Area cat owners have an exciting opportunity available to them – they can have their cats spayed or neutered for free.
Thanks to a grant from the McCausland Foundation, Barn Cat Buddies, Inc. has announced its “Free Feline Fix” in which the goal is to spay or neuter and rabies vaccinate 600 felines this winter. This is the first free program of its kind for Craig County and the Roanoke Valley.
The free program includes spaying/neutering, rabies vaccination, and a pain medicine injection that lasts for three days. The surgeries will be performed at Angels of Assisi in Roanoke. The cost of any other treatment will be the responsibility of the cat owner/caretaker. Feral cats will also have an ear tipped to indicate to animal control officers and others that the cat has been neutered.
The organization’s mission is to greatly impact the number of litters that would otherwise be surrendered to pounds and shelters this spring and summer. There is no income requirement for cat owners to participate, and there is no limit to the number of cats per household. The event is open to community (feral) cats as long as there is a caretaker feeding and monitoring the cat or colony.
The service is offered to residents in the zip code areas of: Franklin County, Roanoke City and County, Salem, Vinton, Craig County and Botetourt County.
Toni Levine resides in Craig County and is involved with Barn Cat Buddies, Inc. and the “Free Feline Fix.”
“If you have a male cat and a female cat, within two years you can end up with 50 cats,” she said. “Spaying/neutering your cat will not only eliminate kittens, but can eliminate odorous spraying by male cats.”
Levine added “If the male cat does continue to spray, there is no odor from neutered cats.” She stated that spaying female cats can also help prevent mammary gland cancer in them. Levine explained that there is “no catch to this program.”
Cat owners are responsible for transporting their cat or cats to and from Angels of Assisi, but there is no charge for this program. Cats that cannot be easily handled or are wild are required to be in a humane trap, not in a carrier.
To apply, call the Barn Cat Buddies, Inc. hotline at (540) 344-8707, ext. 3, or call Toni Levine at (540) 864-5843, and she will answer any questions.
– Ann Harrell