Monday, February 22, 2010

Shelter to Spay, Neuter Pets at Discount Price

The Ohio County Animal Shelter is offering discounted spay and neuter services for cats and dogs, thanks to money bequeathed by an animal lover. The first clinics for male cats are scheduled for March 20 and April 17 at the shelter, located at 7011 National Road, Triadelphia. Veterinarian Gail Welty will perform the neutering procedures.

Such surgery can cost upwards of $100, but thanks to a $37,515 donation from the late Sandra Prager-Wertman, the procedures will be subsidized and will cost $35 per cat. In addition to the surgery, the fee also includes a rabies vaccination.

A clinic for female cats is slated for May 15. The cost of the spay procedure is $50 and includes a rabies vaccination. Spay and neuter clinics for dogs are expected to be held on later dates in the summer. A canine neuter procedure will cost $60, while canine spaying will cost $75.

Pet owners will receive a $5 discount if they have proof their animal already is vaccinated against rabies. To make a reservation, call 304-547-1013. Payment must be made before the pet's appointment. Pets must be at least 4 months old. And there is a two-pet limit per family per clinic.

''We're helping people in the county, and we're helping pets. We'll have less numbers in our shelter, and people will have healthier pets, too,'' Welty said.

She noted spaying a female pet decreases the animal's chance of developing mammary cancer and eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancers. Neutering male pets prevents testicular cancer, in addition to decreasing rates of hernias, prostate issues and more.

''It's not just for this year - we're going to keep it going,'' Welty said of the clinics.

Welty said the shelter often is overwhelmed by the number of unwanted cats, especially, and dogs. By pet owners getting their animals spayed or neutered, Welty hopes these numbers will decrease.

The Ohio County Commission last May approved spending $9,000 to purchase additional surgical equipment to conduct the clinics.

Prager-Wertman, a Wheeling resident, died in 2008. During her lifetime she often donated money to shelters and animal welfare groups. Her final wish was that 25 percent of her estate be given to the Ohio County Animal Shelter.

In 2009, the shelter took in 601 dogs and 813 cats; 352 dogs and 214 cats were adopted; 199 dogs and 28 cats were claimed by their owners; 11 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats were euthanized, according to statistics provided by the shelter.


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