Free spay/neuter surgery for stray cats on Sunday

Published: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 7:37 p.m.

Spay and neuter surgery for stray cats will be free with the purchase of a $10 rabies vaccine at Sunday's Operation Catnip clinic.

The nonprofit organization holds monthly clinics to help stem the tide of cat overpopulation and to decrease the number of unwanted cats that are euthanized at the Alachua County Animal Services shelter.

“We live in a very compassionate community,” said medical director Dr. Julie Levy. “Local veterinarians volunteered to spay or neuter almost 3,000 homeless cats last year. That prevented the birth of more than 10,000 homeless kittens, but there are thousands more that are still waiting for help.”

All stray and feral cats in Alachua County are eligible for the free clinic, which is held at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The cats will also receive vaccinations and a treatment for fleas, ear mites and worms.

After the clinic, each cat is returned to its caregiver. Rabies vaccines are required because fatal rabies virus is frequently carried by wildlife and can be transmitted to cats and dogs.

Appointments are required for Sunday's clinic, which is limited to 250 cats. Residents who see or feed homeless cats are encouraged to call 380-0940 or e-mail for an appointment and information about how to bring cats to the clinic. Humane traps are available.

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