Care for tender and affectionate pets – COMO Magazine
The Spay Neuter Project helps pets get needed veterinary services by dramatically reducing financial barriers.
Since 2015, The Spay Neuter Project has performed over 22,000 low-cost spaying surgeries in central Missouri. This year, the total is over 3,200 surgeries, a figure of which Executive Director Janeene Johnston is particularly proud.
“We are a low-cost, high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter clinic, and our goal is to make spay/neuter affordable for pet owners and rescues, so finances aren’t a burden. or aren’t the reason they don’t spay or neuter their pets,” Janeene says.
Spaying or neutering pets helps reduce the population of unwanted animals.
“Every time you neuter or neuter it really means you’re helping to prevent animal overpopulation,” says Janeene. “It keeps animals out of shelters and keeps pets from being euthanized. But the key is you have to make it affordable and accessible.
The procedure also reduces the risks of certain cancers and other life-threatening conditions. It can also help prevent a pet from wandering off in search of a mate, reducing the risk of hazards such as getting hit by a car.
Affordable and accessible veterinary care
Sterilization surgeries aren’t the only function of Project Spay Neuter, which also offers a variety of services, including vaccines, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and heartworm testing, and microchipping. pets for easier identification. Thanks to a Petco Love Grant, the clinic vaccinated nearly 1,500 pets against distemper.
“I have been doing social work for thirty years. . . . if there is anything we can do to keep their pet in their home with them, then let’s find a way to do it,” adds Janeene.
The clinic recently began offering monthly preventive treatments for heartworms, fleas and ticks.
“We didn’t really promote it or publicize it,” she says. “It’s like a bonus that we’ll talk more about and promote more about soon. No flea medicine is cheap. It’s affordable.” Doses are usually available for $12 or $10 each if you buy six.
“In the long run, it’s cheaper for your sanity and your wallet,” says Janeene.
To schedule services with The Spay Neuter Project, pet owners can book an appointment online or call and leave a message. Prepayment is required when services are scheduled to avoid missed appointments.
“We need people to understand that if they don’t show up, we could have brought in someone else who is on the cancellation list,” she adds, noting that the clinic is currently scheduled weeks in advance. “We really are probably busier than we’ve ever been. We really rearranged our schedule so that we could operate more animals on certain days. »
Case in point: wild cats
Perhaps the most notable impact of Project Spay Neuter is seen within the feral cat population. The clinic practices TNR, which means trap, sterilization, return. For a $25 deposit, residents can pick up a live trap to capture a feral cat, bring it in to be spayed or neutered, and release it back into the wild.
By the end of October, 741 feral cats had been neutered or neutered due to TNR.
Spaying a male feral cat can prevent hundreds of kittens and also help to control his aggressiveness.
“Sometimes [neutering] is going to really reduce some of that aggression, because he’s just trying to fight for his territory,” Janeene says, referring to wild tomcats. “He must be, you know, the Lion King of his neighborhood. He must protect everything. And maybe he may never become really nice, but I hope he doesn’t fight anymore.
Work with pet rescue agencies
The Spay Neuter Project works with 22 local rescues, helping more dogs and cats receive low-cost veterinary care.
“Shelters and rescues are drowning right now, all over the country. It’s not just the middle of Missouri. Janeene says. You need to make neutering or neutering affordable so people can continue to help animals.”
By providing low-cost neutering and neutering surgeries, the Spay Neuter Project attempts to break these cycles, while rescues focus on helping animals who already need these services. Thanks to the Spay Neuter project, as well as recent outreach by Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue, which works with CoMo Mobile Aid, members of the non-residential community can also access high-quality, low-cost veterinary care.
“We had someone coming into Welcome Home. . . but their pet has not been updated on vaccines. When they called, they couldn’t go anywhere. And I said, “Well, we could do it tomorrow,” recalls Janeene. ” Do not let [the cost and accessibility of vaccines] be a barrier. »
How to get involved
All of this work is made possible through grants, volunteers and the community at large. One of the clinic’s biggest fundraisers is CoMoGives.
“I know some people feel like it’s a competition, but I really feel like it’s a way for all animal groups to really talk about what we’re doing.” she declared. “Even if someone doesn’t donate to us, if they learn of our services, holy cow, it’s a big wake-up call for us.”
The Spay Neuter Project also hopes to bring back its main annual fundraiser, Spayghetti, for the first time since February 2020. The event is scheduled to take place on February 21, 2023.