Monday from 1 to 7 p.m. Surgeries are by appointment only. On the second and forth Friday of each month, they also offer surgeries by appointment.
A vaccination clinic takes place every Monday afternoon from 3 to 7 p.m. and every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. They offer routine vaccinations, heartworm testing/prevention and flea and tick control.
S.P.O.T. is located in Cloverdale at the intersection of S.R. 231 and S.R. 42. To schedule an appointment or for information call 795-4336.